Dave Kitson may not "Give a Sh*t" about the FA Cup, but the romantic fools amongst us at MD Towers
definitely do. And if you're talking about the FA Cup and looking for romance then where better to sniff around
than the 3rd round, traditional cup graveyard of many a fine team to lesser opposition.
So let's celebrate some of the best shocks that the 3rd round has thrown up...
1 Hereford Utd 2:1 Newcastle Utd 1972
If you want the archetypal FA Cup shock then look no further than Edgar Street on the
5th February 1972. This clash between non-league nobodies and top-flight title chasers
had just about everything, from the mud-bath pitch to the crazed
MOTD commentary of a 26 year old novice called John Motson, to not one, but two Parka-Coated pitch invasions,
fans watching from trees and pylons,
'that' Ronnie Radford goal, and someone managing to playing 80 minutes with a broken leg !
Make no mistake, this is the King of FA Cup 3rd round shocks, but possibly just as remarkable
was Hereford's initial 2:2 draw up at St James Park.
Incredibly, the visitors took the lead after just 17 seconds but Newcastle quickly recovered
and went 2:1 up. However, Hereford's player-manager Colin Addison
crashed in a long range effort to seal a famous draw. As a side-note to this game, it's often
suggested that Malcolm McDonald claimed he would score 10 in the replay although he's denied this
in recent years.
And so for the match... on a quagmire of a pitch Hereford more than held their own until, with just 8 minutes left,
Supermac headed in Viv Busby's cross from the right.
Addison and his team responded immediately by making a substitution - right back Roger Griffiths
had somehow managed to play an incredible 80 minutes with a broken leg, but was eventually
taken off and replaced with Ricky George. The response was immediate, as 3 minutes later
Radford's one-two with Brian Owen somehow sat up on the mud and allowed him to lash home
that phenomenal 30 yarder. You know the rest - green Parka Coat's everywhere as Edgar Streets
terraces emptied onto the pitch.
Into extra-time, and a couple of minute's before the end of the 1st period Ricky George
somehow manages to find enough space to turn and slam a shot beyond Willie McFaul to spark
another pitch invasion. Motty could hardly believe his luck.
2 Walsall 2:0 Arsenal 1933
It would be a hell of a shock if the result happened nowadays, but back then it was
even more so.
Herbert Chapman's Arsenal won the league 4 times in the space of 5 years between
1930 and 1935 and were widely regarded as the best club team in the world, whilst Walsall
were languishing at the foot of the old 3rd Division South. Nil-nil at half-time,
the Saddlers certainly showed that their illustrious opponents didn't like it up 'em
with a mighty 2nd half display, full of crunching tackles, swollen kneecaps,
bruised ribs and the occasional black eye. Top-scorer Gilbert Alsop headed home the first
goal from a corner before Sheppard finished off the game with a penalty.
Tommy Black, the Arsenal left-back who needlessly gave away the penalty, so incensed
his manager that Chapman banned him from the training ground and then transferred him
to Plymouth Argyle. Blimey, would that work with Ashley Cole ?
3 Sutton Utd 2:1 Coventry City 1989
The last time that a top-flight club was knocked out by a non-league team. Coventry 6th in the league and cup winners
only 2 seasons earlier, gave a display that brought new meaning to the word abject, as goals from Tony Rains and
Matthew Hanlan secured the win.
The non-leaguers were brought crashing back down to reality in the next round though - thrashed 8:0 at Norwich City.
4 Wrexham 2:1 Arsenal 1992
The country's 2nd placed team playing against the country's lowest placed team. No contest. Surely ?
One nil up with 20 minutes to go and all still looked rosy for George Graham's men, but then one of Wrexham's golden oldie's
Mickey Thomas smashed home an unstoppable free-kick before Steve Watkin grabbed the winner.
The players went mental and so did the fans - quite rightly invading the pitch to celebrate such a momentous
occasion. Amongst some interesting post-match events, one of the best stories was ex-Gunners boss Terry O'Neill ringing
up BBC Radio 5's phone-in show and bizarrely demonstrating how to be a bad loser, claiming that "Wrexham are joking if they
think they've won that game".
5 Worcester City 2:1 Liverpool 1959
A freezing cold January evening saw Worcester of the North West section of the Southern League claim their best ever result.
Worcester took a 2 goal lead and managed to hold out despite a late Liverpool penalty and a number of decent
The only good thing to come out of the result for Liverpool (at the time in the 2nd division) was that it lead to the
sacking of manager Phil Taylor. His
replacement ? Some bloke by the name of Shankly.
