The FA Cup
A Century of City in The Cup
Stoke and Man City first met in The FA Cup 100 years ago.
Stoke City, then known simply as ‘Stoke’, met Manchester City for the first time in The FA Cup a hundred years ago this year. It was a First Round tie at Stoke’s Victoria Ground and the home side, who then played in the Birmingham & District League, lost 2-1. The scorers were Alf Smith (for Stoke) and Jonathan Smith and Billy Jones (for Manchester City).
Some unusual surnames there, then.
Tony Pulis’s Stoke City have now reached a high point in the club’s 128-year history in the world-famous competition, appearing in their first-ever FA Cup Final on Saturday.
But there have been some bad times. In only their second participation they had to ‘scratch’ to Queen’s Park and let the Glasgow team go through to the Second Round. Then they protested about the state of the pitch after losing 4-0 at Wolves. The match was replayed and this time Stoke suffered an 8-0 thrashing!
Stoke City were a top-division side who featured in two FA Cup Semi-Finals in the early 1970s. After losing the second, again to Arsenal in a replay, they qualified for a ‘Match for Third Place’ against Birmingham City.
It went to a penalty shootout, the first in the competition’s history, and Stoke lost it 4-3. In the same decade the Potters crashed out 3-2 at home to Blyth Spartans of the Northern League in a Fourth Round tie.
Their luck was out again in the following year. They led Oldham Athletic 2-0 at home in the Third Round when the match was abandoned at half-time. They tried again eleven days later and this time Stoke lost without scoring.
In their first FA Cup tie of the 2000s they were knocked out by Nuneaton Borough of the Conference, failing in score in two matches. Now Stoke City’s Cup story has turned into something special. Nearly 90,000 inside Wembley and something like half a billion on global television will see if they can finish the job.