Stories

8 (genuinely) brilliant FA Cup replays that prove they're not always chores

Ryan Giggs, Arsenal, 1999 FA Cup semi-final

Swansea, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham and Rochdale are all playing again for a place in the quarter-finals this midweek. Jon Spurling rummaged through the archives to find some ripsnorting repeats

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Tottenham 3-4 Man City (Feb 4, 2004)

In 2004, both Tottenham and Manchester City were the flakiest of outfits. In this fourth round replay, Spurs charged into a 3-0 half-time lead and City's bad boy midfielder Joey Barton was dismissed at the interval for behaving like... well, Joey Barton. Hordes of City fans headed for the exits.

‘I’m speechless,’ admitted Kevin Keegan

But in the second half, 10-man City launched an epic comeback. Sylvain Distin reduced the arrears on 48 minutes, then Paul Bosvelt struck No.2 with a deflected effort 20 minutes later.

With 10 left, a marauding Shaun Wright-Phillips pulled City level at 3-3, before substitute John Macken headed home a dramatic winner for Kevin Keegan's men seconds from time.

As the jubilant City team celebrated with the supporters who'd stuck around, Tottenham fans disappeared sharpish into the north London night. "I'm speechless," admitted Kevin Keegan, possibly for the first time ever.

Leyton Orient 8-2 Droylsden (Dec 7, 2010)

In maybe the most insane FA Cup replay ever, four players were sent off, eight others cautioned, and Leyton Orient’s Jonathan Tehoue and Scott McGleish both hit hat-tricks as the Brisbane Road side stormed back to end Conference North side Droylsden's FA Cup dreams. They'd initially drawn 1-1.

A second-round giant killing appeared to be on the cards when the Bloods struck twice through goals from Ciaran Kilheeney and Alex Brown

A second-round giant-killing appeared to be on the cards when the Bloods struck twice through goals from Ciaran Kilheeney and Alex Brown, and Orient's Terrell Forbes was sent off. That all happened within 54 minutes, and it was how things stayed until the 77th.

Orient netted twice before the final whistle to force the match into extra-time, however, and after Droylsden’s Les Roche was sent off (following the 89th-minute red for Orient's Ben Chorley), the visitors imploded. Tehoue added two more goals and McGleish three as the hosts ran riot to emerge 8-2 winners.

Hereford 2-1 Newcastle (Feb 5, 1972)

The match which launched John Motson's career, and sparked the most celebrated pitch invasion in FA Cup history, was a third-round replay eventually played on the Saturday of the fourth round.

Hereford had to wait more than three weeks to bring their Division One opponents back to Edgar Street for the replay

Following a 2-2 thriller at St James' Park and some horrendous weather, non-league side Hereford United had to wait more than three weeks to bring their Division One opponents back to Edgar Street for the replay.

Malcolm Macdonald's towering header appeared to have won it for Newcastle, but Ronnie Radford's unfathomably good 35-yard screamer in the mud tied up the scores at 1-1. Substitute Ricky George then netted an extra-time winner in what remains arguably the most famous and evocative upset in the competition's history.

Everton 4-4 Liverpool (Feb 20, 1991)

This eight-goal, fifth round replay thriller remains arguably the finest Merseyside derby ever. Liverpool went ahead four times thanks to strikes from Peter Beardsley (two), Ian Rush and John Barnes.

I thought the roof was going to come off Goodison Park that night

- Tony Cottee

Beardsley's second goal, and Barnes's majestic curling effort reflected the qualities of a Liverpool side at their most vibrant. But the Toffees, playing a formidable pressing game, stuck manfully to their task, with Graeme Sharp (two) and Tony Cottee (two) taking advantage of hesitation in the Liverpool backline to claw Everton back each time. "I thought the roof was going to come off Goodison Park that night," admitted Cottee.

Everton won the second replay 1-0, but by then Kenny Dalglish had resigned as Liverpool's manager. Although his team hadn't won the tie, it was a spine-tingling way to bow out.