SINCE the Second World War, only four Northern League teams have been strong enough to hit four goals or more against Football League opposition in the FA Cup.

Bishop Auckland were first in December 1954 with a 4-2 demolition job over Third Division South Crystal Palace - Major with three goals and Edwards their scorers.

Next were Amateur Cup holders Crook Town in November 1962 with four goals at Third Division Hull City: Cocking 2, Bowron and Garbutt scoring. Unfortunately, Crook let in five.

Tow Law were next at the Ironworks ground in January 1967, when, in Arctic conditions, they slammed five goals past Mansfield Town's Welsh international goalkeeper Dave Hollins in a comprehensive 5-1 win. Brown, 2, Cairns, Henderson and Hunt were the scorers.

Last, but not least, were Spennymoor United, just over 45 years ago, on November 22, 1975, with a comfortable 4-1 win over Fourth Division Southport at the Brewery Field. Banks, 2, Mulligan and Reilly were their scorers.

Geoff Hart, a member of that Spennymoor team, recalled: "The great thing about Spennymoor Football Club at that time was that, from top to bottom, it was extremely well run, with people like Barry and Joyce Hindmarsh, Stan Bradley and Jack Meggeson playing a big part behind the scenes. On the pitch, we had a good young side with our player-coach Kenny Banks a class above. We went a goal down against Southport, but dominated the game so much, I knew we would win."

Spennymoor United: Rowell; Simpson, Hickman, Gates, Robson; Kell, Rosethorne; Banks, Reilly, Hart, Mulligan; sub Curry

BESIDES taking part in that historic Spennymoor win, Geoff has some other outstanding memories from his amateur football days in which he won seven Northern League championship medals, four with Spennymoor and three with Blyth Spartans, plus scoring two goals against Japan.

He continued: "My first Northern League club was Durham City as the family moved to Durham when my dad, a police officer, was stationed there. Dad's colleague, Bobby Hull, a well known Northern League and Durham City player, mentioned that Durham City were forming a junior team under Barry Mason so I signed up to play for them.

"Ray Wilkie, the first team manager, named me as a sub for a Wednesday evening Vaux Brewery Floodlight League game against South Shields. One of our players was injured and Ray just looked at me and said: 'Go on, get on.' I happened to nick a goal in a 2-0 win, so I had more games.

"In pre-season, we had a match with Grimsby who were managed by Lawrie McMenemy, who had been Ray Wilkie's manager at Bishop Auckland. The first team lost 6-0 but the juniors, with the help of my goal, won 1-0.

"I was invited to Grimsby for a trial, and it was there that I played for them in a friendly against Japan, coming on as a second half sub and scoring twice in a 7-2 win.

"I wasn't good enough for a contract though, and returned home, playing against Brandon Juniors on the Saturday."

Geoff's experience against Japan at Grimsby in August 1971 was recently recorded in Cod Almighty, the Grimsby fanzine. It said: "A crowd of more than 3,000 watched Mike Hickman complete a second half hat-trick, with Japan replying through Kamamoto. A young trialist called Geoff Hart was subbed on for Town. Although he never won a contract, he enjoyed a successful Northern League career with Spennymoor United and Blyth Spartans. Unlike several billion other human beings, he will always be able to say he scored two goals against Japan."

Stan Bradley signed Geoff for Spennymoor and he joined Blyth in 1978, returning later to Durham, with Albert Hickman as manager.

l Do you know of anyone who has won seven Northern League championship medals, or scored against Japan? If you do please let us know using the address details on the top of the page.

Thanks this week to Geoff Hart, Ted Mellenby, Ray Simpson, Dave Kidd and Michael Burke.