Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Countdown to Cardiff - 2 Days to Go at Ayresome Park; Boro 3 Arsenal 2 FA Cup Third Round, Saturday, January 7, 1984 Referee: Malcolm Heath (Stoke) Attendance: 17,813

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: Countdown to Cardiff - 2 Days to Go at Ayresome Park; Boro 3 Arsenal 2 FA Cup Third Round, Saturday, January 7, 1984 Referee: Malcolm Heath (Stoke) Attendance: 17,813

Article excerpt

Byline: By PAUL DANIEL

KEEPER Kelham O'Hanlon's dramatic late saves when nerve ends were stretched to their limits ensured that every one of the Boro team could rightly be hailed as conquering heroes on Saturday night.

The record books will show sweet revenge for last season's fifth round replay defeat at Highbury with an identical 3-2 scoreline over Arsenal, while the real satisfaction must lie in a 90-minute show of true grit, which epitomises the FA Cup spirit.

The attendance of 17,813 might have been the one disappointment, but the fans who were drawn to this third round confrontation proved their loyalty in no uncertain fashion with support of full-throated encouragement, fuelled by just the start any underdog dreams of.

Garry McDonald's side-foot volley for his first FA Cup goal came at four minutes 50 seconds, but that boost was soon wiped out by a classy Arsenal equaliser.

Rix's ball released Sansom and his cross, though fluffed by Meade, was neatly dispatched by Woodcock with 13 minutes gone.

But while Arsenal showed silky skills, it was Boro's raw commitment that began to make those spells less frequent and was to prove their trump card.

International defenders O'Leary, Caton and Sansom were all ruffled and in one spell on the half hour, Boro could have wrapped things up there and then.

A Paul Sugrue shot, deflected by O'Leary, forced Jennings into diving action, Mick Baxter had a header cleared off the line by Sansom, and David Currie's header at the far post was just off target.

So while it may have been all square at the interval, Boro must have known Arsenal were there for the taking if the pressure was maintained.

Their start to the second half proved it and no one did more than Sugrue to harry and chase for a cup upset.

He got his own personal reward after the match, a clock from sponsors Bass North East as the game's star man, and his timing was perfect on the hour as he got away from both Caton and Jennings to make it 2-1. …

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