Memories of Bristol City
Bristol City 1-1 Charlton, 19th February, 1994
6,000 Addicks made the trip down the M4 and along the M32 on this February day in 1994, slightly more than I expect will travel to Ashton Gate tonight. Off the back of the upset we caused at Ewood Park in the previous round, Darren Pitcher's early screamer (well it was deflected like buggery) beating the soon to be Premiership champions, we were drawn at Bristol City in the 5th Round of the FA Cup.
We were both in the relatively new 1st Division, City were around mid-table and had done their very own giant killing by beating Liverpool at Anfield in a previous round but after two thirds of the season we were in 2nd place sandwiched between Palarse and Millwall at the top of the table. The Premiership under Gritt and Curbs was amazingly becoming more than a fantasy. We were also on a real roll after stuffing Oxford away the week before 4-0. It was a winnable game and Addicks fans filled the open terrace, which is now a new stand housing home supporters.
We had already drawn in the league there early in the season in front of 7,000 fans but 20,416 filled Ashton Gate for this game, the allure of the cup was still there 13 years ago. Liam Robinson and Wayne Allison led Bristol City's line, Leaburn and Nelson led ours with SAP playing in midfield.
It was important to impose ourselves on the game early and we didn't going 1-0 down on 11 minutes when Brian Tinnion shot home. This quietened the travelling Addicks and raised the noise levels from the home fans and at half-time there was plenty of talk of concentrating on the league (we finished 11th!). However in the 2nd half after City failed to build on their lead and with Charlton kicking towards us we slowly grew into the game. On the hour came my lasting memory of the 90 when Scott Minto failed to throw the ball back to the opposition after a City player kicked the ball out for one of their players to get treatment. Instead he released the ball to Darren Pitcher who instantly moved the ball forward.
The move ended with Mark Robson finishing from inside the penalty area. Addicks went crazy but the locals were riled. The atmosphere turned very sinister after that with home fans baying for blood. Few chances fell in the last 30 minutes with Gritt & Curbs seemingly settling for the replay.
It was a good result but the fun was just to begin for Addicks leaving the ground. I witnessed some of the worse trouble at a Charlton game that day. The big group I was with all got split up and it was a good couple of hours before we regrouped for the drive home. Aggrieved City fans (it was all Scott Minto's fault) were lying in wait outside the away end and with the police unorganised and their presence almost non-existent the surrounding roads and park were a daunting place to be.
Nevertheless the replay brought us an easy victory and that
Quarter-Final tie at Old Trafford.Charlton:
Salmon, Brown, Minto, Pardew, Balmer, McLeary, Robson, Pitcher, Leaburn, Grant, Nelson.
Subs not used: Bolder, Garland, Sturgess.Bristol City:
Welch, Munro, Scott, Shail, Bryant, Tinnion, Martin, Pennyfather (Bent 70), Robinson, Allison, Edwards.
Subs not used: Llewellyn, Leaning.