“I thought we’d won 1-0. It wasn’t until I got to the bus and everyone was miserable that I realised the goal had been disallowed.”

FA Cup final day, or at least what should be, seems an apt time for the first and probably last ever TSOF three part blog to finish as we look at our most recent cup exploits. And there is plenty to cover. We have a trip to an at the time almost brand new £30 million stadium, a trip to one of the worst league grounds in England, our first ever televised tie, and a game one fan thought we’d won until he got to the minibus to find out a goal had been disallowed.

The cup run in the 2000-01 season proved to be a welcome distraction from what was a poor league campaign. As is somewhat of a recurring theme here, we drew Weymouth in the qualifying rounds, this time as we entered the competition in the second qualifying round. We’d leave the Wessex Stadium with a 1-0 win courtesy of a Danny O’Hagan goal. It was a game that club legend Andy ‘skunk’ Harris still has fond memories of:

“Any win against Weymouth was amazing as I hated them! I’ve made some good friends from there now but as a player they were the enemy! I particularly enjoyed the FA Cup win. Danny O’Hagan scored the winner and Elmo (David Elm) saved a David Laws penalty. Brilliant.”

Salisbury at home would be the next rounds opposition and we’d win a thriller by the odd goal in seven. Matt Lonnon with two and efforts from Owen Pickard and Andy Harris would ensure our safe passage into the fourth and final qualifying round. The home tie against Welling would prove more difficult. A 1-1 stalemate at home after an Andy Harris equaliser would see us travel there for a midweek replay. Goals from Martyn Sullivan and Owen Pickard would take the tie to extra time before a brace from substitute Matt Groves would guarantee our place in the first round proper for the first time in five years.

The reward was a trip to highflying Wigan Athletic, who were the highest ranked side in the competition as they topped Division 2 (League One in modern terms) and were in their second season at the new £30 million JJB stadium. We were second bottom Dr Martens Premier Division at the time with 90 places separating us and Wigan, who were managed by former Arsenal boss, Bruce Rioch. Who does Bruce Rioch have as a nephew? Matty Homes.

Several coaches from DT1 made their way to the game, including some youngsters who had managed to sneak a few cans of lager on, despite being a few years too young to drink. Upon arrival at Wigan, a steward asked the youngsters if they were old enough to drink that. They replied yes and duly had to pay the full adult price to get into the ground. Despite Wigan having a side that included future Swansea, Wigan, Everton and Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez, as well as Premier League experience in Arjan De Zeeuw, it would be us who took a sixth minute league as Matty Homes’ free kick from the wide right area would miss everyone and nestle in the bottom corner. Fans went mad and Andy Harris would be unfortunate to get booked for celebrating in an empty stand.

Joy was very short lived as Wigan equalised within a minute and they would go ahead before half-time. We’d give everything but it stayed 2-1 until 10 minutes from time when the unfortunate Jason McIvor would score an own goal of ‘Danny Baker’s Own Goals and Gaffes’ proportions. It was a spirited performance and a more respectable scoreline than the last time out against league opposition, but we’d unfortunately find ourselves relegated at the end of the season. There would be no panic though as our stay in the Eastern Division would only last two seasons as we were promoted as champions in 2002-03. But that’s another story for another time.

The 2008-09 cup campaign would start with a tough draw at home to Newport County, top of the Conference South at the time. We moved into a 2-0 lead after halftime with both goals from Ryan Moss, but were pegged back to 2-2 and faced the daunting prospect of a midweek replay in Wales. Having gone 1-0 down after an uncharacteristic error from Kevin Hill, after halftime Nick Crittenden would take over. His two goals earning us a hard fought 2-1 win and a home tie with Gosport in the next round. Another Ryan Moss goal would see us beat the then conference national side 1-0, before another Crittenden strike would see us beat Bishops Stortford at home and advance for to the first round proper for the first time in eight years.

