FA Cup’s Greatest Giantkillings!
THIS weekend sees one of the most fun weekends of English football – the magical THIRD ROUND!
The big boys of the Premier League and Championship enter the fray, taking on the lower and non-league teams, which means fancy arse teams playing at brilliantly pokey grounds that look like they’re make out of scaffolding and potato hash.
Naturally, with smaller grounds, the pitches and facilities can’t rival that of the Premier League teams. That’s a good thing as millionaire footballers can come a cropper and the glamorous sides are knocked out by teams made up of people who will be calling into work sick on the Monday morning.
Remember who won when the Cavaliers took on the Roundheads.
There’s been many great giantkillings in the FA Cup and we’re going to look at some of the best of them now, to really get us in the mood. Of course, most of the big shocks happen in the third round, when the big boys enter the competition, but there’s still loads to enjoy in the first round proper.
Vauxhall Motors beat QPR
Vauxhall Motors are one of the best teams to see in the classified results because, mainly, they’re a work’s team. Of course, they’re a bit more fancy than an office’s 5-a-side outfit, but nevertheless, that’s basically what they are. Unfathomably, they managed to beat a decent QPR team in the FA Cup and, to paraphrase Jeff Stelling, they went crazy on the streets of Vauxhall Motors.
Altrincham knock out Birmingham
Altrincham gave a number of league sides a rough ride in the ’80s, but their greatest moment came against Birmingham. Brum were a decent team back then and Altrincham were one of non-league’s finest. They beat The Blues with a reasonable amount of swagger. Check out the video below with a lovely interview with Altrincham’s goalkeeper who is sat in bed.
Rioch’s Bolton Wanderers
Bolton sank from the top flight to the old Fourth Division and, on their way back up, Bruce Rioch masterminded a number of cup runs. One of the most loved victories in Bolton fans hearts is the midweek replay against Liverpool at Anfield in 1993. Liverpool, not too long ago, were winning everything they could get their hands on, but they were no match for David Lee’s heroics. White hot indeed!
Colchester spank Leeds
In the late ’60s/early ’70s, the cream of the English footballing crop was Don Revie’s Leeds. They visited Colchester United in a bid to fight on one of the many fronts they found themselves in. The U’s were in the Fourth Division and managed by one of Revie’s old mates, Dick Graham. 16,000 crammed into Layer Road and Colchester played Leeds at their own robust game and won.
Wycombe’s Amazing FA Cup run
In the Noughties, Wycombe’s FA Cup run was a sight to behold! Sitting in the lower echelons of the Football League, Laurie Sanchez somehow managed to take Wycombe to the semi-final of the cup. Quite remarkable.
Sutton United send everyone back to Coventry
Not long after winning the FA Cup and a side in the top flight for over 20 years, Coventry City played Sutton United from the Conference. The Sky Blues may have been enjoying one of their best seasons in the First Division, but it was at Gander Green Lane it all went wrong. Matthew Hanlon volley flew past Steve Ogrizovic and a giant killer was born.
Wrexham rocket past Arsenal
George Graham’s Arsenal romped to the title in the 1990-91 season. The season after, they took on Wrexham who were the bottom club of the whole Football League. The Gunners scored and it all looked over. However, veteran midfielder Mickey Thomas rattled a peach of a freekick in (not bad for someone who got stabbed in the arse for having it away with someone he shouldn’t have been) and Steve Watkin grabbed the winner. One of the greatest giant killings in FA Cup history.
Luton beat Norwich
Luton were once in the top flight with a decent side, but after that, they sank into the Conference. While in the lower reaches, they took on Premier League Norwich and… well… you know how it goes, what with this being a piece about giant killing.
Ronnie Radford defines the FA Cup
Hereford United v Newcastle United: third round 1971-72. It doesn’t look much written down, but it features the most memorable FA Cup giant killing of them all. The pitch is a quagmire pitch, there’s fans up trees, it was one of John Motson’s first games as a commentator and featured a brilliant Newcastle team and… of course… an absolute rocket from Ronnie Radford which became the defining image of the FA Cup. It is only right we finish with this one.