Melchester Rovers face Gatesfield on a good run of form, despite the hectic schedule, knowing that a win will send them back into fourth place and nearer to Champions League qualification.
Meanwhile Jake Cheetham undergoes surgery and Roy Race arrives in the USA.
Monday, 28 July 2014
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Mezino, the brilliant Brazilian wing-striker, played for First Division Grimthorpe Rangers, follow his adventures here over the next few weeks. Today's scans are from 4th February 1989...
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Danefield United were trailing 2-0 from the first leg of their European Cup First Round tie against Barnek Dynamo. A freak early goal, scored by Alistair Stewart direct from a corner, in the return match encouraged Viktor Boskovic's team. But the mad manager was soon disturbed...
Saturday, 12 July 2014
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Saturday, 5 July 2014
One of the issues that fans had with Roy of the Rovers was the lack of information given about opponents, both players and teams. This series will attempt to right that.
Burndean were one of the strongest teams in the late 80s and early 90s and a permanent fixture in the First Division since 1973/74, when they were also beaten in the F.A. Cup Final by the mighty Melchester Rovers.
Burndean traditionally wear white combined with green. The image on the left shows a nice strip with green sleeves and shorts from 1976/77, as Mervyn Wallace is about to be denied a goal by a great save from goalkeeper John Makepeace. Rovers won the match 2-1, with goals from Roy Race and Jimmy Slade. The young blond goalie, Makepeace, had recently been promoted to the first team in place of Trevor Dawson.
In the 70s Burndean were a mid-table team, neither threatened by relegation nor troubling the teams at the top end of the table. For two seasons, 1977/78 and 1978/79, they wore a smart all white strip, featuring a nice badge in the latter season. Rovers won at Burnham Park 3-0 in 77/78 and continued their unbeaten record against 'Dean after a 3-3 draw in 78/79.
Burndean's clashes with Melchester were not well documented in the early 80s. But they featured again in a flashback scene, featuring Carl Hunt in 1984. Carford City midfield enforcer Hunt, had broken the leg of popular defender Les Anderson during a league match. Burndean are shown wearing their away strip of red shirts and white shorts.
In 1985/86 Rovers resumed their normal thrashing of 'Dean with a comfortable 4-0 win. The goals came from Hunt, Race, Vic Guthrie and Spandau Ballet star Steve Norman. Mulleted striker, Mason, had missed an excellent early chance, and Rovers were ruthless from that point forward.
The late 80s saw the emergence of three of the best players to ever wear the Burndean shirt. Brian 'Crawler' Tebbit, came to prominence in the 1987/88 F.A. Cup Semi-Final, as he tormented Roy Race in an attempt to get the great man sent-off. However his tricks backfired as he himself was dismissed, as Melchester ran out 4-0 winners to secure their place at Wembley. Some confusion rests around the quarter-final as Burndean were named as opponents, despite wearing a black and white striped strip. I believe this to be a typo and perhaps it should read Blackport.
1988/89 introduced probably Burndean's greatest ever player. Newton Oates, a tall, strong centre-forward, with tremendous pace and power, burst onto the scene scoring four goals as 'Dean destroyed Rovers 6-3. Inspirational and tough captain, Don Palmer, led this Burndean side, managed by Bob Sturges. In the league match, Burndean's long-ball tactics dominated as Rovers just could not cope with Oates. But Rovers would gain revenge soon enough, in the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup. An amazing 8-1 victory punctuated with a hat-trick for Rovers young forward Wes Harper.
This period in Burndean's history saw a change in secondary colour, as green was replaced with blue. Personally I believe this was a consistency error as writers muddled Portdean (who now wear green and white stripes), with similarly named Burndean. The 'error' is corrected in 1991/92 as Burndean return in a white and green striped jersey.
Newton Oates and Don Palmer were part of a very good Burndean team, that finally challenged at the very top end of English football. Burndean have a history of having very good goalkeepers, from John Makepeace, up to the early 90s as Bob Harvey and Wales international Gareth Evans make the number one jersey their own. Oates was replaced by Phil Garret, who was partnered by Scotsman MacNally.
Rovers defeated 'Dean 1-0 in 1990/91 with a goal from Roy Race. But Burndean would gain some revenge over Melchester with a famous win in the 1991/92 F.A. Cup Semi-Final. Burndean were struggling at the bottom of the First Division, but won 1-0 thanks to a Phil Garret strike and a superb display from Bob Harvey in goal. The classy veteran keeper saving a Roy Race penalty in the final seconds of the match.
The 1992/93 season saw Rovers win a F.A. Cup 3rd Round clash, 3-2 in Ralph Gordon's first match in charge. MacNally scored, but Rovers dominated an the to goals scored by 'Dean gave an unrealistic slant to the scoreline.
So Burndean have been a constant thorn in the side of Melchester Rovers since the mid-70s. Despite never being a consistently top side, they have had a fair amount of success. Two great players wore their shirt, Newton Oates and Don Palmer and they had a tradition for top goalies, the best being Bob Harvey.
One of my favourite sides, it would be great to see Burndean, in their white and green, challenge at the top of English football again. Perhaps Palmer or Oates will return one day as manager.
Results vs Melchester -
1-2 (L 73/74 F.A. Cup Final)
1-2 (L 76/77 Division 1)
0-3 (L 77/78 Division 1)
3-3 (D 78/79 Division 1)
0-4 (L 85/86 Division 1)
1-2 (L 87/88 F.A. Cup Semi-Final)
6-3 (W 88/89 Division 1)
1-8 (L 88/89 F.A. Cup 5th Round)
0-1 (L 90/91 Division 1)
1-0 (W 91/92 F.A. Cup Semi-Final)
2-3 (L 92/93 F.A. Cup 3rd Round)
F.A. Cup Runners-Up 19973/74
F.A. Cup Finalists 1991/92
F.A. Cup Runners-Up 19973/74
F.A. Cup Finalists 1991/92
G- Trevor Dawson, John Makepeace, Bob Harvey, Gareth Evans
D - Les Anderson, Chic... , Alec ....
M - Brian Tebbit, Don Palmer, Terry Drake, Steve Wilson, Gowans, Dawson
F - Newton Oates, Phil Garret, Mason, MacNally, McGill
Thursday, 3 July 2014
Monday, 30 June 2014
The story continues, as Danefield face off against Barnek Dynamo, of Salvokia, in front of a crowd of 120,000...