No.2: FA Cup semi-final - Arsenal v Stoke -
27th March 1971
(89 minutes played - Arsenal 1 - 2 Stoke City)
That sick feeling in my stomach that comes with impending defeat was well established as we entered injury time. But in the dying seconds we won a corner at the far end of the ground and I realised this was our final chance. The ball sw...ung over and Frank McLintock rose above the Stoke defenders to send a bullet-like header downwards towards the goal. A Stoke player shot out a hand and deflected away a certain goal. Penalty! I remember screaming incoherently at the fans that were leaving as we celebrated like the penalty was already nestling in the back of the net. The tension was unbearable on the terraces; I can’t begin to imagine what it felt like for Peter Storey who stepped forward to take it. Storey v Banks, one shot, a semi-final reply or elimination. In fact I remember it was not a great penalty. From my lofty perch I looked on helplessly as Storey hit it low and almost down the middle, but Banks shifted his weight to his right and could not readjust in time. The final whistle blew – 2–2 – we’d survived.
Now my mate Colin had ears that stuck out a little, a bit like the FA Cup really. He was on the terrace step below me and as that great bank of Arsenal fans exploded in celebration, I grabbed those ears as if I was lifting the FA Cup itself! He howled in pain but I didn’t care. The dream was back on.