Spireites retro: The 1950 run to the fifth round and a controversial selection
This week's Chesterfield FC retro is an FA Cup special, ahead of the club's visit to Colchester in the famous old competition this weekend.
Reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1950 equalled Chesterfield’s best run until the 1996-7 semi-final season.
All cup runs start somewhere; the 1949-50 one began with a 3-1 home victory over Yeovil Town which, as Chesterfield were in Division Two at the time, was a third round tie.
In the photo, the young Spireite centre-forward Bobby Raine launches into a challenge on the Yeovil keeper that has the appearance of being filed under ‘enthusiastic’ rather than ‘accurate.’
Still, no damage was done. Raine was a controversial selection for a problem position; three others had been tried there that season, without any one claiming the spot, and the youngster couldn’t even claim to be the regular attacking pivot for the club’s A team.
He acquitted himself well enough, however, and the club saw off the team that had famously beaten Sunderland a year earlier, and fancied their chances at Saltergate.
Chesterfield advanced to beat Middlesbrough in round four before falling to Chelsea after a Stamford Bridge replay.
As ever, the true value of an FA Cup run to the Chesterfield Football Club came in the counting of the coin, and a shade over 140,000 fans paid for admission to the club’s four matches that season.