Boro history: this week in ...1989 and 1990

Paul Fairclough

Paul Fairclough - Credit: Archant

Cup competitions - how times have changed

Since joining the Football League, a few things are no longer part of the Boro’ experience – August Bank Holiday Monday fixtures; Luton Town; the “Borough” suffix… and having to qualify for the ‘proper’ stages of the FA Cup.

Now we have to wait and see which non-league clubs have survived to reach the first round.

It was once the case that our cup adventures began at this time of year with the First Qualifying Round! On September 16, 1989, we had already got through the Preliminary Round and welcomed Cambridge City to Broadhall Way. Despite goals from Graham Cox (two) and Robbie O’Keefe, we couldn’t overcome a two-division gulf between us and bravely went down 5-3.

The following season (September 15, 1990) threw up another gripping contest in which Boro had to be the one that missed out.

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In Paul Fairclough’s first season at the helm, we’d again got through the preliminary stages and were rewarded with a home tie with Bishop’s Stortford – another team from two divisions above us.

It was again the difference, as we went down 3-2 – Shaun Marshall with a brace.

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These days, we’re unhappy if we lose 3-2 at Rotherham United in the First Round Proper.

* Pete Hayman runs BoroGuide, the Stevenage FC internet resource. For more information visit or follow him on twitter @boroguide

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