The road to a unique achievement
An extract from “Halfway There”, our season long trawl through Albion’s extraordinary haul of 20 FA Cup semi-finals.
This week, we go back to 1931 as Albion met Everton at Old Trafford. Everton were red hot favourites for the tie, largely because of the extraordinary goalscoring exploits of Dixie Dean, but as we reached half-time, the game stood goalless. Now, read on…
We reached the break on level terms, having not had a sniff of goal but, more important, having kept Dean at bay. From there, the game turned our way and after 55 minutes, we were in front thanks to captain Tommy Glidden.
“The goal came at a time when we should have been four down. Ted Sandford hit a hard cross into the middle and my intention was to head it forward for Bill Richardson to run on to. However, the ball came off my head pretty quick and went high as it passed over the heads of the Everton defenders. When it bounced, the ball hit the only part of the Old Trafford ground that was dry and when it reached the Everton goalkeeper, I think he must have taken his eyes off it. He was probably looking to see where WG was, but the ball slipped through his outstretched arms and into the net.
“I do not remember much after that. The Albion lads congratulated me so enthusiastically, they knocked me unconscious for a few minutes. It was the flukiest goal I ever scored and Everton didn’t like it one bit. But as I pointed out to Dixie Dean afterwards, Everton had missed so many sitters they hardly deserved to win.”
That must have cheered him up no end.
From there, to Wembley to meet Birmingham. We won 2-1 and, a week later, Glidden, Pearson, Sandford, Carter, Edwards et al beat Charlton to win promotion too. A unique double was ours. Immortality was theirs.
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