Tonight's match against Rochdale at York Street will be the 42nd FA Cup replay that Boston United have played. The games are split evenly with half at home and half away. Not surprisingly, given that the first game ended in a draw, the results are also pretty even with seventeen wins, two draws (from the days when replays that ended level weren't decided by extra time and/or penalties but went to another replay) and twenty-two losses. Seventy-six goals have been scored by Boston and seventy-six conceded.
The omens for tonight's game are mixed. In the home replays Boston have only converted home advantage into a victory in nine of the twenty games.
|In their first season in the FA Cup in 1934 Boston had two replays at Shodfriars Lane (as the ground was then known). The first was in the second qualifying round against Ransome & Marles - the works side from the ball bearing factory in Newark. Boston won 5-1 with Frank Bungay getting four. Then in the next round Boston needed another replay after drawing at Grantham which they won 3-1 with Bungay scoring again. Bungay scored 61 goals in 43 appearances that season with 15 of those goals coming in FA Cup games.||
Over the next twenty years Boston only had three FA Cup replays at home and all three were against Grantham. Boston lost 2-3 in 1937 and won 4-1 in 1950 and 1-0 in 1954. In 1969 in the second qualifying round against Bourne Town Boston drew the first game at York Street 0-0 and Bourne then agreed to let the replay take place at Boston to maximise the shared gate receipts. A bumper crowd of 3497 turned out to see Boston win 2-0.
In 1974 there was arguably the biggest ever game played at York Street when First Division title contenders Derby County were the visitors in a 3rd round proper replay after the initial game at the Baseball Ground, like tonight's match, had ended in a 0-0 draw. Despite being an afternoon midweek match due to restrictions using floodlights to conserve energy during the oil crisis, the ground was packed to capacity as many Boston schools closed down to give the pupils a rare chance to glimpse stars from the First Division. The side that Derby brought to York Street contained four internationals. Boston couldn't repeat their first match heroics and Derby got full revenge for their 1955 FA Cup defeat to Boston by winning by the same 6-1 score. Archie Gemmill got a hat-trick, Jeff Bourne a brace and Derby's record breaking £250,000 transfer signing David Nish completed the scoring. Jim Conde got the Boston goal.
Jim Conde scores.
Since then two League One level sides have come to Boston to play in FA Cup replays. The first was Hartlepool United in the third round proper in 2004 after a 0-0 draw at the Victoria Ground. Hartlepool won the replay with a deflected goal off Paul Ellender by former Pilgrim Adam Boyd deciding the tie.
A year later Swindon Town were the visitors in the first round proper after a 2-2 draw at the County Ground. A brilliant first half display saw Boston go in with a 4-0 lead and Swindon down to ten men after their 'keeper had been sent off. But they sat back in the second half and even allowed Swindon a consolation goal via the penalty spot.
|Boston took the lead after just nine minutes. A shot by Bradley Maylett was deflected into the path of Julian Joachim who slotted home. On 19 minutes Swindon 'keeper Tom Heaton earned a red card when he brought Joachim down when he was clean through. Jason Lee's subsequent spot kick was deflected onto the bar but the miss didn't matter as on 23 minutes Boston increased their lead when Joachim picked his spot after getting on the end of a ball forward by Chris Holland. Boston went three up five minutes before the interval when Maylett fired home from the edge of the area. Right on the stroke of half-time Boston got their fourth goal when Lee scored with a header after meeting a cross by David Noble. Seven minutes from time Alan White handled the ball on the edge of the area and Rory Fallon scored with his spot kick.||
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