Five of the biggest and best FA Cup Third Round upsets
It’s one of the finest weekends on the football, nee, sporting calendar and this year’s FA Cup Third Round will be the latest in a long line of historic, famous, dramatic and memorable weekends in the world’s oldest football competition.
Now 144 years old, the FA Cup has produced some simply incredible sporting moments, and here at Ladbrokes News we can’t help but get a little dewy-eyed thinking back to those great times.
And so to celebrate this wonderful part of the football year, we’ve taken a little trip down memory lane to remind ourselves of five times little David beat Goliath.
Where else could we begin this quintet but…
Hereford v Newcastle Utd – 1972
Hereford were in the Southern Football League – today’s Conference – when they hosted mighty Newcastle United at Edgar Street.
The underdogs had already played six Cup games before they headed to St James’ Park, but despite fielding six internationals, Newcastle were held to a 2-2 draw and a replay beckoned.
After being postponed three times due to weather, the replay was eventually held on the day of the fourth round.
Again Newcastle couldn’t see off their underdog opponents, and in extra time Ronnie Radford became a household name. So did a certain John Motson too, actually.
Bournemouth v Manchester United – 1984
Bournemouth’s Premier League win over Manchester United last month will no doubt live long in the memory for Cherries fans, but it still doesn’t quite match the FA Cup success of 1984.
Not only were the Harry Redknapp’s men fighting at the wrong end of the then-Division 3, but Ron Atkinson’s United were second in Division 1 AND the reigning FA Cup holders.
United skipper Bryan Robson and his men were helpless to deny Milton Graham and Ian Thompson powering the minnows to a famous 2-0 win in front of a delirious crowd.
Redknapp would say after the game ‘We don’t get many days like this in Bournemouth’.
Wrexham v Arsenal – 1992
A tale for the ages. Reigning Division 1 champions Arsenal headed to Wrexham who had finished 92nd and plum last in the football league’s previous campaign while Arsenal conquered all.
Only Aldershot’s expulsion at the end of the season allowed the Welsh side to stay in the league.
The Gunners fielded seven England internationals in front of over 13,000 at the Racecourse Ground, but most were disappointed as Arsenal held on to a first-half lead from Alan Smith.
As the clock wound down however, a former Wrexham prodigy now in the twilight of his career had other ideas to see off David Seaman, Tony Adams and the rest.
Mickey Thomas’ thunderbolt of a free-kick with just eight minutes remaining stunned Arsenal, and just two minutes later Steve Watkin sent the north-Wales town into raptures.
The win was sweet revenge for Thomas, who was in the Manchester United side beaten by Arsenal in the 1979 FA Cup Final.
Sutton United v Coventry – 1989
Only 8,000 could pack in to the Borough Sports Ground to see Conference side Sutton take on 1987 FA Cup champions and First Division regulars Coventry, because that’s all the little ground could hold.
Skipper Tony Rains had the hosts infront before the interval, but a quick reply from David Phillips put Coventry back into the ascendancy.
John Motson was in the right place at the right time once again however, as he and 8,000 others were present to see Matthew Hanlan put Sutton back into a lead they would not relinquish.
It was the last time a non-league side ousted a team from the top tier for 24 years, until Luton defeated Norwich in 2013.
Shrewsbury v Everton – 2003
The day a fourth-tier team defeated a side which included the man who would become England’s record goalscorer.
Ex-Shrewsbury defender David Moyes was working wonders to lead Everton into the top five of the Premiership as he headed back to the old-school Gay Meadow stadium.
Managed by Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe, the Shrews went ahead through ex-Nottingham Forest striker Nigel Jemson’s ‘jem’ (geddit?) of a free-kick, before Niclas Alexandersson put the Merseysiders back on level terms.
With two of the 90 minutes remaining however, Jemson popped up again to head home the winner and complete one of the FA Cup’s great shocks. Teenage superstar Wayne Rooney barely had a chance all afternoon.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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