Conference National side Oxford Untied would be the opposition, away at the new yet bizarrely three sided Kassam Stadium. Almost 400 fans made the trip by coach, minibus and car, with a stop the Sutton Scotney services providing some amusement. As one fan, for the purpose of this story we shall call Martyn, went to make use of the facilities and secured himself a cubicle, a friend who shall go by the name of Richard decided to throw water over the top of the door and soak him. Sadly, Richard got the wrong cubicle, so a totally innocent member of public got soaked, who in turn also threw water onto Martyn thinking it was him who threw the water initially. In hindsight, scrumpy on the minibus mid-morning may not have been the best idea.

The game itself was largely even, Gareth Stewart busier in the Magpies goal but by no means the only keeper in action as the Magpies played some of their better football of the season. The game seemed destined for a replay when deep into injury time a Jamie Mudge cross was turned in by Ryan Moss. Cue pandemonium the stands as fans celebrated the later winner. That was not to be the winning goal though as after a prolonged discussion between referee and linesman, the goal was ruled out for an alleged handball by Moss as he forced the ball home. It deflated the travelling fans as some took longer than others to realise the goal wouldn’t count. One fan didn’t realise until back at the minibus that it was actually a 0-0 draw and a replay would be on the cards. It had been a superb effort and the return on home turf at the Avenue would provide an excellent chance at progression.

But despite a 1,474 crowd, we were unable to overcome the higher ranked visitors. It started well after having missed an earlier chance, Jamie Mudge would put us ahead after 22 minutes. It was a lead we’d hold until the 77th minute as James Constable equalised and as extra time began, we were still more than competitive, but a second yellow card for Jamie Gleason would see us reduced to 10 men. Two goals in the second half of extra time would put the game beyond us and despite the excellent performance over both ties, it wasn’t to be. Mossy’s disallowed goal is still spoken of to this day and it is quite possible that one fan is still adamant we won the first game and it was all a wind up.

So, onto 2012 and one of the most memorable periods in the clubs history. Our entry into the qualifying rounds would be a home game against Hellenic League Division One West side, Wooton Bassett. Two strikes from Jamie Reid and a goal a piece for Ben Watson and Nathan Walker would see us ease into the next round with a 4-0 win. A lone Jamie Gleeson strike would then see us safely past Basingstoke, once again on home soil, before the final qualifying round would see us play another home game, this time Bury Town were our opponents. A Charlie Clough goal in the first half put us ahead before two Bury players were dismissed leaving us in total control. Nick Crittenden would add a second after 80 minutes but Bury pulled a late goal back to make things interesting. Ben Watson wasn’t interested in anything other than scoring though as he made it 3-1. We were back in the hat for the first round with hopes of a game against league opposition.

And that was what we got as we were paired against Plymouth Argyle at home. The Sunday clash against the League Two side was also to be televised on ESPN on what was sure to be a great occasion for the town. This was a game I was unable to attend as I had already planned a trip to Belgium to see my then parter. As most of the town would watch on at the ground or on TV, my partner and I would be sat in Brussels watching the game on her laptop. She even correctly predicted score. It is when I write things like this down and think them through that I realise there is a very good reason why I am currently single.

The day was by all accounts an absolute belter. The Vic was drank dry of cider, 3,196 fans packed into the ground and it was a cold wet and uncomfortable atmosphere for the visitors. Conor Hourihane, who now plays in the Premier League for Aston Villa, was obviously caught up in the atmosphere as he proceeded to appear to stamp on Jon Garcia and got an early yellow card. Hourihane was not done there as he quickly picked up his second booking and was sent off after only eight minutes. Even with 10 men Plymouth would have that quality about them and despite the numerical disadvantage, they didn’t just roll over. A Charlie Clough header off the post being our best chance of the half as the game ebbed and flowed.

