Memory Lane: When Yeading's Cup overflowed at Loftus Road

Saturday 03 Jan 2015
DJ Campbell (left) holds off Celestine Babayaro in 2005

FA Historian David Barber has been to 461 FA Cup matches, including 42 Finals, and has chosen Yeading v Newcastle United in 2005 as his favourite Third Round tie...

"In The FA Cup, for me, there’s nothing quite as fascinating as a tie between a non-League club and one from English football’s top flight. 

"Yeading of the Isthmian League were drawn at home to Premier League Newcastle United in the Third Round in 2005 and I knew I had to be there.

"Yeading had entered the competition at the First Round Qualifying stage and had knocked out Chelmsford City, Long Melford, Heybridge Swifts, Bognor Regis Town, Halesowen Town and Slough Town.

"Ding’s home tie with Long Melford had attracted less than a hundred spectators but now the part-timers were definitely in the big time. But would The Warren be able to host a tie against Newcastle? I watched developments with interest.

Loftus Road hosted the FA Cup Third Round clash

Loftus Road hosted the FA Cup Third Round clash

"After meetings involving all relevant parties, including of course the police, it was decided to play the match at Queens Park Rangers’ Loftus Road ground and I immediately knew it would be easier to get a ticket. 

"As it turned out, a crowd of 10,823 was present on that Sunday afternoon and my seat was near the back in the South Africa Road Stand.

"Yeading were six levels below Newcastle but started the match confidently enough against the six-time Cup winners. They were passing the ball round well and when the Magpies did threaten – which they were bound to – they found that Ding’s goalie was playing the game of his life.

Lee Bowyer opened the scoring for Newcastle

Lee Bowyer opened the scoring for Newcastle

"I don’t know where all those Yeading fans came from, bearing in mind the size of their average home gate, but they cheered everything the team did and, improbably, it was 0-0 at half-time.

"You’d love the underdogs to win and make Cup history – it would’ve been on a par with Hereford v Newcastle or Sutton v Coventry – but I felt it was only going to be a matter of time before the visitors found the net. Seven minutes into the second half Newcastle’s Lee Bowyer netted from close range and eight minutes after that Shola Ameobi made it 2-0.

Michael Barima is tracked by Laurent Robert

Michael Barima keeps an eye on Laurent Robert

"Yeading’s balloon had burst – but what a fight they’d put up.

"My first Third Round tie was probably Crystal Palace v Bury at Selhurst Park in 1965. My hero, ‘Cannonball Cliff’ Holton, scored a hat-trick but volleyed the rebound from a blocked penalty so far over the bar that it hit the Croydon Advertiser hoardings at the top the grassy bank behind the goal at the Whitehorse Lane End.  

"This weekend I plan to be at Charlton on Saturday and QPR on Sunday."

Twitter: @thebarberfan

By David Barber FA Historian