Finger of Blame
I did not say Dave was the guilty party for losing the 1987 AC Delco final. The exact words I used were:
"Although bad games were rare, Dave had a very disappointing AC Delco (Isthmian League) Cup Final, against Bognor Regis Town at Windsor. The Greens lost 3-2 and Root was the scapegoat."
I remember the game vividly, especially the disappointment of losing it in such controversial circumstances. Do you remember the penalty we were awarded on the stroke of half-time, a decision which infuriated the Bognor fans?
I fully accept that the key moment came at the other end when Hendon had what would have been a third goal not given by the assistant referee (linesman in those days). I don’t blame the referee Mr A Williams because he was not in a position to see the ball over the goal line and thus had to go by the linesman’s opinion.
However, following the non-award of the goal, Hendon allowed Bognor to break and score what proved to be the winner. The shot towards the far (WIndsor Great Park) end went inside the right post as we looked downfield and it was one that Dave would have saved nine times out of ten.
Being made a scapegoat was the fact that - as a result of this loss as much as anything else - manager Ted Hardy brought in the clearly-past-it John Jacobs at the start of the 1987-88 season (Ted also hadn't rated Mark Broughton when he arrived following Gary Hand's departure, but realised the error of his ways very quickly and Mark played a massive part in Hendon's survival run of 1985-86). Jacobs played in the first 17 games of the season before Root was recalled and he went on to play in all but two matches for the rest of the season.