Emirates FA Cup third round shocks: Five of the best

Thursday 03 Jan 2019
Woking hero Tim Buzaglo

Whenever Emirates FA Cup third round weekend arrives there is only one thing on everyone’s mind – shocks.

From Walsall defeating would-be League champions Arsenal in 1933 to Coventry City ousting Stoke last season, history is littered with examples of David slaying Goliath at this stage of the world’s most famous knockout competition.

While Woking and Barnet are the only two non-League sides left in this season’s edition, clubs from League One and Two will also be dreaming of taking a big scalp and ensuring their name is added to a famous roll call of giantkillers.

And to whet the appetite, we take a look at five of the most famous third round shocks:

Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United, 1972

It is a result that has gone down in FA Cup folklore, aided by one of the most famous goals in the history of the competition.

The Bulls, then of the Southern League, had excelled themselves in holding First Division Newcastle United to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park – and they went one better in the replay.

Trailing to Malcolm Macdonald’s 85th-minute header, Hereford rallied courtesy of Ronnie Radford’s 35-yard thunderbolt and Ricky George’s extra-time winner.

Hereford’s victory was the first by a non-League side over a First Division opponent since Yeovil’s win over Sunderland in 1949.

Bournemouth 2-0 Manchester United, 1984

Then-Bournemouth manager Harry Redknapp called it the greatest day of his life as goals by Milton Graham and Ian Thompson dumped the star-studded holders out of the competition.

“After the whistle went, it was then we realised how important the result was,” said Thompson.

“We had cameramen in from all over the place, there were people from newspapers, radio, TV and they were throwing microphones into our faces and we weren't expecting it, we just weren't used to it.

“We couldn't move and all of us were thrust in front of microphones asking for our opinions. It was then that I realised how significant and how big the result was in the football world.”

Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City, 1989

This tie will forever be associated with match-winner Matt Hanlan.

Coventry City had won The FA Cup for the first time in 1987 but were knocked out by Conference side Sutton just two seasons later.

Barrie Williams’s men went ahead through a Tony Rains header before David Phillips equalised for the visitors.

But Hanlan scored a late winner to send Gander Green Lane into raptures.

West Bromwich Albion 2-4 Woking, 1991

A Tim Buzaglo hat-trick helped steer Woking to a resounding 4-2 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

Colin West put the Baggies 1-0 up but the visitors roared back in the second half. Buzaglo netted an 11-minute treble and Terry Worsfold made it 4-1 on 88 minutes.

Darren Bradley reduced arrears a minute later but Geoff Chapple's side held on for a remarkable victory; it was the first time a non-League team had won away at a Second Division side for 13 years.

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal, 1992

This was the biggest FA Cup shock of the 1990s, one of the most famous of all-time and and one that will be talked about for generations.

George Graham’s well-drilled Gunners had won the old First Division the season before and looked certainties to defeat a Wrexham side who were struggling in the fourth tier.

Alan Smith turned home Paul Merson’s cross to give Arsenal the lead just before half time and a routine victory appeared to be on the cards. But Brian Flynn's side had other ideas.

David O’Leary fouled Gordon Davies just outside the box in the 82nd minute and 37-year-old Mickey Thomas sensed blood.

The Wrexham captain, who had played against Arsenal for Manchester United in the 1979 Final, stepped up and smashed an unstoppable free-kick past a helpless David Seaman. And with their tails up, Wrexham went in for the kill.

Just two minutes later Tony Adams failed to clear his lines and Steve Watkin capitalised by pouncing on the loose ball and steering a shot into the far corner.

By FA Staff