28 January 2024

The greatest FA Cup shocks as Maidstone write their name into list

28 January 2024

Maidstone pulled off one of the great FA Cup upsets on Saturday, beating Championship outfit Ipswich 2-1.

Sam Corne scored the winner in the 66th minute to knock the Tractor Boys out of the competition and send the National League South side into the fifth round.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some memorable FA Cup upsets.

Blyth Spartans 3 Stoke 2 (1978)

Another non-league fourth-round upset saw Northern League side Blyth Spartans hand Stoke an early exit.

Despite Terry Johnson’s early opener, Stoke pulled two goals back, but Steve Carney equalised and Johnson lashed home a winner at the death.

The win set up a fifth-round meeting with Wrexham, who beat them in a replay at St James’ Park.

Crawley 3 Leeds 0 (2021)

In their third-round tie, Marcelo Bielsa’s side were reeling from two goals inside three second-half minutes from Nick Tsaroulla and Ashley Nadesan before Jordan Tunnicliffe finished them off with 20 minutes remaining.

To rub salt in the wounds Crawley even handed a debut to reality TV star Mark Wright as a late substitute, but the only way was out of the cup for Leeds.

Hereford 2 Newcastle 1 (1972)

Southern League Hereford side had earned a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park in February 1972 and were given little chance of emulating that feat in their third-round replay.

It was all going to plan when Newcastle took the lead in a game which had been postponed three times by bad weather.

But Hereford grew stronger as the match went on and Ronnie Radford equalised with a long-range thunderbolt, one of the cup’s most famous ever goals, to take the game into extra time where Ricky George hit the winner.

Sutton 2 Coventry 1 (1989)

Coventry arrived in Surrey just 18 months after winning the 1987 FA Cup, and were riding high in the top flight.

It appeared to be a case of “no contest” against the non-leaguers. But they were left stunned in their third-round meeting as Tony Rains and Matthew Hanlan became the goalscoring heroes for a team fashioned by English teacher Barrie Williams.

Both scorers became instant celebrities, appearing on Terry Wogan’s chat show the following Monday.

Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1 (1992)

The Gunners were the reigning league champions, Wrexham were bottom of the old fourth division – there was only going to be one result at the Racecourse Ground.

Arsenal had taken the lead through Alan Smith in the third-round clash but with 10 minutes to go, 37-year-old Mickey Thomas unleashed a 20-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 and send their illustrious opponents crashing out.

Cambridge 1 Newcastle 0 (2022)

Third-tier Cambridge stunned Premier League club Newcastle with a 1-0 FA Cup victory at St James’ Park that fired the League One side into the fourth round.

Joe Ironside scored the only goal of the game, striking in the 56th minute to dump Eddie Howe’s side out of the competition.

Wycombe 2 Leicester 1 (2001)

Second Division Wycombe provided an upset in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2001, beating Premier League Leicester 2-1.

Paul McCarthy put the Chairboys ahead before Muzzy Izzet equalised for the Foxes, but Roy Essandoh, who remarkably was brought in via an advert on Ceefax in to ease Wycombe’s injury crisis, sent them into the semi-finals with a last-gasp header.

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