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THIRTY YEARS AGO: BREWERS AT WEMBLEY

9 May 2017

THIRTY years ago today the Brewers visited the old Wembley Stadium for the first time to play Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy Final on May the 9th 1987.

In a season which saw the Albion play a staggering 75 games in all competitions it was a fitting end to the season in front of over 10,000 Burton fans at Wembley stadium.

 

We take a look back at the famous day at Wembley stadium and how the Brewers got to the final under then manager Brian Fidler who was previously Neil Warnock’s assistant at Eton Park.

 

The road to Wembley began with a trip to Northwich Victoria in front of 670 fans which the Brewers won 2-0 thanks to goals from Bob Gauden and Dave Redfern.

 

The second round saw the Albion host Weymouth at Eton Park where the Brewers won 3-0 thanks to goals from Gil Land, Gauden and Alan Kamara.

 

The third round saw the Brewers face Whitley Bay at home in front of a crowd of 1,701. The Brewers were victorious 1-0 thanks to a winning goal from Paul Bancroft which secured their place in the quarter-final.

 

The quarter final saw the Brewers head to Maidstone United, the game finished in a 1-1 draw meaning a replay was needed to decide who would progress to the semi-final.

 

Albion won the replay 1-0 thanks to a goal from Dave Redfern in front of a crowd 3,690.

 

The semi-final would be contested over two legs with the Brewers playing at home first and they made the home advantage count as they finished the game as 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Paul Groves and Bob Gauden.

 

The second leg at Dartford saw the Brewers run out with a 2-0 victory thanks to two goals from right sided midfielder Paul Bancroft meaning the Brewers would visit Wembley for the first time in the club’s history.

 

The Brewers team on that day was Martin New, Nigel Simms, David Vaughan, Alan Kamara, Steve Essex, Paul Bancroft, Gil Land, Paul Groves, Neil Dorsett, Bob Gauden, Dave Redfern.

 

Martin New - He was known as one of the best keepers around the non-league scene at the time. He was one of the backbones of the team because of his experience attitude and ability to command the penalty area.

 

Nigel Simms – Nigel was a right back who was a real winner who was considered a brilliant committed player.

 

David Vaughan – David was a left-back who was considered a real leader on and off the field as club captain.


Alan Kamara – Alan was a central defender who was a brilliant reader of the game. He was often known for his pace and anticipation to mop things up at the back.

 

Steve Essex – A central defender who was a commanding centre half who could be relied on to put in a good job. The back four was a real strength of the side.

 

Paul Bancroft – A right sided midfielder who was considered one of the best in non-league football at the time. Known for his long distance strikes and scoring many vital goals for the club. Bancroft always gave a hundred percent to the side.

 

Gil Land – A central midfielder who always put a foot in when needed. The anchor-man who made up for his lack of natural skill with honesty and endeavour to give the side a perfect balance.

 

Paul Groves – A real workhorse who was one of the best players known for scoring vital goals particularly from the back post.

 

Neil Dorsett – Neil was a winger who was considered a bouncy character who made things happen up front.

 

Bob Gauden – Bob had a great knack as a striker in being in the right place at the right time and scored many goals for the Brewers.

 

Dave Redfern – Dave was once remembered saying to his strike partner Gauden: “You get the goals and I’ll do the work”. He was a terrific team player who would run through a brick wall for Burton Albion.

 

The game at Wembley failed to live up to expectations as it finished 0-0 on the day after extra-time.

 

The weather played its part and to those who were at the game could tell that affected the players performances.

 

On the day neither team deserved to lose the game with the better opportunities falling to Kidderminster as Paul Davies hit the bar in the final 15 minutes and missed an even easier chance with just a minute left.

 

A 0-0 draw after 120 minutes of football meant the game would go to a replay played at The Hawthorns stadium instead of the now traditional method of a penalty shootout.


Find out what happened in the replay on Friday.


*Extracts taken from Rex Page's book "Wellington Street to Wembley"











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