My Moors Story: Liam Curry

Name: Liam Curry

Age: 20

Where do you live?: Spennymoor

How long have you supported the club?: “Regularly for almost eight years! But games on and off for as long as I can remember.”

The things you do for football, eh?

The 2014-15 season was a massive one for the club for a number of reasons. Having been the Northern League Division One Champions for four out of the previous five seasons, we finally took promotion in the summer of 2014 and began life in the Evo-Stik First Division North as it was known at the time, the 8th level of the English pyramid. Instead of travelling locally to the Shildon’s, West Auckland’s or Consett’s of the world, we were now plying our trade further afield to Padiham, both Ossett clubs (Town & Albion before the merger to Ossett United in 2018) and Mossley to name a few. A big jump for a club used to playing no more than half an hour outside of town every away game, but a welcome one.

If the result wasn’t enough though, the bus we were on also broke down and we didn’t get back home till around 4am on the Wednesday morning.”

It was also the season the club (at the time) went the furthest they had gone in the FA Cup since the reformation as Spennymoor Town in 2005. Wins against Tadcaster, Bishop Auckland and Dunston in previous rounds before shocking Ashton United, at the time a division above us, 1-0 at the Brewery Field put us in the hat for the Fourth Qualifying Round, one away from the First Round Proper and a potential tie with a Football League side. I still remember sitting in science at school, 15 years old, hearing Spennymoor as the first name drawn out of the hat trying to discreetly listen to the draw on talkSPORT on my phone. The second team? AFC Telford United, a side three divisions above ourselves at the time who had just won the Conference North the season previously and were plying their trade in the Conference (now the National League). I couldn’t contain my excitement, so much so I was caught by my teacher and had my phone confiscated for the rest of the day!

Jason Ainsley and Spennymoor players confront the referee after Telford score twice in injury time to force a replay.

The Brewery Field was packed that day and I remember going wild just 3 minutes in as we went 1-0 up through Joe Tait tapping it home in front of the home support. Telford didn’t look like scoring all game and prolific striker, Liam Henderson, all but sealed a spot in Monday’s First Round Proper draw 70 minutes in. “All but” are the key words here. We played brilliantly for 90 minutes and as Jonno read over the PA that there was a minimum of five minutes left of the second half, all we had to do was hold on. In about the 3rdminute in, the visitors pulled one back through Adam Farrell. They scored a second after that, called offside at first before they really did score a second through Mike Grogan in what must’ve easily been well over five minutes after the original five minutes allotted by the ref. As he blew for full time, Liam Henderson ran to the ref to appeal this and received a second yellow for his troubles. I’m not sure I’ve ever left a game so dejected since.

We were still in the hat for the First-Round Proper draw that Monday though. The tie? The winners of the Basingstoke Town vs Harrow Borough replay away, if we could get past Telford the next night at New Buck’s Head. Safe to say, the odds were stacked against us.

Paul Neville helps conduct the FA Cup draw, with Moors or Telford making the trip to either Basingstoke or Harrow.

About four bus loads made the long trip that Tuesday night to Shropshire. Bar Wembley in the FA Vase Final the year before, it was the longest away game I’d done at the time and I was surprisingly confident we’d get something, more so because we had dominated the first game and at the time, Telford were down there in the relegation zone in the Conference, while we were getting along quite well in our first season in the Northern Premier League First Division.

We once again had a good game, but it just wasn’t to be. We made it to half time at 0-0 with some cracking chances from Joe Tait and Chris Mason, plying the pressure on the hosts before three goals late in the second half sealed the win for the hosts, who beat Basingstoke 2-1 in a replay at New Buck’s Head after a 1-1 draw down there to seal a trip to League One Bristol City in the Second Round Proper. I felt honoured to be there though and clap off our fine side for a fine performance. If the result wasn’t enough though, the bus we were on also broke down and we didn’t get back home till around 4am on the Wednesday morning. The things you do for football, eh?

The future certainly wasn’t unkind however and nearly five and a half years on, here we are in the same league as Telford, plying our trades together in the National League North. In eight meetings however including these two FA Cup games, we still haven’t gotten our vengeance, recording no wins against them, with the last meeting being a ten man Moors coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at the Brewery Field (Bogey team much?!).

We even went one better than the 2014-15 run two seasons later, beating Radcliffe Borough, Whitby Town, Chorley and Lincoln United to make the First Round Proper, MK Dons away. We huffed and puffed but lost 3-2 in the end, giving an amazing account of ourselves against a League One side on their home turf.

I know some of the older fans will be able to recount Spennymoor United’s FA Cup days, and any Moors fan you ask today could point to MK Dons away as a big part of our history (which it was) but the 2014 games against Telford will always stick out to me more. I don’t know if it was because I was younger, hadn’t followed the club for a great deal of time at the time or what it was. But it’s one of the best memories and periods I had following the club and truly a time I won’t forget!

The travelling Moors fateful at The New Bucks Head for the FA Cup replay against Telford. 

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With the football season currently on hiatus, we want to hear from our supporters and give you a platform to share your stories, memories and favourite moments from your time following the club.

Your story could be anything, from your memories of a certain game or goal, to bus journeys and meeting away fans.

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