|DERBY COUNTY 1 CITY 3
FA Cup 3rd Round
8th January 1955
Ref W Clements
In the third round City were away to Derby County. The Baseball Ground was renowned in the seventies for it’s very poor playing surface. Former Nottingham Forest and Everton star Duncan McKenzie summed it up better than most:”If you won the toss you kicked towards the shallow end.”
Things were no better back in the fifties. It was not a pitch best suited to the skills of Ken Barnes:
“It was a shithole, a bloody awful place to try and play. My instincts were always to get the ball down and pass it. I was usually wasting my time there and it wasn’t just me. Anyone who had the idea that football was best played on the ground, would never relish a trip to the Baseball Ground.
You could all but guarantee that a third round tie, at the start of January, would be hard going. It was hard going, but there were other factors in play that day, from my personal perspective it was my first FA Cup game and I scored my first ever goal for City, so it was a pretty good day for me.
The goal was a bit special and not just because it was my first for the club. I got the ball about twenty yards outside our box and set off forward. The movement ahead of me was tremendous, but every time I weighed up the pass, it just didn’t seem to open up for me. Next thing I’m on the edge of their box and let fly, bang, my first goal for the club. I was ecstatic, but I suppose it was the type of situation where a modern day coach would have given me a bollocking for not releasing it.
…Derby were nothing special, hard working, but ordinary, we expected to beat them and we did, 3-1. Joe Hayes and Don Revie scored the others. All around, I think you would have described it as a job well done, with a little bit of icing on the cake for me personally.
Taken from THIS SIMPLE GAME THE FOOTBALLING LIFE OF KEN BARNES as told by Jimmy Wagg