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5 times non-league sides caused an FA Cup third-round shock

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jan 2024

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Maidstone became the latest non-league side to produce an FA Cup third-round upset on Saturday with victory over Stevenage.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some other famous wins that saw non-league sides make it into the competition’s fourth round.

Hereford 2-1 Newcastle – third-round replay 1972

This cup shock unfolded over 50 years ago, but remains an iconic upset that retains its place on any giant-killing list. Who can forget the Match of the Day footage of Ronnie Radford’s stunning late equaliser for Hereford, bludgeoned out of the Edgar Street mud, before Ricky George’s extra-time winner? After the two sides had drawn 2-2 at St James’ Park, top-flight Newcastle had led the replay through Malcolm MacDonald before the Southern League side’s heroics sparked a joyous pitch invasion.

Sutton 2-1 Coventry – third round 1989

Coventry, then in the top flight, had won the FA Cup in 1987 but were ambushed by Conference side Sutton at Gander Green Lane. Tony Rains headed the London minnows into a half-time lead and although David Phillips equalised for the Sky Blues 10 minutes into the second period, Matt Hanlon, a 22-year-old self-employed bricklayer, volleyed home Phil Dawson’s 70th-minute out-swinging cross and Sutton held on for an historic win. In the fourth round, they lost 8-0 at Norwich.

West Brom 2-4 Woking – third round 1991

Woking were in the Isthmian League – English football’s sixth tier – when they headed to The Hawthorns and no-one gave them a prayer as they trailed 1-0 to West Brom, then in the old Second Division, at half-time. But a stunning hat-trick from Tim Buzaglo, a computer specialist who had played cricket for Gibraltar, turned the tie on its head and after a fourth goal from Terry Worsfold secured a spectacular upset, Woking’s jubilant players were applauded by the Baggies fans off the pitch.

Macclesfield 2-1 Cardiff – third round 2013

Blue Square Bet Premier side Macclesfield dumped out Championship leaders Cardiff, 81 places higher in English football’s pecking order, to reach the FA Cup’s fourth round for the first time in their 139-year history. The Silkmen trailed to Cardiff striker Nat Jarvis’ close-range second-half finish, but Matthew Barnes-Homer struck twice in the final five minutes. He turned home Jack Mackreth’s cross and, with home celebrations still in full swing, converted a penalty to snatch an unlikely win.

Lincoln 1-0 Ipswich – third round replay 2017

Lincoln were National League leaders and on the rise when they clinched a place in the fourth round for the first time in 41 years. The Imps knocked out Ipswich, then in the Championship, thanks to Nathan Arnold’s stoppage-time winner. The Imps, who had drawn 2-2 at Portman Road, went on to beat Brighton, top of the Championship at the time, 3-1 in the fourth round and won 1-0 at then Premier League side Burnley in the fifth round to become the first non-league team in 103 years to reach the quarter-finals.

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