As I mentioned in passing in Tuesday’s post, Cambridge United are hosting Manchester United in the FA cup on Friday 23rd January. I am assured by the caretaker at my sons’ school (a lifelong U’s supporter by the name of Mr Hart) that you won’t be able to get up or down the Newmarket Road for several hours either side of the tie, especially since it will be shown live on BBC1, and unless they park their vans in the allotments at the back of the stadium, they will have to parked out on the road.
The U’s, as they are known, qualified for the 4th round of the cup thanks to their 2-1 win over long-term rivals Luton Town (a rivalry so fierce that Mr Hart the Caretaker refuses to watch the matches, such is his hatred – and perhaps his expectation that they will lose, Cambridge not having beaten Luton for a few years prior to the cup match). Here is a view of one of Cambridge’s goals in a rather wobbly but joyful film shot from the Newmarket Road End Terrace:
The U’s last faced Manchester United in a two-leg League Cup match in 1991. On that occasion they lost 4-1 on aggregate, but at the time they were in the second tier of English football (now called the Championship, then called Division 2); indeed they were in the play-offs for promotion to the Premier League that season (they lost to Newcastle United, I seem to remember). Here they are, drawing 1-1 with Manchester united in the second leg of the tie (having lost the first leg 3-0).
They are not so mighty these days, having only come up from the fifth tier last season. Still, as everyone keeps saying, it’s the cup, and anything can happen.