Five FA Cup third round giant-killers

2018-01-04 16:16
FA Cup (File)

London - The "magic of the cup" has lost some of its' sheen in recent years with big sides fielding second string line-ups in the early rounds of the FA Cup.

However, this weekend's third round action will still have lower league sides such as Luton, Coventry and Exeter hoping to claim the scalps of Premier League strugglers Newcastle, Stoke and West Brom respectively. Other Premier League "giants" facing third-tier "minnows" are Tottenham, hosting Wimbledon, Leicester, travelling to Fleetwood, and Bournemouth, facing Wigan whose downward league slide had already begun when they conjured some magic and upset Manchester City in the 2013 final.

Here are highlights five previous third round shocks:

Lincoln 1 Ipswich 0 - 2017

Non-league Lincoln got the better of second tier Ipswich on an emotional night -- it came five days after former manager Graham Taylor the last man to take "the Imps" to the fourth round of the Cup had died -- in front of a record crowd of over 9,000. Lincoln proved worthy giantkillers. They did it in the most dramatic fashion, Nathan Arnold slotting home a minute into time added on which made Mrs Arnold's dreams come true literally. "My Mrs had a dream we won 1-0 and I scored the goal," Arnold told the BBC afterwards. Lincoln went on to reach the quarter-finals.

Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1 - 1992

League champions Arsenal looked to be cruising to that trademark of the George Graham era: a 1-0 win. However, enter stage left veteran Welsh wing Mickey Thomas, old school footballer with a cheeky chappie image and a magical touch. At 37, he might have been ageing, but his ability was not dimmed. His stunning free kick brought the Fourth Division (present day League Two) side level eight minutes from time and the Gunners were left stunned when Mike Watkin grabbed the winner in the 84th minute. "I remember looking at the clock after I'd scored," recalled Thomas. "It said eight minutes to go, and my first thought was: 'Great, I'll be in (the) bar in 10.'"

Sutton 2 Coventry 1 - 1989

The ultimate giant killing story with the non-league side from a leafy London suburb overcoming a First Division (Premier League) side who had themselves sprung a surprise in the 1987 Cup final as they prevailed in a five goal thriller with Tottenham Hotspur. Sutton captain Tony Rains gave his side the lead only for Welsh international David Phillips to level but self-employed bricklayer Matthew Hanlan ensured it was a historic day when he tucked away the winner and Sutton gamely held out for the last half hour. "My two daughters are constantly reminded of who their dad is, mainly by me," Hanlan told 'The Guardian' in 2008. "I put the DVD of the match on as often as possible and get them to watch it. They're a bit bored of it, but I'm not."

Bournemouth 2 Manchester United 0 - 1984

Harry Redknapp's first moment in the spotlight as a manager came as his then unglamorous third division side claimed the significant scalp of Manchester United managed by the flamboyant Ron Atkinson. Second-half goals by Milton Graham and Ian Thompson sent a complacent United packing. While it did wonders for Redknapp's profile his generosity to the players had its limits. "Nipper (Ian) Leigh (the goalkeeper) never got his lifetime of pizza (promised for keeping a clean sheet)," Redknapp wrote in his autobiography. "A few years later the Italian restaurant changed hands and the new owner refused to honour the existing arrangement. The name of that miserable, skinflint proprietor? Harry Redknapp."

Walsall 2 Arsenal 0 - 1933

The lowly third division team gave the 11,000 spectators a day to remember as second-half goals by Gilbert Alsop and Bill Sheppard, with a penalty, saw off Herbert Chapman's legendary Gunners - already title winners in 1931 and FA Cup victors in 1930. Three of the Arsenal side made their one and only appearance for the club that day, Chapman dispensing with them quickly as scapegoats for the defeat. Consolation was to come quickly as Arsenal went on to win the title that season but Chapman was not to find redemption in the Cup as he died the following January.

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