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The Decline & Fall Of Leyton Orient
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Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
At their picturesque home on the banks of the River Thames Fulham have long been a favourite of the television broadcasters, and today we have six matches from their archive, from the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. The sixties began with the club having just been promoted to the First Division for only the second time in its history, and our first match is home match against Nottingham Forest from November 1967. The club ended the 1967/68 season being relegated from the First Division and a second successive relegation followed the next season. Our second match sees Fulham travel to Stockport County for a Third Division match from September 1969.
Our third and fourth matches are both from the teams FA Cup run of 1975, when a team captained by the former England captain Bobby Moore made it all the way to its first – and to date only – FA Cup final. First up, we have their quarter-final match, which sees the Second Division side face a daunting trip to Goodison Park to play Everton. Following this up, we have their semi-final match from Hillsborough, another match in which they started as the underdogs, this time against Birmingham City. The FA Cup run ended in disappointment, with Fulham losing at Wembley – in a match given the sobriquet of “The Friendly Final” by the press – by two goals to nil against West Ham United.
Finally, we have two matches from the 1982/83 season when, with Liverpool running away with the First Division championship, arguably unprecedented television coverage was given to a considerably tighter battle for promotion from the Second Division, in which Fulham, under the managership of the former Newcastle United and Arsenal striker Malcolm McDonald. The first of these two matches is a home match against Chelsea from April 1983, and our final match is one that went down in infamy, as Fulham travelled to The Baseball Ground to play a Derby County side which needed a result in order to avoid relegation itself. The events of that day would come to cast a pall over the end of that season.
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Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.