But four minutes into the second half we would score and take a lead we wouldn’t surrender. Jake Smeeton’s deep cross from the left was cushioned back into the centre by Mark Jermyn for perfectly positioned Jake Gosling to slot the ball into the roof of the net. The crowd erupted as did a small corner of Brussels and despite the odd scare, we’d see the game out for a famous victory and a place in the second round for the first time since 1981. Defender Nathan Walker has fond memories of the day:

“At breakfast the boys were all bantering and we were in good spirits. We believed if we kept it at 0-0 we could nick a goal and what a goal it was. We never knew when we were beat that season, we had great togetherness on and off it pitch. To win in the FA Cup and on live TV was just amazing.”

A round two tie away at Conference National side Luton, who we would also play twice in the trophy that year, would be the draw we were given and we set off on a minibus with plenty of refreshments for the trip. Luton, put politely, is a hole, and all those liquid refreshments were needed to take the edge off of the surrounds we found ourselves in. But we weren’t just here for the day out and there was genuine hope we could cause another upset. After an initial bright start, we came under some more sustained pressure which resulted in Andre Gray, now of Watford, scoring the opening goal.

We saw out the rest of the first half and had been playing our way back into the game when a second goal seemingly put the game beyond us, Lawless’ effort after he was allowed time and space to shoot finding the far corner. It wasn’t game over though as two minutes later, Aaron Pugh turned in a Jake Gosling corner and it was game on once more. In truth, we should have forced a replay and would have done so had it not been for the inspired form of Luton keeper Mark Tyler. Saves ranging from good to incredible from Ash Nichols, Ben Watson, Sam Malson and Dan Thompson would deny us a replay that we felt the performance merited. But it wasn’t to be and the players were deservedly clapped off at the end after their monumental efforts over the course of the cup run.

The journey home was an entertaining one with the minibus seeming to acquire Christmas decorations from various pit stops en route back to DT1, and a slightly worse for wear Mark Derrien swearing blind we were in the Blue Vinney and they’d done it up really nicely, only to be told by Guyer that we were in fact at the Fish Inn in Ringwood. It was no better by train as Steve Hill elected to take the overground rather than following the rest onto the underground. The drawback? Steve was in possession of all the train tickets. This ended our most recent first or second round proper appearance, and to be honest, we’ve not looked too much like advancing to that stage since, with the only exception being a 7-1 pummelling by Bristol Rovers in 2014. In the meantime, here’s hoping I’ll have some more success to write about soon (although the history is fascinating, 1986-87 league winning season blog to come as well as ‘players choice’ where we have ex/current players picking their favourite games from a period of 40 or so years), if you want to or are able to help the club, the link to the Magpies Appeal will be below. Stay safe folks, SV.

Thanks to Steve Gould, Hedley Steele, Helen Curtis, Nathan Walker, Peter Morrell, Andy Harris, Peter Poore and several friends who have contributed pictures, newspaper clippings and memories across all 3 parts.

“I couldn’t make the replay though, I already had tickets for Duran Duran at the Poole Arts Centre that night.”

Today should be eve of the FA Cup final day. One of the most momentous occasions in the footballing calendar. Could it have been our year? We’ll never know now as the season has been voided. And yes, we are totally ignoring the fact that were knocked out in the early qualifying rounds by Blackfield and Langley. But in lieu of there being no final to watch, we here at TSOF aim to provide you with an adequate substitute with part two of the FA Cup review.

Now when we finished part one, we had just had our most successful period in the famous old competition as we made at least the first round proper in five out of six seasons between 1954 and 1960. Sadly, our wait for the next first round appearance would be in excess of 20 years. In the period between first round appearances we lost to footballing giants such as Bridport, Bridgewater, Portland and Barnstable among many others. But the Stuart Bell led Magpies of 1981-82 would buck that trend in some style.

Following the league winning campaign under Bell’s then caretaker stewardship in 1979-80 (as documented in a recent blog on the Tumblr account) there was a brief period under player/manager Martin Chivers at the start of 1980-81. When that didn’t work out, it was Bell who got the job on a full time basis having been assistant under Chivers, and he was able to keep together/assemble a successful squad who knew each other well and played with an understanding to match.

