Top 10 FA Cup Third Round Moments: A look back at the great cup upsets

The big boys from the Premier League enter the 2012/13 FA Cup at the third round stage this weekend and punters will be looking for the competition to produce one of its famous upsets. The 'minnows' of non-league and lower league football get the chance to take on more illustrious opposition and they have emerged victorious on a number of occasions in the past. We take a look back at our top-10 FA Cup third round moments since Hereford produced the mother of all upsets when beating Newcastle in 1972......

10. Hereford 2 - 1 Newcastle, 1972
Non-league Hereford had earned a huge amount of respect in the original third round tie as they held top-flight title challengers Newcastle to a 2-2 draw at Tyneside, where they took the lead after just 17 seconds. They saved their best for the replay on a quagmire of a pitch at Edgar Street though as Ricky George produced the winner in the first half of extra-time to leave Newcastle stunned and the 'magic of the cup' very much alive.

9. Burnley 0 - 1 Wimbledon, 1975
Three years after Hereford's heroics, Wimbledon produced an FA Cup shock of their own against Burnley and it is worth remembering the respective league positions of these two sides in the mid-1970s. The Dons were a non-league outfit while Burnley were sitting pretty in mid-table in the top-flight, although it was Wimbledon who claimed victory and became the first non-league team to win away from home against top-tier opposition in more than half a century.

8. Bournemouth 2 - 0 Man Utd, 1984
This must go down as one of Bournemouth's greatest moments as they stunned the reigning FA Cup holders Manchester United. A young Harry Redknapp masterminded the win as the lowly third division side won through 2-0 thanks to goals from Gary Bailey and Ian Thompson, which sent the 15,000-strong crowd at Dean Court delirious.

7. Sutton 2 - 1 Coventry, 1989
Coventry headed to Gander Green Lane having won the FA Cup just two years earlier and they were riding high in sixth place in the top-flight so most were expecting them to cruise into the fourth round. Conference side Sutton had other ideas however as Matt Hanlan gave them a shock win.... although they went on to lose 8-0 to Norwich in the next round.

6. Wrexham 2 - 1 Arsenal, 1992
This undoubtedly goes down as one of the great upsets of the modern football era in the FA Cup as Wrexham stunned the mighty Gunners at the Racecourse Ground. Wrexham, who had finished 92nd in the football league during the previous season, came up against the country's second placed team and won in a true 'David v Goliath' clash as they came from one-nil down to win 2-1.

5. Shrewsbury 2 - 1 Everton, 2003
This is one of the more famous upsets of the modern era as former Everton player Kevin Ratcliffe masterminded a great win for Shrewsbury against his old side at Gay Meadow. It was the archetypal FA Cup upset as the Premier League side failed to get to grips with difficult conditions, while a young Wayne Rooney was anonymous as the veteran Nigel Jemson sealed a famous result with an 88th minute winner.

4. Burnley 1 - 0 Liverpool, 2005
Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool were on the wrong end of a third round upset in 2005 as Djimi Traore produced one of the more ridiculous own goals to hand Burnley an unlikely win. Traore dragged the ball into his own goal with a sensational turn and pivot that Lionel Messi would be proud of, although the humour was lost on the Reds as Burnley booked their place in the fourth round.

3. Man Utd 0 - 0 Exeter, 2005
United may have won the replay 2-0 at St James Park but non-league Exeter's efforts to draw 0-0 at Old Trafford deserves enormous credit. The Grecians defended for their lives against a second-string United side for the first 60 minutes before Sir Alex Ferguson called for Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes, but even they could find no way though.

2. Burton 0 - 0 Man Utd, 2006
United struggled against Conference opposition again in 2006 as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Nigel Clough's Burton Albion. Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were on show but they could find no way past a stout Burton rearguard, who kept their illustrious opponents at bay to earn a money-spinning replay at Old Trafford, which they went on to lose 5-0.

1. Everton 0 - 1 Oldham, 2008
David Moyes' team have been on the wrong end of a few too many upsets in the third round of the FA Cup in the past and their loss to Oldham ranks amongst the great shocks. The Toffees were in fifth place in the Premier League at the time but they could find no way past League One outfit Oldham, who claimed a famous scalp thanks to Gary McDonald's superb strike.

Posted: Wednesday, 2nd January 2013
Author: Chris James

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