Ahead of Sunday's cup-tie Club Historian Richard Shepherd looks back at our historic '92/93 campaign
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The year was 1993, the date was May 1st, and we were playing Sunday’s FA Cup opponents Shrewsbury Town in our final Third Division (lowest tier) home game of the season.
A 17,253 crowd was present at Ninian Park, and they saw Jason Perry head home from Nathan Blake’s free kick (below) to give us the lead in our 2-1 win. Victory confirmed our promotion - which was actually secured the previous Saturday when we were without a game and other results went our way. We clinched the title with a 3-0 away win at Scunthorpe United a week later.
Our manager at that time was Eddie May who originally joined us as Youth Coach in October 1990, being appointed manager in July 1991 in succession to Len Ashurst who had been with us for a second spell. Our 1992/93 success was furthered when we won the Welsh Cup by beating Rhyl 5-0 in the Final to enter the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Club Chairman/Owner Rick Wright would leave after two years in charge thereafter, and we struggled in the League for the next few years, going down at the end of 1994/95. Newcomers in the ‘92/93 season were goalkeeper Mark Grew (Port Vale), defender Derek Brazil (Manchester United), midfielder Nicky Richardson (Halifax), midfielder Robbie James (Bradford City), forward Phil Stant (Mansfield) and defender Kevin Ratcliffe (Everton).
Jason Perry played a major part in our promotion that season – he missed only five League and Cup games of our fifty-six match schedule, and scored three goals. The Caerphilly-born defender begun his career with us as a trainee, and made his first-team debut at home to Exeter City on March 31st 1997. He became a first-team regular in 1989/90 and hardly missed a game until 1995/96 when injury took him out from November ’95 for the rest of the season. His final appearance for us came on May 14th 1997 in our Third Division second-leg play-off semi-final at Northampton Town.
Jason went on to join Bristol Rovers in in the summer of 1997 after three hundred and thirty-eight first-team games for us; he then enjoyed spells with Lincoln City, Hull City, Chester City and Newport. Now aged forty-five, he lectures on sport at a Bridgend college, and is a regular member of the BBC Radio Wales commentary-team covering our matches and those of Newport County. The above photograph of his goal against Shrewsbury almost twenty-two years ago occupies a prominent place in his home.