The cup campaign would start out in low key fashion with goals from Paul Thorne and Peter Poore seeing off Hungerford 2-1 away from home, before goals from Thorne, Trevor Senior and Ray Ames would see us dispatch of Frome on home turf. An away fixture at Eastleigh would prove a stiffer task. After coming twice from behind to level the game at 2-2, the Magpies would find an extra gear and eventually grind out a 4-2 success with Senior, Ames, Thorne and Poore once again finding the net.

Into the fourth qualifying round and opponents Cheltenham Town had taken to very forward thinking step of having our previous tie at Eastleigh filmed so they could do some scouting and hatch a plan to defeat us. It didn’t work. A hat trick from the prolific Senior would see us take a 3-1 win at Whaddon Road. What of the video, I hear you ask? Well they sold it to us and it was shown in front of an audience of 100 or so at the Magpies social club. The first round proper draw arrived, and there was some disappointment when Minehead at home was our reward as the bigger sides were avoided. But it did present an excellent opportunity to make the second round and following a thrilling 3-3 draw (Miller, Steele x2) which saw us spurn a 3-1 lead late on. But with the second round draw being made prior to the replay, the incentive of AFC Bournemouth at home was all the encouragement we needed as yet another hat trick from Senior and a Tony Chutter goal saw us run our deserved 4-1 winners.

A crowd of over 5,000 would pack into the old Avenue as the Fourth Division promotion contenders came to town, and they would be reward with a left footed shot from Paul Thorne putting us into a first half lead after a period of sustained pressure. Bournemouth would equalise after halftime having missed a penalty as well at the start of the second half, but it was Dorch who would finish the game stronger and would be agonisingly close to winning it. As tensions rose on and off the pitch, skipper Hedley Steele would see his effort strike the bar, and Trevor Senior was just unable to connect with a late cross in from Paul Thorne. Much to Bournemouth’s relief, it would go to a replay that Tuesday.

The relief wasn’t felt by all as some fans had already booked tickets to see up and coming band ‘Duran Duran’ at the nearby Poole Arts Centre, and they would miss an agonising night for the Magpies. In front of a crowd of 6,766 with well over a thousand from Dorch, it had started well as we took the lead. Pressure from Trevor Senior (playing his last game for the club prior to a £35,000 move to Portsmouth) caused confusion in the home defence and captain Hedley Steele slotted home the ball as it broke to him after 18 minutes. A rising Paul Thorne effort almost doubled the league but the hosts would level as a free kick from out wide would see Andy Crawford equalise.

That’s how it would stay meaning extra time and Dorchester hearts were broken as despite good chances for both sides, Keith Williams would score as Dorch were temporarily down to 10 following an injury to Tony Chutter. There were only four minutes remaining and as Hedley Steele would put it, “it was a great journey that ended in heartbreaking fashion.”

It is a cup campaign still fondly remembered and spoken about by players and fans alike. Peter Poore, who played in both games and is the farther of another ex-Maggie in Carl, would say “the first game at home we were so unlucky and should have won. For us it was just 11 vs 11, they had much more ability but we wanted it more. To lose in the last few minutes of extra time and being so close to that third round was hard to take. We got a standing ovation from the home crowd and that’s something I and many others will treasure.”

In typical fashion, we’d not progress past the qualifying rounds for the next seven seasons. The likes of Clandown, Merthyr Tydfil, Cheltenham and Totton proving our undoing. 1989-90 would see a return to the first round proper, albeit without the dream football league tie at the end of it. After seeing off Chard away from home, overcoming Trowbridge after a reply also away, a home win against Cheltenham would see us in the fourth and final qualifying round away at Bognor.

