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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Tony’s FA Cup heriocs with Fergie’s United

Sir Alex Ferguson: The United boss was rocking before his team defeated Hereford who featured Reds’ No2 Tony Elliott

By Martin Morgan

WORKINGTON Reds number two Tony Elliott recalled his own FA Cup meeting with mighty Manchester United 16 years ago as the Borough Park outfit prepared to launch this season’s campaign in the world’s most famous knockout competition.

Elliott was Hereford’s keeper in 1990 when they hosted the Red Devils in a fourth round tie amid speculation that under-fire boss Alex Ferguson faced the axe.

“Clayton Blackmore scored in the 85th minute and they beat us 1-0,” recalled Elliott.

“We were five minutes away from a money-spinning replay at Old Trafford in front of around 60,000 people.

“There had been a lot of pressure on Alex Ferguson but they went on to win the cup that year.”

Elliott stressed that Reds will take no chances against FA Cup underdogs Ossett Albion by fielding their strongest available side against the UniBond Division One outfit on Saturday.

Reds boss Tommy Cassidy cancelled training on Tuesday night as a handful of players were carrying minor knocks, including Dean Douglas, who suffered a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat at Hucknall Town last weekend which cost Reds the chance to go top of Conference North.

“We didn’t do ourselves justice on Saturday but that’s behind us now and we are still very much in contention,” Elliott said.

“It’s about time we had a good cup run and all the players will be made aware of that. The revenue would help the club, so we’ll be putting out our strongest team. We have to go down there full of confidence.”

Anthony Wright will miss out as he is on holiday. Darren Edmondson and Tony Hopper are receiving treatment for back problems, though both are expected to be fit.

Elliott is one of only around 15 coaches nationally to qualify at Lilleshall this year to tutor fellow keepers and he is now hoping the Cumberland FA will organise courses to allow him to pass on his expertise.

“I want to make sure that the coaches in this area get the right information to give to young goalkeepers,” said the ex-Carlisle United stopper, who runs Tony Elliott Goalkeeping.

“I’m a full-time football coach and that’s where my future lies.”

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