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Biggest FA Cup third round shocks ahead of latest 2017 ties

| 09.01.2017

Biggest FA Cup third-round shocks

The third round of the FA Cup is upon us and this stage of England’s most prestigious knockout competition is truly rich with incredible moments of David overcoming Goliath.

Stevenage were responsible for one of the biggest FA Cup third-round shocks. Which other famous games made our list?

Stevenage were responsible for one of the biggest FA Cup third-round shocks. Which other famous games made our list?

Through the years a handful of non-league sides and lower ranked clubs throughout the country have battled to this stage and created their own slice of history by downing the big boys, making a mockery of their tag as minnows.

Ahead of this year’s third round fixtures, which includes Manchester United taking on Jaap Stam’s Championship side Reading, and Liverpool facing League Two Plymouth Argyle (who are 16/1 with Coral for an upset of their own), here are five of the biggest shocks at this stage of the illustrious competition.

Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle, 2011

We start with a more recent giant-killing, when Newcastle United were impressively dispatched by League Two outfit Stevenage, but there was nothing lucky about their sensational victory over Premier League opposition.

The Broadhall Way side dominated the clash, enjoying more possession and shots on goal as Stacy Long’s deflected strike gave them the lead, before Michael Bostwick added a second.

Cheick Tiote was unsurprisingly given his marching orders during the torrid Toon display and, despite Joey Barton pulling a goal back, Peter Winn sealed a famous triumph over Alan Pardew’s top-flight Magpies.

Manchester United 0-1 Leeds United, 2010

The bitterness between the red of Man Utd and the white of Leeds United still continues today despite contesting in different divisions, but the latter Championship club got one up in this heated rivalry in 2010.

On a miserable evening for Sir Alex Ferguson’s reigning Premier League champions, Leeds hitman Jermaine Beckford sent the visiting Yorkshire crowd into hysterics after his solo strike earned them a memorable 1-0 win, when they were still battling it out as a League One club.

Everton 0-1 Oldham Athletic, 2008

Everton take to our list with their agonisingly narrow defeat at the hands of Oldham back in 2008, when a Gary McDonald strike sent the Manchester-based side through to a shocking fourth-round appearance.

Home forwards James McFadden and James Vaughan had wasted glorious chances to put the hosts ahead, with substitute and cult-hero Yakubu also hitting the crossbar, though John Sheridan’s Oldham held on for a remarkable win on their travels.

Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton, 2003

Toffees fans look away, again! The top-flight Merseysiders feature for a second time for their 2003 third-round defeat to a Shrewsbury side who were then ranked exactly 80 places below them, and it was the Toffees’ most successful ever skipper that masterminded a stunning upset.

Kevin Ratcliffe was in charge of the Shrews and guided them to a famous victory at Gay Meadow, with the hosts’ 34-year-old captain Nigel Jemson opening proceedings with a stunning free-kick, before Jemson struck again following a Niclas Alexandersson equaliser.

The winning margin could have been more if not for the heroics of Richard Wright in goal, but the Shrews earned a historic win over David Moyes’ men, who were fighting for a European position domestically and possessed a certain teenager named Wayne Rooney within their ranks.

Bournemouth 2-0 Man Utd, 1984

This season, Man Utd, last year’s winners and the joint-most successful team in FA Cup history are 6/1 to retain the trophy, but they will have to avoid another shock like their loss to Bournemouth when they soon face Reading.

In 1984, the Cherries stunned the footballing world by handing a star-studded Red Devils side, which featured England captain Bryan Robson, an unbelievable 2-0 defeat.

Managed by a young and inexperienced Harry Redknapp, Bournemouth rattled in two goals from Milton Graham and Ian Thompson during a crazy five minutes after the hour mark, to eventually produce one of the competition’s most memorable upsets and prove that cup magic exists.


Read our FA Cup archive.

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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.