Saturday 8 October, 1994 On Saturday 8 October 1994 Guiseley FC of the Northern Premier League (Step 2) hosted Atherton Collieries of the NWCFL Division 2 (Step 5) in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. It was perhaps the biggest game in the history of the downtown Atherton club founded in 1916.
Colls hadn’t played in the greatest cup competition in the world since the 50’s but the installation of floodlights in early 1994 allowed them to feel the magic again.
Nottinghamshire outfit Blidworth Welfare visited Alder House in a Preliminary Round and returned home with a 1-1 draw. David Roach bagged the first Colls FA Cup in four decades. The replay was played out on a very rainy Wednesday night and Colls dominated proceedings. Big Alan Shawcross bagged a brace and Keith Daley also got on the scoresheet to ensure a 3-1 triumph.
Northern Premier League big guns Buxton were next up. A bumper Bucks following travelled from Derbyshire with the Colls support bolstered by one hundred or so bikers enjoying a rally. Copious amounts of Newcastle Brown Ale were imbibed throughout the day. To cut a long story short two goals in a minute from Shawcross and Simon Caley just after the break gave Colls a famous cup upset. The visiting fans found their teams performance revolting, they subsequently revolted after the game and a prolonged protest outside the dressing room was bad news for the beleaguered soon to ex manager.
Chadderton of the NWCFL top flight had also upset the odds to beat NPL side Winsford United in the last round. A meeting of two giant killers ensued on Andrew Street. It was a lively affair which did the ‘Counties proud. A late Caley strike sent the Colls faithful into dreamland. Micky Crispin had grabbed the other in a 2-1 scoreline.
Guiseley FC had reached the 3rd qualifying round by toppling Alfreton Town and our friends from across Bolton Road. It was a very tall order as The Lions were a club on the rise. They had won the FA Vase in 90/91 and been runner’s up twelve months later. In 93/94 they had scooped up the NPL Division 1 Championship as well as reaching the last four of the FA Trophy. Another great Colls turnout bolstered the Nethermoor Park attendance to 599. Colls put in a mammoth effort but could not quite upset the odds yet again. Caley scored his now customary FA Cup goal on the half hour mark but the highly skilled hosts prevailed 3-1. Guiseley certainly loved playing teams from ‘Bent’. A young Geoff Horsfield was the tormentor in chief as he notched twice. He went onto have a stellar pro career and his veteran strike partner Bob Coalville hadn’t been a bad un either. Guiseley went onto beat Durham City comprehensively before bowing out to Carlisle United in the 1st Round proper.
Steve Walton and Ian Lamb’s team dared to dream but ultimately came up short. It’s now time for Brad’s boys to dare to dream. We are all with you, in spirit at least!