The day a team from Hucknall beat FA Cup holders Nottingham Forest

FOOTBALL FLASHBACK -- a famous painting of action from the 1898 FA Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Derby County.
FOOTBALL FLASHBACK -- a famous painting of action from the 1898 FA Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

Nottingham Forest are enjoying such a fine run in the FA Cup that they hope to reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.

While Hucknall Town are to stage the prestigious final of the Notts FA Senior County Cup in April.

Merge the two together and memories of one of the most remarkable moments in the history of Hucknall sport are revived.

It was a long time ago -- back in 1898! But it was the day a Hucknall team pulled off a major giantkilling act by defeating Nottingham Forest. Only a week after Forest had won the FA Cup!

The 1-0 triumph for Hucknall St John’s came in the final of the Notts FA Senior County Cup.

The team they beat was generally regarded as the Reds’ reserve side. But the club management entered them under the name of Nottingham Forest so that players from the first or second teams could take part.

The match was played on the Cinderhill Road ground in Bulwell, with the teams using a nearby dyeworks for dressing rooms.

The Dispatch’s founder and former editor, the late Henry Morley, recalled in an article for the paper that the final was a ding-dong struggle from beginning to end.

He wrote: “Forest felt confident of victory but were foiled in a late drama. Two minutes from the end, Peter McCracken fouled ‘Tabby’ Weston as he was going through and the referee awarded a penalty from which Weston scored the vital goal.

“Forest had been the cup winners in the two previous seasons and were confident of a third success. But the old adage came true that there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.”

Forest had won the FA Cup by defeating Derby County 3-1 at Crystal Palace in front of a 62,000 crowd the previous week. And some of the team took part in the Senior Cup final. So for Forest to be beaten by St John’s seemed almost unimaginable.

Mr Morley pointed out that, more than 50 years later, the Hucknall team’s name had still not been inscribed on the plinth of the cup and he wrote: “Steps should be taken to insert the missing line.”

The Hucknall St John’s team was:

Thomas Lockyer (brother of a former landlord of Hucknall’s Chequers pub) in goal; Woolley and Mitchell (backs); Baker, Jones and Spiers (half-backs); Chapple, Weston, Richardson, Palin and Emminson (forwards).

The Forest team included two Hucknall players, Jack Thornley, of Orchard Street, and Walter Shaw, of Byron Street.

St John’s had also competed in the FA Cup that season and even gave mighty Liverpool a fright, losing 2-0 in the First Round proper at Anfield.

Joe McQue gave Liverpool an early lead, but they only clinched their win thanks to a twice-taken penalty by Frank Becton in the 50th minute.

Becton scored with his initial spot-kick, but the referee ordered a re-take because of encroachment. This time, his shot was saved by Lockyer, only for Becton to net the rebound.

The St John’s team was exactly the same as that which lined up three months later against Forest.