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Try and win but enjoy it!

PAUL BECK has been there and done it in the FA Cup for Accrington Stanley.


PAUL BECK has been there and done it in the FA Cup for Accrington Stanley.

The striker was part of the Accrington team who lost to Crewe in the second round of the FA Cup in 1992. And he then played his part in the agonising first round last kick-of-the-game loss to Scunthorpe in the competition the year after.

"My advice to the team is to go and try to win - but make sure they enjoy it as well," said Beck.

More than 10,000 watched the 6-1 Crewe loss which was switched to Ewood Park.

"I just remember how amazing it was, running out and seeing the Blackburn End full of Stanley fans," said Beck. "We had been averaging around 1,000 and so it was just tremendous to see so many people there."

But the year after meant more to him as, when Stanley drew Scunthorpe at home, the tie was switched to Turf Moor.

"There probably wasn't as many fans there but it meant more to me because I am a Burnley fan. I used to watch Burnley as a kid.''

Stanley had defeated Altrincham in qualifying tie with Beck scoring two.

"I don't know how we won that. We had Ashley Hoskins on the bench and he couldn't play and then had two subs instead of five. And it was Ken Wright's first game in charge."

But win they did to set up the Scunthorpe clash. The Reds were trailing 2-1 but Jim Connor celebrated the equaliser in the 89th minute to make it 2-2 with Stanley dreaming of a replay. Instead, in the third minute of injury time, the Irons scored with the final kick of the game.

"It was amazing as we got used to the local papers but all of a sudden the national press wanted to know everything about us for both games. Playing for Accrington Stanley was always such an honour - it still is. The name of Accrington Stanley means so much not just in Britain but globally. It was incredible having all the attention.''

After the Crewe game in 1992, the Reds managed to have a good season finishing fifth in the HFS Loans Premier Division. Beck looks back on his FA Cup exploits with a lot of pride.

"They were good days, when you look back you realise how much you should savour them. The players will enjoy it this time. They have done well in the Conference this year - probably better than most of the fans expected. It is a one-off game, a home draw, and they won't be disgraced. I just wish them all the best."


Stuart Pike
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