Do You Remember These FA Cup Upsets?

by | Aug 12, 2017 | 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, History

1971 – Colchester United 3 Leeds United 2
In February 1971, Fourth Division Colchester United knocked Division One Leeds United out of the FA Cup with a surprise 3-2 win. 16,000 fans witnessed the shock result at Layer Road, Colchester. The above picture shows Ray Crawford celebrating with his team mates after scoring the first goal in the 18th minute.

1972 – Hereford United 2 Newcastle United 1
Non league team Hereford United beat Newcastle United 2-1 in the FA cup third round replay. This was after their initial match resulted in a 2-2 draw. Newcastle’s Malcolm Macdonald scored in the 82nd minute, followed by an equaliser from Hereford’s Ronnie Radford in the 85th minute. Ricky George scored the winning goal for Hereford in extra time.

Hereford United v Newcastle United February 1972

Hereford United v Newcastle United in February 1972. The photo shows the action on the pitch during the FA Cup 3rd round replay which resulted in a 2-1 win from Hereford.

1980 – Wigan Athletic 1 Chelsea 0
Third Division Wigan Athletic beat Chelsea 1-0 on the night of January 14th 1980. Over 22000 attended the game at Stamford Bridge to witness Chelsea’s surprise defeat. Wigan’s winning goal came from Tommy Gore in the first half of the match. The team celebrated in style in London the next morning.

1984- Bournemouth 2 Manchester United 0
On 7th January 1984, Third Division AFC Bournemouth (managed by Harry Redknapp) beat title holders Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup. This surprise result saw favourites united knocked out of the tournament.

1986 – Birmingham City 1 Altrincham 2
This 3rd round FA Cup game caused some upset when Altrincham beat Birmingham City 2-1. The game was played at Birmingham’s home ground St Andrews. Goals came from Altrincham player Ronnie Ellis in the 65th minute following a goal from Birmingham’s Robert Hopkins in the 63rd minute. A surprise own goal, also from Robert Hopkins saw Altrincham win the game.

Birmingham v Altrincham during the FA Cup tie 1986

FA Cup Third Round match at St. Andrews.
Birmingham City 1 v Alrtincham 2.
Altrincham players celebrate their victory as they walk off the pitch at the end of the match.
14th January 1986.

1989 – Sutton United 2 Coventry City 1
In January 1989, non league Sutton United famously beat First Divison Coventry City 2-1 during the FA Cup 3rd Round Tie. The game was played at Gander Green Lane, Sutton. Tony Rains scored first for Sutton in the 42nd minute, Coventry equalised in the the 52nd minute with a goal from David Phillips. Matthew Hanlan scored the winning goal shortly after in the 59th minute, securing a shock win for Sutton.

Sutton v Coventry during the FA Cup 1989

Action from the match at Gardner Green Lane. 7th January 1989.

1992 – Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1
Reigning league champions Arsenal lost to Fourth Division Wrexham in the third round of the ’92 FA Cup. Alan Smith put Arsenal ahead just before half time. Wrexham’s Mickey Thomas scored with a stunning free kick in the 82nd minute, followed a couple of minutes later by a goal from Steve Watkin, knocking Arsenal out of the tournament.

Wrexham v Arsenal, FA Cup match at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham

FA Cup match at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, 4th January 1992.

1993- Liverpool 0 Bolton Wanderers 2
Following a 2-2 draw at Burnden Park, Bolton Wanderers went on to beat FA Cup holders Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield in the FA Cup 3rd round replay. The game, played on January 13th 1993, caused quite an upset and is one of Bolton’s most memorable FA Cup matches. John McGinlay scored with a header in the 3rd minute, followed by a goal from Andy Walker in the 78th minute.

2003 – Shrewsbury 2 Everton 1
During the 3rd round of the 2003 FA Cup, Third Division Shrewsbury beat Premier League side Everton. Both goals for Shrewsbury were scored by Nigel Jemson with Niclas Alexandersson scoring for Everton. Even a young Wayne Rooney couldn’t save the team from a humiliating defeat.

2008 – Everton 0 Oldham Athletic 1
In January 2008, 1st Division Oldham Athletic beat Premier League Everton in a surprise victory at Goodison Park. A chip shop fire near the ground delayed kick off by half an hour due to the closure of Goodison Road. The home team failed to score with Oldham Athletic taking the lead in the 45th minute with a goal from Gary McDonald. Manager David Moyes decided to change the team formation for this game which likely cost Everton the win.

2013 – Norwich City 0 Luton Town 1
Played at Carrow Road, Norwich, this game was one of the first times in Premier League history that a non league team beat a Premiership team away from home. Luton’s goal was scored in the 80th minute by Scott Rendell.

2013 – Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester City 0
One of the most surprising and memorable FA Cup wins came from Wigan Athletic when they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the 2013 FA Cup final. Underdogs Wigan scored with a header from Ben Watson in extra time. Wigan took home the FA Cup for the first time ever in their 81 year history.

Manchester City v Wigan Athletic, FA Cup Final 2013

Ben Watson Scoring with a header.

2015 – Chelsea 2 Bradford 4
League One side Bradford City pulled off a dramatic comeback to beat Premiership leaders Chelsea in the FA Cup 4th round. It looked like a certain win for Chelsea when they were 2-0 up in the first half. Bradford managed to score 4 goals in the second half pulling off an unexpected win.

2017 – Sutton United 1 Leeds 0
Another FA Cup upset comes courtesy of Sutton United when they beat Leeds United. The lowest ranked team left in the competition beat top league club Leeds in the fourth round of the competition. A penalty in the second half from Jamie Collins provided the only goal of the game and sealed the deal for Sutton.