'After 13 minutes, Norwich's fans were getting twitchy': Memories of THAT 8-0 win as Sutton Utd get set for Arsenal
PUBLISHED: 11:56 18 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:05 18 February 2017
They'd beaten top-flight Coventry City 2-1 in one of the biggest-ever FA Cup shocks.
So when Sutton United came to Carrow Road to play top-of-the-league Norwich City in the 4th round on January 28 1989, the locals were a touch nervous.
Standing with my Dad and brother on the lower tier of the River End, with inflatable Canaries and “Say No to ID Cards” banners for company, I remember it clearly.
After 13 minutes, the home fans were getting twitchy.
Beside us, a man stood reading a Ford Orion handbook. He did it at every match, unmoved by the action on the pitch. My brother and I cunningly nicknamed him Orion Handbook Man.
Another regular was given the nickname Early Days. And he duly intervened at this point to calm a few tutters and moaners with a shout of “early days fellas, early days”.
I hope Sutton’s players and 6,000 travelling fans made the most of the lucky 13 minutes. For when Trevor Putney, blond hair bobbing, thumped in the opener a minute later, the floodgates opened.
It was then the Fleck and Allen show. Trading goals - some sublime, some ridiculous (spare a thought for Sutton’s keeper) - they took the Canaries to 8-0 before finally having mercy on their non-league victims.
Sutton took it well, getting a decent payday and a lap of honour for their trouble. Keeper Trevor Roffey was handed Bryan Gunn’s gloves, which were probably in mint condition.
I rather enjoyed the day and had no sympathy for Sutton (I was 15 and could only see in green-and-yellow).
Their match against Arsenal on Monday evening will be a wonderful experience, but let this be a warning from history: if you get to 13 minutes and you’re still holding the Gunners 0-0, there may be trouble ahead.
If you get past 14 minutes, though, who knows?
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