6 West Bromwich Albion 2:4 Woking 1992
Or the 'Tim Buzaglo game' as it became known at his mum's house. There were about 120 places separating Isthmian League side
Woking from Division Two West Brom, but you wouldn't have known it, as the Cards
recovered from being a goal down at half-time to turn the Hawthorns on it's head
with 4 second half goals, including an astonishing 15 minute hat-trick by the aforementioned
Buzaglo. And it wasn't just the goals too, Geoff Chapple's side gave Brian Talbot a footballing
lesson, acknowledged by the reaction of the Baggies fans who witnessed it.
The scorer of Woking's 'other' goal ? Terry Worsfold - and a cracker it was too.
Woking pulled mighty Everton out of the bag for round 4, at home, but despite switching
the game to Goodison they still put up an almighty challenge - Kevin Sheedy hitting the only
goal although a post denied Woking a last ditch equaliser.
7 Burnley 0:1 Wimbledon 1975
To those unfamiliar with football in the 1970's this might not sound like much
of an upset, but in 1975 the Dons were still a non-league side whilst Burnley
were mid-table in the top tier. Wimbledon's hero that day was legendary keeper Dickie Guy
(later to become president of AFC Wimbledon after speaking out against
the move to Milton Keynes) who kept Burnley at bay with a number of incredible
saves. Mick Mahon scored the game's only goal, tapping in after Ian Stevenson's
initial shot could only be parried. It was the first time in more than 50 years
that a non-league club had beaten a side from the top division away from home.
Their 3rd round heroics earned them a plum tie against reigning league champions Leeds.
The Southern League champions somehow held out for a goal-less draw at Elland Road, with
that man Dickie Guy saving a Peter Lorimer penalty. The much anticipated replay was
moved to Selhurst Park because of the demand for tickets, and 40,000 turned out to see
the Dons just miss out, losing 1:0 due to a Dave Bassett own goal. However, their cup exploits
helped in their bid to get in to the league, finally being elected 3 years later after years
of trying. And just 10 years later at Wembley, you know the rest...
8 Shrewsbury Town 2:1 Everton 2003
Everton's most successful captain, Kevin Ratcliffe, returned to haunt his former club as he
masterminded a famous victory for the Shropshire club. A rather muddy Gay Meadow saw Ratcliffe's
top-level experience (Nigel Jemson, Ian Woan, Mark Atkins) and young talent (Luke Rodgers) totally
outplay an Everton team featuring the majority of David Moyes' first choice team, many of whom
Non-league journeyman Peter Wilding had the game of his life, marking a young Wayne Rooney out of the
game but it was the tubby ex-Forest and Wednesday striker Jemson who grabbed the headlines, curling
home the opener 7 minutes before half-time. Swedish winger Niclas Alexandersson looked to have saved
the Toffeemen's blushes midway through the 2nd half but with just two minutes remaining
Jemson struck again with another header to seal a dramatic victory and send Gay Meadow into
sheer pandemonium. Unfortunately they were unable to repeat their success in the 4th round,
losing 4:0 at home to a Gianfranco Zola inspired Chelsea.
But the victory over Everton will go down as one of the FA Cup's great shocks,
an incredible result when the positions of the 2 clubs at the end of that season were
compared - Everton finishing 7th in the Premiership whilst Salop finished at the bottom of Division
3 and lost their league status.
9 Bournemouth 2:0 Man Utd 1984
Possibly AFC Bournemouth's finest hour, as cup holders Manchester Utd lost their grasp on
the trophy at the hands of a lowly 3rd Division club led by a young managerial novice called Harry Redknapp.
United had already been knocked out of the League Cup by another 3rd Division team, Oxford Utd,
so lightening was hardly likely to strike twice. Or was it ? An uneventful, goal-less first half
was no indicator for the drama that was to come in the 2nd, as the hosts began to totally
boss their grand oppponents. With young defender Everald La Ronde having the game of his life
and forward's Trevor Morgan and Ian Thompson discovering pace and trickery the likes of which
they'd never previously shown the slightest hint of, Utd were soon in trouble - 15 minutes into
the 2nd half Milton Graham scored after Gary Bailey fumbled a corner. The majority of the
15,000 crammed into Dean Court went mental (the away fans would go mental later, but that's
a different story). A few minutes later and Thompson grabbed a second following
a mistake by Bryan Robson. With United's players unable to to do anything to stop the team sliding
out of the cup, their fans tried some tactics of their own, spilling on to the pitch
and halting the tie for five minutes until the police could restore order.
But their efforts were in vain as the Cherries saw out the last few minutes to claim their
most memorable footballing scalp.