We’d fall behind after a penalty conceded by Tony White was converted, but the real story was the hailstorm which battered the south coast that night. At nearby Fratton Park the referee had stopped the match as conditions were so bad but the official at Bognor had no such idea and the play continued in farcically dangerous conditions. Despite goal kicks being blown back towards goal and going out for corners, a Pete Morrell penalty was good enough to force a replay. The whole ordeal must have annoyed the players somewhat as they proceeded to hammer Bognor 5-1 in the replay. Sadly, the first round produced no outing against football league opposition and we were drawn away to league rivals Gloucester City. Despite a good team performance and Pete Morrell hitting the bar, we would fall to a somewhat harsh 1-0 deafest against a Gloucester side who beat us five times in all competitions in that season.

It would be the 1995-96 season when we next grace the first round with our presence, but it was the qualifying rounds that in many ways provided the better memories. The first qualifying round would see us held 2-2 at home by Wimborne before safely negotiating the away replay by a 2-0 score line. A 2-0 home victory over Basingstoke would see us advance into the third qualifying round where a tie away at rival Weymouth would await. It would prove to me be one of our more memorable days on the other side of the Ridgeway as an Owen Pickard hat trick would help us come from 2-1 down to win 3-2, dumping our rivals out the competition in the process. There It was a win that would see a selection of commemorative mugs produced, some still used as tea vessels to this very day!

A 2-1 victory away at Sittingbourne would see us back in the hat for the first round proper, and we were rewarded with a trip to Oxford. Oxford were 12th in Divison 2 (League One in today’s money) and one of the better sides in the draw. The travelling support was well over a thousand that day as the convoy of coaches set off from the Avenue, all fans being given a letter from the chairman reminding them of their responsibilities given they were representing the club and the town. However, any hopes of a cup upset were quickly diminished. Although only 2-0 down at half-time, we would end up on the wrong end of a 9-1 scoreline, our 1, a Tommy Killick penalty, coming with the score at 8-0.

In an article when he was at Poole in 2010, Taffy Richardson who played for us that day at Oxford would look back on that first round tie from 1995; “It was one of the worst experiences of my life. What should have turned out to be a good day was an awful day.

“We had a good team at Dorchester and we got Oxford United, who were the best team left in the hat. We got drawn away from home and suffered massive injuries and suspensions. Some of the lads who played were Dorset Combination and reserve players and we were beaten 9-1.

“With 20 minutes to go, I lost count. We got a penalty and Tommy Killick scored and he celebrated like he’d won the FA Cup. I had my head down embarrassed. It could have been 20-1 – our keeper was magnificent. You just wanted to get off the pitch at the end.

Now seeing the funny side – almost – Richardson continues: “We had a black and white strip and one of the funny lines the next day in the press said ‘Dorchester came out looking like Del Piero but, once the game started, they looked more like Del Boy’! Everything about it was embarrassing.”

It would take the club a few seasons to get back into the cup groove and the next time we’d get to the first round proper would be the other side of the millennium. But as I’ve ended up with far more material than I thought, that will actually be in part 3, which should be out over the weekend. Some big days and famous games in the clubs history to follow… Stay alert and wash those paws. SV.

A 10 hour journey to Norwich, Dinky Curtis’ goals, Ron Cox’s forehead and the Dorset Regiment Band. Part one of the FA Cup files.

It’s FA Cup final week! Or at least it should be anyway. What was previously one of my favourite sporting days of the year when growing up is now seen as almost an inconvenience by many of the bigger sides. The obvious attraction of finishing fourth in the premier league being far preferable to an actual cup final win not being helped by having such crunch games as Fleetwood vs Portsmouth in round three moved to a 1735 kick off time on a Saturday by the FA for overseas television. I’m not entirely sure that people in either Fleetwood or Portsmouth were that excited by the prospect of playing each other, so I can’t see viewers in Estonia or China being that bothered either.

