Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday October 3 2009
Saturday 21st February 1987, the 5th Round of the FA cup and Division 3 Latics have a home tie against Division 2 side Hull City and a place in the quarter finals at stake, Springfield Park was about to rock.
The Latics had made it through to this stage by virtue of a 3-1 home win against Lincoln in round one, round two saw us smash Darlington away 5-0, round three and we eased passed Gillingham 2-1 who had Tony Cascarino in their side, next up we were given a home tie against top division side Norwich City and a Paul Jewell goal in a 1-0 win saw us progress through to the 5th round for the first time in the clubs history.
Under manager Ray Mathias the Latics had a fantastic side in 1986/87 and we finished 4th in the old division three, a victim of our own success with two cup runs causing fixture congestion at the end of the season the club missed out on promotion by falling in the play-offs.
Bobby Campbell, David Lowe, Paul Jewell, Ian Griffiths, Paul Beesley, Barry Knowles, Nigel Adkins, Paul Cook, Alex Cribley, David Hamilton, Chris Thompson and John Butler were amongst the Latics stars
The FA Cup back in the 1980`s was still a much contested competition and indeed it wasn`t uncommon for top division clubs to be fined for fielding weakened sides in league games to save their best players for the cup game that was coming up.
So for the Latics to make the fifth round was an accomplishment in itself, but now we had a chance to progress through to the ¼ finals, a home tie against Hull, albeit a side from a higher division but we were at home so we must have a chance.
Hull were doing well in the league under manager Brian Horton and came to Springfield Park confident of progressing themselves but as previously said Mathias had the Latics playing great football and he had put a super little side together, the stage was set for a classic encounter and that`s just what we got.
At a packed Springfield Park the excitement was so strong in the build up to the game that you could smell it, or was that the open pipe urinals? Anyway Hull`s best player was Billy Askew, a midfield livewire and he`d overcome an injury scare to make the starting eleven, the Latics were at near full strength and young forward David Lowe was given the wide right berth in midfield, the two teams lined up, I had my usual spot St. Andrews side, on the wall at the half-way line, the ref blew his whistle and the game was under way.
Hull were very much their pre-match billing, a decent side and it looked like the Latics would have a struggle on their hands, Billy Askew was controlling midfield and every time he was on the ball the Tigers looked dangerous, as the game wore on the Latics came more into it though and took the lead shortly before half-time when Paul Jewell slammed home from inside the box.
Springfield Park went mental and for a short time Hull struggled to contain a buoyant Latics, the half-time whistle came with Mathias` men well on top.
The second half started with Hull coming at the Latics in hope of the equaliser and Askew was again prominent in the visitors midfield, he did look quality, so it came as a mega surprise when on 55 minutes Hull boss Brian Horton substituted the little midfield man for a forward in a vain attempt to get back into the game.
This move totally disrupted Hulls rhythm and the Latics dominated the game from the moment Askew left the pitch, David Lowe was superb and he set up further goals for Bobby Campbell and Chris Thompson as we stormed through to the quarter-finals 3-0.
Springfield Park rocked under 11,500 supporters and the stage was set for our best ever FA cup run.
Wigan Athletic 1986/87
Vital Latics have teamed up with the publishers Aurum Press to offer one lucky Vital member the chance to win a copy of Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelans Autobiography `Playing to Win`
To enter the competition simply answer the following question:
Which team did Dave play an FA cup final with?
A - West Bromwich Albion
B - Blackburn Rovers
C - Preston North End
To enter click here don`t forget your name and address in case you are the lucky winner and also include your Vital username, good luck
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Saturday October 3 2009
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