Date: 26th January 2018 at 2:23pm
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York City’s goal-hero Keith Houchen revealed he felt perfectly calm when stepping up to convert a 90th minute penalty that sensationally knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup.

York City’s goal-hero Keith Houchen revealed he felt perfectly calm when stepping up to convert a 90th minute penalty that sensationally knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup.

The fourth round tie had appeared set for a Highbury replay despite the valiant hosts already going close to a winner, particularly when main danger-man Keith Walwyn saw a second-half effort cleared off the line.

But Walwyn then sent teenage strike partner Martin Butler scampering down the right in the final minute, and Houchen was brought down in the area by Steve Williams while attempting to reach his cross.

“I didn’t feel tense in any way,” Houchen later told The Press. “If I had felt any pressure I wouldn’t have taken it. I knew it was close to time but didn’t know exactly how long there was to go. It seemed to be ages between being fouled and when I was able to take the kick.

“I had made a run and got on the goal-side of Williams when I felt him tugging at my shirt and his arms then went around my neck.

“The goalkeeper made up my mind for me,” he admitted. “I saw him leaning to his left, and so I thought I would have a go at the other corner. I hit it just right and it went in a foot inside the post.”

More than ten-thousand spectators had packed into Bootham Crescent and created an absolutely electric atmosphere, as York, famously FA Cup semi-finalists thirty years earlier, attempted to pull off a massive shock – but one that manager Denis Smith always believed possible.

It was just reward for their loyal fans, many of whom had turned up in the early hours of the morning to help clear three inches of snow from the pitch.

“We got what we deserved. We played the better football and just didn’t set out to contain,” reacted a jubilant Smith. “It was great for the fans, particularly after so many had helped us during the morning to clear the pitch.

“I said if we played with pride and commitment we had a chance. I think the lads deserve every credit for their performance. They worked extremely hard.”

Rewind Extra – January 1985