Obviously we at Dorchester are a million miles away from the glamour of an FA Cup final and our more recent campaigns have seen us knocked out in the early qualifying rounds by such footballing powerhouses as Blackfield & Langley, AFC Portchester and Cirencester. But that said, it wasn’t always the way. So once again with the help of programmes, memories and a Google search history which is even stranger than usual, we invite you to get your old style rattles, tin foil FA Cups and Bovril at the ready as we go back to look at some of the more memorable FA Cup campaigns we’ve had over the years.

(The magpies side in this era before heading off to a footballing twinning match in Bayeux)

For the first of these two parts (a TSOF first: a two parter) we’ll focus on the earlier cup successes we had. From what can be found when researching, since formation in 1880, the club had no notable runs in the FA Cup in the first 70 plus years. (Notable, for the purpose of this piece will be reaching the first round proper.) In fact in the immediate post war era, our best performance in the first seven years was a fourth qualifying round round defeat at home to Glastonbury by a 4-1 score line in the 1950-51 season. Either side of that we would be knocked out in earlier qualifying rounds by Cowes (IoW), Weymouth, Portland and Ryde, as well as not entering in 1947-48. Hardly the glamour that has been associated with the oldest national football competition in the world.

However the arrival of former Bournemouth goalkeeper, Ken Bird, in 1954 would change all that. In his first full season as manager, we’d overcome both Poole Town 2-1 and Bournemouth Gasworks Athletic FC (yes, that was a real team) 4-1 at home in the early qualifying rounds, before wins away at Portland and Winchester, by a 5-1 and a 1-0 margin respectively. This would see us in the hat for the first round draw for the first time ever. Our reward was a home tie against fellow non-league side Bedford and a crowd of over 3,500 would see us overcome them 2-0 as our history making cup campaign continued into the second round for our first ever appearance at that stage.

Our reward was a home tie against Third Division outfit York City – our first ever competitive game against league opposition. York would travel down and stay overnight before and after the game, and the club would put up a marquee for the occasion with the Dorset Regiment Band playing to entertain before the game. A record crowd of 5,750 would pack the old ground out with many fans stood on wooden beer crates from the local Eldridge and Pope Brewery. An early goal from club legend Dinky Curtis would stun our much higher ranked visitors. This goal would be the one that Curtis remembers most fondly, quite the accolade from a man who scored 235 in 458 appearances for the club.

Curtis would later comment in an interview with the echo on the goal:

“We kicked up the slope at the old Avenue in the first half. I played inside right and a pass came through from our right half Derek Presley and I went through as their full back came at me. I still held on to it and when I stopped I thought ‘why the hell didn’t I shoot when I had the chance?’ Anyway two minutes later there was an identical attack and this time I just hit it and it went into the corner. It was a great feeling.”

York would recover and equalise before half time, but it was early in the second half that our luck would change and the course of the match with it. Centre half Ron Cox would sustain a nasty cut to his head which would in today’s game see him substituted immediately. However there were no substitutes in these days, so rather than replace the literal walking wounded, Cox would have to return to play as nuisance value on the right wing. York would take advantage with a hat trick from the quite brilliantly named ‘Arthur Bottom’ to score 4 further goals, but that was not without reply as Tony Spink would net our second goal of the game. Given the circumstance and the gulf in class between the two sides, there was no shame in the 5-2 defeat. This was proved by the fact that York would reach the semifinals of that years competition, defeating a Stanley Matthews led Blackpool on their way to that stage. The FA Cup run was certainly not a hindrance. We would win the league that season scoring 103 goals in the process. It would give us a taste of the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup and we’d soon be out looking for further cup progress.

Dorchester line us vs York: Bird, Gale, Symes, Presley, Cox, West, Curtis, Dobson, Spink, Dare, Moscrop.

