Woking wonders still remembered for humbling West Brom

05 January 2011 03:29
For many years I followed the fortunes of a club from the 'Surreystockbroker belt' - as by some strange kind of law they had to bereferred by the national media.

I've been lucky enough to seesome unforgettable games in my time, but one of the most memorablestill remains the day Woking went to West Bromwich Albion 20 years ago in the thirdround of the FA Cup and humbled their far superior opposition with a4-2 win.

I genuinely think it is a viable candidate forgreatest ever FA Cup shock, because the non-league side didn't scrapehome on that winter's afternoon two whole decades back - they took the DivisionTwo outfit to the cleaners.

A few of us that had beenwatching the 'Cardinals' for many years had long thrilled to theexciting skillful football that had already seen the club promoted twodivisions in the old Isthmian League.

On the first weekend of January in 1991, however, it was more in hopethan expectation that 5,000 fans travelled from the 'Surrey stockbrokerbelt' to The Hawthorns.

It was 20 years ago today. Tim Buzaglo celebrates the first of his three goals at West Brom

There was no hint of the drama to comewhen the Baggies, four divisions higher than their opponents, largelydominated the first half and took the lead, and then carried on wherethey had left off in the opening minutes of the second half.

It was then that a certain club cricketer from Gibraltar took over. One Tim Buzaglo.

Ofall the players that I've seen at all levels, Buzaglo remains one ofthe most exciting. A lightning quick striker with an extraordinary eyefor goal, he proved far too much to handle for an Albion defence thatbegan to fall apart at the seams.

Buzaglo first curled amarvellous low shot into the corner, and then reacted quickest when along goal kick was flicked on to put the Cards ahead and send thevisiting supporters into delirium.

The third goal has sadly neverbeen properly captured on television, but was franklymagnificent. The move started inside Woking's own half, with midfielderMark Biggins leaving Graham Roberts sitting on the turf with abrilliant dummy and setting up long-serving defender Adie Cowler on theedge of the penalty area.

He in turn fed Buzaglo, who fired home tocomplete the most brilliant of hat-tricks. It was becoming clear thatWoking were going to be writing the headlines that FA Cup weekend.

SubstituteTerry Worsfold headed a fourth goal before a late Albion consolation ona day nobody at The Hawthorns could ever forget.

The events thatimmediately followed the final whistle would have brought tears to aglass eye, with Buzaglo chaired shoulder high by Albion supporters whohad run onto the pitch and chants of 'Sign Him Up' ringing around theold ground.

Wokingmanager Geoff Chapple had an amazing 20 yearhabit of producing teams capable of upsetting the big boys in the FACup, but this would prove to be his finest hour. It wasn't such a proudmoment for Albion boss Brian Talbot, who lost his job after thehumiliation.

Albionfans clapped and cheered Woking supporters as they left the ground indisbelief, and as someone who has enjoyed a lifelong love affair withthe wireless it was simply magical to hear the upset leading BBCRadio's Sports Report.

Even now, when Woking comes up in conversation, people will mention the name Tim Buzaglo.

IfAndy Warhol was indeed right, and we will all enjoy our 15 minutes offame, the humble and shy Buzaglo certainly had his on that most famousof third round days.

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Source: Daily_Mail