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Sport
Kit Bag

Famous FA Cup Upsets

The National staff   |  January 27, 2013

Luton Town players celebrate their shock FA Cup win over Norwich. Pic: Chris Radburn/PA
Luton Town players celebrate their shock FA Cup win over Norwich.  Pic: Chris Radburn/PA

Following on from Saturday's shock defeat of Norwich City by lowly Luton Town, we look at some of the other memorable giantkillings in football's oldest club competition.

Sutton United 2 Coventry City 1 (third round, 1989) It appeared to be a case of “no contest” for the 1987 FA Cup winners. Coventry, who were riding high in the English top flight, against the non-league team. But they were left stunned as Tony Rains and Matthew Hanlan became the goal scoring heroes for a team fashioned by English teacher Barrie Williams.

Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1 (third round, 1992) The Gunners were the reigning Division One champions, Wrexham were bottom of the old fourth division – there was only going to be one result at the Racecourse Ground. Arsenal took the lead through Alan Smith but with 10 minutes to go 37-year-old Mickey Thomas unleashed a 25-yard free kick past David Seaman for the equaliser. The Welsh side could sense an upset and Steve Watkin popped up late on to score the winner.

Hereford United 2 Newcastle United 1 (third round, 1972) The Southern League side had earned a glorious 2-2 draw at St James’ Park in February 1972 and were given little chance of emulating that feat in the replay. Newcastle took the lead but Hereford grew stronger as the match went on and Ronnie Radford equalised with a 40-yard thunderbolt to take the game into extra time. Ricky George hit the winner.

Bournemouth 2 Manchester United 0 (third round, 1984) FA Cup holders and under the flamboyant management of 'Big' Ron Atkinson, Manchester United went into their tie with lowly third division Bournemouth as comfortable favorites.  Yet Atkinson's side - boasting the likes of Bryan Robson, Arnold Muhren and Norman Whiteside among their ranks - were sunk by goals from Milton Graham and Ian Thompson. The result was a career-maing coup for Bournemouth's fledgling manager - a certain Harry Redknapp...

Liverpool 0 Wimbledon 1 (final, 1988) Dave Beasant became the first goalkeeper to lift the FA Cup after famously saving a penalty from the Liverpool striker John Aldridge in the 1988 final. That proved to be the turning point in a game which was expected to be no more than a stroll in the park for the Merseyside club. But Wimbledon, true to form, scrapped and battled for every ball, with Lawrie Sanchez heading the winner.