We reach the end of our countdown with a match that had the whole city talking about Meadow Park.
Gloucester City 2-2 Dagenham & Redbridge (AET)
12th April 1997
FA Trophy Semi-Final 2nd Leg
1997 was a busy year at Meadow Park: as well as competing for promotion until the very last day of the season Leroy Rosenior’s City team also managed the club’s furthest foray into the FA Trophy when they defeated Bishop Auckland in the quarter finals, setting up a two-legged semi against Dagenham & Redbridge and a chance of a Wembley final.
City drew 0-0 in the first leg away at Dagenham so it was all to play for in the second leg at Meadow Park. The build up to the match was unlike anything ever seen for a football match in Gloucester before, City were the focus of every news report and the topic of conversation in every community so it was no surprise that a Meadow Park record sell out crowd of 4,000 bought tickets for the match.
On a sunny April afternoon the entertainment didn’t disappoint, City led until the final minutes through a Dale Watkins goal, but the Daggers forced extra time with a late equaliser. When city went behind in the first half of extra time it looked all over until Adie Mings cemented his place as a club legend in the dying seconds to level the scores and take the tie to a replay.
Ultimately it was one game too many for the Tigers, and they bowed out 2-1 at Slough. The fixture backlog also caught up with the squad and they couldn’t quite make it over the line come the final day of the season. However if didn’t stop an entire generation of new fans falling in love with the club, and as we begun a new chapter in our history tomorrow let’s hope this season is as memorable as that one.
You can watch highlights of the match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ConCsNC_8Ug&feature=youtu.be
Thank you for taking part in our countdown to this historic moment for football in Gloucester, we hope you have enjoyed the series.