THE VICS COLUMN – by Peter Tonge

WITH football in front of spectators still seemingly as far away as ever, this week we look at what every football fan wants their team to do – win trophies.

Now Vics may not have a bulging trophy cabinet but have done okay for themselves over their long history.

Indeed, Vics are still the current holders of the Mid-Cheshire District Cup after beating Winsford United on penalties in May 2019.

However, their most famous trophy win was in 1984 when they won the FA’ s most prestigious competition for non-league clubs – the FA Trophy.

Having reached the final the year before when they lost to Telford United, they made up for the heartbreak when they faced Bangor City in the 1984 final but it was close.

They fell behind at Wembley Stadium and were facing defeat when Colin Chesters scored with a diving header late on to take the final to a replay which was held at Stoke City’s appropriately named Victoria Stadium three days later.

Once again Bangor took the lead and once again Chesters scored – this time a penalty to level the scores.

It was looking like it was heading for another draw again until the dying minutes when John Anderson slid in to score the vital goal for Vics to claim the trophy.

In other cup competitions, they have won the Conference League Cup twice – firstly in 1979/80 defeating Altrincham then again in 1992/93 when they defeated Wycombe Wanderers 3 - 2 with a Gordon Davies hat-trick.

The Cheshire Senior Cup has been won 19 times – the most recent being in 2014 – whilst the club has also won the Staffordshire Senior Cup (no, don’t ask me how or why) three times with the most recent being in 1990 .

In contrast with these cup successes, league title wins have been much scarcer with only three victories to celebrate, even if you do have to go back in history for two of them.

Back in 1902/03, Vics won the Manchester League whilst older readers may just remember them winning the Cheshire County League in 1956/57.

In 2005, Vics suffered their first relegation down to the Conference North League, but they stormed back in the 2005/06 season to win the title that year culminating in a memorable game against title challengers Stafford Rangers.

Vics went into the game knowing a win would clinch the title whilst Rangers needed a win to keep the pressure on.

In front of well over 3000 supporters at a packed Victoria Stadium, Rangers took the lead halfway through the first half as Robin Gibson stooped to head home.

However shortly afterwards, a quick break saw Jonny Allan outstrip the Stafford defence and coolly place the ball past keeper Dean Williams.

The big moment came in first half injury time as Allan scored a virtual carbon copy of his first goal to send the Vics in 2-1 up at half time.

The match was sealed halfway through the second half as winger Chris Williams fired a rocket shot into the top left corner to send the Vics fans wild and the title was duly confirmed – a memorable match indeed.

So, the purist and non-fan may say football is always about taking part, but it sure is good to win a trophy every now and again. Let’s hope we get a chance to win another one soon.

Stay safe everyone, and we look forward to spectators being allowed to watch again soon.