The 2018 FA Cup is now well underway. And if there’s one thing that the world’s oldest football competition in the world is known for… is its penchant for throwing up the unexpected.
Below, we’ll run through five of the greatest ever FA Cup shocks.
Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton
Languishing at the foot of the Football League, lowly Shrewsbury caused an almighty shock when a double strike from 33-year-old Nigel Jemson sent the Gay Meadow side into the fourth round at the expense of an Everton side featuring a young Wayne Rooney.
The goals against Everton were Jemson’s fourth and fifth of the tournament that season, meaning he ended up being the FA Cup’s top scorer that season.
Despite their cup success, Shrewsbury were relegated to the Conference at the end of the campaign.
Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City – 1989
An absolute classic tale of giant-killing.
Coventry City had won the FA Cup just 18 months prior to arriving at the home of their non-league opponents. But goals from Tony Rains and bricklayer Matthew Hanlan ensured a memorable day for the part-time Surrey side, with the two goalscorers even appearing on Terry Wogan’s chat show the following Monday.
Liverpool 0-1 Wimbledon – 1988
The first of two huge FA Cup final upsets. Unfashionable Division One newcomers, Wimbledon, who had only been in the Football League for 11 years, guaranteed a place in football folklore with a shock 1-0 victory over Liverpool, a team that has long dominated English football.
It’s the modern-day equivalent of Bournemouth, who are 80/1 shots in the football betting markets, beating Manchester City at Wembley.
The game is most famous for that Dave Beasant penalty save from Red marksman, John Aldridge. That FA Cup win was the only major trophy Wimbledon won before the club was dissolved in 2004.
Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United – 1972
After earning a shock 2-2 draw at St James’ Park, fifth tier Hereford welcomed top tier Newcastle to Edgar Street for one of the most memorable FA Cup replays in history.
The pitch was in awful condition, setting the scene for the ultimate David versus Goliath contest, but it was the blistering 85th-minute equaliser into the top corner from Ronnie Radford – triggering a pitch invasion – for which the tie is best remembered.
Ricky George then scored a winner in extra-time for the Southern League outfit, triggering a second pitch invasion, sending Hereford into the fourth round of the competition for the first time in their history. Hereford again forced a replay against top-flight opposition in that round, before a hat-trick from Geoff Hurst earned a 3-1 win for West Ham.
Manchester City 0-1 Wigan Athletic – 2013
No-one fancied Wigan Athletic to get anything from the FA Cup final in 2013, but Roberto Martinez’s side didn’t care.
The game remained 0-0 at Wembley in a surprisingly even encounter, before Ben Watson rose highest at an injury-time corner to head the Latics into the lead and earn them a first ever major trophy.
Just three days later though, Wigan were condemned to relegation following a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal, in what was the most bittersweet of seasons for the Lancashire club.