The following season in 1955-56, we would be at it again. Exempted from the early rounds of the qualification process, we’d advance into the first round after a 3-0 home win over Newport IoW, we would be drawn away to Third Divison South side Norwich City. Five coaches deported the County Town at midnight with 170 fan on board as they would arrive in Norwich at 1030 for the game, so next time a train journey from Dorchester South to Waterloo to get to Chesham seems a bit much, be thankful for the smoother and shorter ride compared to 65 years ago. Some rare footage of this day was shot on an old nine-five cine camera of the players arriving and some pre-fading light match footage, and that can be found at the following link. https://youtu.be/IlHkjym5wYE

The quality of opposition would prove too much for us as Norwich eased to a 4-0 victory, but it would be another decent season for the club as we finished third in the Western League, bettering our previously seasons tally with 106 goals but finishing an agonising 4 points off winners Trowbridge. Our line up that day would include club legend Dinky Curtis, Derek Stroud, Ken Bird as well as former football league players Reg Dare and Eric Bryant. Dare and Bryant aren’t names known to modern day fans, but with Bryant’s record of 48 goals in 47 appearances and Dare’s of 54 goals in 74 appearances, now is as good a time as any to respectfully nod to those quite staggering goals to game ratios.

Dorchester line up vs Norwich, 19/11/1955: Bird, Gale, Symes, West, Cox, Targett, Curtis, Stroud, Bryant, Dare, Greening.

The following year would be the third in succession that Ken Bird would guide us to the first round proper, but we can find curiously little about it. We would overcome Bideford 3-0 at home in a replay after a 1-1 draw on the road in the fourth qualifying round, but our visit to Loftus Road as we were drawn away to Queens Park Rangers in round one would end our interest in the cup for another year. QPR were in the Third Division South at that point and we would endure a slightly disappointing, albeit high scoring, season finishing seventh in the Western League 1956-57.

1957-58 is a campaign more is known about. Our FA Cup campaign would start once more in the fourth qualifying round and as often was the case in these times, we’d be drawn against Weymouth. Bobby Barker and Charlie Purves would help us get a 2-2 draw away at the Rec, before another strike from Purves and an own goal from Weymouth’s McGuinness would see us advance 2-1 in the replay at home.

The then famous amateurs, Wycombe Wanderers, at home would be our reward in the first round. A goal from Denis Cheney and two strikes (one penalty) from Derek Stroud would see us advance to the second round by a 3-2 score line, and the reward for that would be a tie away at Third Division South high-fliers, Plymouth Argyle. Cheered on by over 1,000 travelling supporters, we would find ourselves outclassed in the first 45 minutes as Plymouth raced into a 3-0 lead, but after halftime, a powerful 56th minute strike from the edge of the box by Bobby Barker would reduce the arrears. This seemed to anger Plymouth as they would score twice more to make it 5-1, but we would have the last word as a Derek Stroud penalty would see the final score be 5-2 to our hosts. We would very much play the long game when it came to extracting our FA Cup revenge…

Dorchester side vs Plymouth Argyle, 07/12/1957; Bird, Targett, Cunningham, O’Boyle, Walbridge, MacDonald, Curtis, Stroud, Cheney, Purves, Barker.

A fourth qualifying round defeat to Weymouth the following year would see our run of four successive seasons in the first round proper come to an end. However, under new manager Arthur Proudler, we’d return to that stage again in the 1959-60 season. A single goal in the fourth qualifying round from Dinky Curtis would see us avenge the defeat from the previous season and our first round opponents would once again come from the Third Division, this time in the form of Port Vale. We’d fall behind to an 8th minute goal but would equalise just before the half hour through a Bill Gillett strike. Sadly, the game would be settled in the 56th minute by Vale’s Graham Barnett and that would see an end to our cup exploits for the decade.

After making the first round in five out of six seasons, I’m sure no one thought it would take us so long to get back to that stage.

Dorchester side vs Port Vale, 14/11/1959; Turner, Targett, Black, Kell, Proudler, MacDonald, Stroud, Curtis, Gillett, Way, Noakes.

In part two we once again hop in the TARDIS and move forward to examine the more recent cup exploits. We will pick back up properly in 1981 after quickly glossing over the years in between. This is because we didn’t make the first round once in that time. Wash those hands folks, back with part two soon. SV.