For missed opportunities, the 1996-7 campaign could well be seen as ‘the one’ for reigning GM Vauxhall Conference champions Stevenage Borough. After the off-field distraction that was the unsuccessful court case against the Football League, Boro’ had to win the title all over again to gain promotion. But it didn’t happen.
Long runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy were enjoyable enough at the time. Games in hand, however, were piling up for Cloughie’s side as we went into the home straight. It was us, Macclesfield and Kidderminster vying for top spot. It was also a unique group; three sides each denied promotion. So, all were looking to right some archaic League wrongs.
Boro’ and Kiddy, as it goes, had already set a new Conference record. At that time, you couldn’t imagine 6,500 cramming in for a league match. Yet, that’s how it was. A home howler against Macclesfield, however, was the fatal blow to Boro’s title challenge. Two goals up and a man to the good, the Silkmen stormed back to win 3-2.
Did we not like that…