‘After 13 minutes, Norwich’s fans were getting twitchy’: Memories of THAT 8-0 win as Sutton Utd get set for Arsenal

Malcolm Allen scoring against Sutton United in the FA Cup in January, 1989.

Malcolm Allen scoring against Sutton United in the FA Cup in January, 1989. - Credit: Archant

They'd beaten top-flight Coventry City 2-1 in one of the biggest-ever FA Cup shocks.

So when Sutton United came to Carrow Road to play top-of-the-league Norwich City in the 4th round on January 28 1989, the locals were a touch nervous.

Standing with my Dad and brother on the lower tier of the River End, with inflatable Canaries and 'Say No to ID Cards' banners for company, I remember it clearly.

After 13 minutes, the home fans were getting twitchy.

Beside us, a man stood reading a Ford Orion handbook. He did it at every match, unmoved by the action on the pitch. My brother and I cunningly nicknamed him Orion Handbook Man.

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Another regular was given the nickname Early Days. And he duly intervened at this point to calm a few tutters and moaners with a shout of 'early days fellas, early days'.

I hope Sutton's players and 6,000 travelling fans made the most of the lucky 13 minutes. For when Trevor Putney, blond hair bobbing, thumped in the opener a minute later, the floodgates opened.

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It was then the Fleck and Allen show. Trading goals - some sublime, some ridiculous (spare a thought for Sutton's keeper) - they took the Canaries to 8-0 before finally having mercy on their non-league victims.

Sutton took it well, getting a decent payday and a lap of honour for their trouble. Keeper Trevor Roffey was handed Bryan Gunn's gloves, which were probably in mint condition.

I rather enjoyed the day and had no sympathy for Sutton (I was 15 and could only see in green-and-yellow).

Their match against Arsenal on Monday evening will be a wonderful experience, but let this be a warning from history: if you get to 13 minutes and you're still holding the Gunners 0-0, there may be trouble ahead.

If you get past 14 minutes, though, who knows?

? What are your memories of Norwich v Sutton? Email your thoughts and pictures to steve.downes@archant.co.uk

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