10 Havant 4:2 Swansea 2008
Similar to some of the other matches in our list, Havant's first task of earning a replay
was no mean feat in itself. Swansea, under the helm of Spanish gaffer Roberto Martinez, were
running away with League 1 and had a cracking home record. Rocky Baptiste's late leveller took
the game to a replay and meant Havant went into the draw for the 4th round. A plumb tie at
Anfield meant both sides really had something to play for, but it was Havant who wanted it the
most. Racing into a 3 goal lead 8 minutes before half-time they looked like they were there
only for Swansea to peg it back to 3:2 just after half-time. For the next 10 minutes it looked
like Martinez' men would get the equaliser, but Jordan settled their nerves with a fourth and
they managed to see out the rest of the game. Charlie Oatway's men went on to give Liverpool
the fright of their lives in the next round, twice taking the lead in an incredible
first half before Liverpool's superiority took hold in the 2nd half, although a 5:2 scoreline
definitely flattered the hosts.
11 Birmingham City 1:2 Altrincham 1986
Renowned cup fighters from the 70's and 80's, Altrincham's victory at St Andrews back in 1986
was the last away win by a non-league side at a top-flight club. Only the closed-shop election
policy of the football league prevented Altrincham from gaining entry to the English football's
top 4 divisions, so they had to make do with annual victories against league opposition in the cup.
They had a great record - terrific draws at Everton in 1975 and at Spurs 4 years later , reaching
the 3rd round 3 years in a row, and regularly beating league teams in the opening round. But their
finest victory was against Ron Saunders Birmingham on 14th January 1986. Kevin Ellis put the visitors
one up before Robert Hopkins (surely shortened to Bob) equalised for City. However, the winger's joy
was short-lived as he scored an own goal passed a young David Seaman to give the Gola League side
a deserved victory. Saunders was sacked a few days later, whilst Altrincham went out to York City
in the 4th round.
12 Burton Albion 0:0 Manchester Utd 2006
Ok, so they didn't win, but for Nigel Clough's Conference team to hold the global might of
Sir Alex's Manchester Utd was an achievement in itself. United were without half their first
team but still had the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney, Saha, Solskjaer, Silvestre, O'Shea and Brown on the pitch.
And remember, this was a United team with an attacking mind-set, who would score at least one
gaol in the majority of Premiership games and often totally overwhelm teams given the slightest chance.
So for Burton to hold them to a goal-less draw was itself an incredible result.
13 Manchester Utd 0:0 Exeter City 2005
Like Burton Albion's draw a year later, this was another case of non-league opposition causing a
shock by holding out against the might of United's attack, this time at Old Trafford.
Despite the fact that Alex Inglethorpe's Exeter never looked like scoring and that United's big guns were only really
brought out with half an hour to go as Ronaldo, Scholes and Smith
replaced a couple of Utd's youngsters and the hapless David Bellion, try asking the 9000 Grecians
who came up from Devon and I bet to a man they were more than happy with their team's
immense rearguard action. Needless to say, Utd eased to a comfortable 2:0 victory in the replay
at St. James Park.
14 Everton 0:1 Oldham Athletic 2008
Rivalling Havant's victory against Swansea as the shock of the round in 2008 was Oldham Athletic's
result at Goodison Park. Everton were riding high in the Premiership at the time in 5th position, whilst
Oldham were mid table two tiers below them. There was no hint of a possible shock on the cards
from the opening exchanges, as Everton dominated and carved out a number of chances, but as the half
went on and none were taken it looked like John Sheridan's men might be able to get something out of
the game. By the end of the half Oldham were starting to create chances of their own and it was
no real surprise when man-of-the-match Gary McDonald crashed home a superb left foot shot over
stand-in German keeper Stefan Wessels. The expected onslaught didn't arrive until the last ten
minutes, with a frantic finale resulting in Everton's best chance as Yakubu smacked the post
with virtually the last kick of the match. Oldham had held out against all the odds and
deservedly gone through.
15 Burnley 1:0 Liverpool 2005
Yes, it's the game featuring 'that' comedy own goal from left-back Djimi Traore and
providing further proof that some of these Johny foreigner coaches don't take our
glorious cup competitions as seriously as they perhaps should. Thinking that his reserve
team could do the business against Steve Cotterill's Burnley at a pumped-up Turf Moor,
Rafa looked happy enough with a 0:0 scoreline at half-time in his
first ever FA Cup tie.
However, he'd not reckoned with his Mali funnyman Traore.
Clarets midfielder Richard Chaplow sent a cross from the left into the mixer and Traore
attempted the sort of drag-back and
turn move that even Maradona would have thought twice about. A bewildered Jerzy Dudek
watched hopelessly as it trickled into the net.
If Sky didn't play Barbra Streisand's "send in the clowns" over the top of the clip
at the end of their show that night then they missed a trick.
A great own goal and a great upset, the Liverpool fans soon made their Spanish gaffer
aware of what the FA cup meant to fans in this country, and it seemed to do the trick -
Liverpool winning the trophy the following season.