Town participated in what was effectively the “lower league Cup” on several occasions under its various guises although they never actually manged to be on the winning side in a Final. The full running-order (although Town weren’t always involved) was as follows:
- (1983/84) Associate Members Cup
- (1984/85–1986/87) Freight Rover Trophy
- (1987/88–1988/89) Sherpa Van Trophy
- (1989/90–1991/92) Leyland DAF Cup
- (1992/93–1993/94) Autoglass Trophy
- (1994/95–1999/2000) Auto Windscreens Shield
- (2000/01–2006/07) LDV Vans Trophy
- (2007/08–2015/16) Johnstone’s Paint Trophy
- (2016/17-to date) Checkatrade Trophy
Having gone close a few times, 1994 was as good as it got for Town as it was the only occasion when they actually made it to the Final. As you can see from the fixtures below it was a long journey, made especially so by the number of ties which went to extra-time, not least of which was the Final itself. And just to drag things out even further the Northern Area Final against Carlisle United was a two-legged affair with the second leg also having an agonising ELEVEN minutes of stoppage time with the hosts needing just one more goal to win it on the ‘away goals’ rule. Fortunately, Town held on.
- 28th Sep 1993: Doncaster Rovers (h) 3-1 Starbuck, Dunn (2) (1,069)
- 9th Nov 1993: Rotherham Utd. (a) 1-1 Rowe (1,598)
- 30th Nov 1993: Preston North End (h) 0-0 (after ET, 5-4 on penalties) (1,379)
- 11th Jan 1994: QF Crewe Alexandra (h) 3-2 (after ET) Starbuck 2, Booth (2,287)
- 1st Mar 1994: SF Stockport County (a) 1-0 Dunn (4,980)
- 8th Mar 1994: F1 Carlisle Utd. (h) 4-1 Jackson, Bullock, Starbuck, Dunn (10,552)
- 22nd Mar 1994: F1 Carlisle Utd. (a) 0-2 (8,330)
The club produced a video recording the journey to the Final which I have reviewed HERE.
However, here are a couple of extremely dodgy quality videos that I have found on YouTube. I suggest that you hunt down the official video if you want to see the action properly!
Then on 24th April 1994 Town made their first visit to the Twin Towers since the FA Cup Final of 1938 and once again it was to end in disappointment. Swansea took the lead only for Richard Logan to score our first ever Wembley goal. Unfortunately Town fell to some very disappointing penalties in a shoot-out which followed a goalless extra-time.
Unfortunately I can’t find the goals but here, in a somewhat Swansea-centric video, are those calamitous penalties.
Also worthy of note in this is section is the fact that during Town’s 2nd Round match in the Auto Windscreens Shield against Lincoln City on 30th November 1994, Town’s cult-hero Iain Dunn scored the first ever “golden goal” in English first-class professional football. The game had been tied at 2-2 and subsequently went into extra-time with the new ruling that rather than wait until the full thirty minutes had been played out, the tie would be taken by the very next goal scored; Dunn duly obliged and Town won 3-2. He was later presented with a commemorative trophy to mark the event, but the rule was soon scrapped as it only added to the pressure of tied matches and actively discouraged teams from going forward, the exact opposite of what it had been meant to do.