FA Cup 2022/23 EP Rd Review

Stats of the Round

Keynsham Town set a new record for consecutive FA Cup campaigns ending in EP Round exit, with a 12th such exit over the last 17 years.

Holyport FC won their first FA Cup game in what was their 9th campaign.

Callum Laycock scored all five goals for Moneyfields FC in their 5-0 win over Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

Finn Smith is believed to have become the youngest ever FA Cup goal-scorer netting for Newport (IOW) against Fleet Town just one day after his 16th birthday.

Newhaven FC 10-0 Canterbury City is the 8th highest margin of victory in an FA Cup replay in history.


First time in Preliminary Round ever

Holyport FC (9th campaign)

Pinchbeck United (5th campaign)

Sheerwater FC, Virginia Water (4th campaign)

Brixham FC, North Ferriby, St Panteleimon (2nd Campaign)


Debut FACup match wins

AFC Uckfield Town 1-4 Midhurst and Easebourne

Shefford Town and Campton 4-1 Stanway Rovers

Buckhurst Hill 2-1 Walthamstow FC


Worcester Raiders 4-2 Daventry Town

Bury AFC 1-0 Hallam FC


Step 6 Club in Preliminary Round

Andover New Street, Brixham FC, Newport (IOW), Wincanton Town


Equalling best run to PR

West Didsbury and Chorlton (6th time in 9th campaign)

West Essex (5th time in 6th campaign)

Baffins Milton Rovers (4th time in 5th campaign)

Laverstock and Ford (3rd time in 5th campaign)

Andover New Street (3rd time in 4th campaign)

Kimberley Miners Welfare (3rd time in 3rd campaign)

K Sports, Rusthall FC (2nd time in 5th campaign)

Avro FC, Aylesbury Vale Dynamos, Punjab United (Gravesend) (2nd time in 4th campaign)

Helston Athletic (2nd time in 3rd campaign)

Macclesfield FC, Mousehole FC, Wincanton Town (2nd time in 2nd campaign)


First time in Preliminary Round in a while

14 years – Tow Law Town (6 campaigns)

7 years – Ipswich Wanderers (5 campaigns)

6 years – Lye Town (4 campaigns)

5 years – Heaton Stannington (3 campaigns), Wolverhampton Casuals (3 campaigns)

4 years – Buckland Athletic, Malvern Town (3 campaigns), Penistone Church


Into Prelim Rd and long time since last KO in EP Rd

98 years – Newhaven FC

97 years – Skelmersdale United

91 years – Sheringham FC

85 years – Aylesbury United, Tilbury FC

84 years – Sheffield FC

74 years – Cinderford Town

72 years – Skegness Town

21 years – Prescot Cables

18 years – Hythe Town

16 years – Soham Town Rangers, Witham Town

15 years – Bideford FC, Newcastle Town, Ramsbottom United, St Neots Town

11 years – Dereham Town, Glossop North End, Three Bridges

9 years – Kidlington FC, Newcastle Benfield, Slimbridge FC, Wisbech Town

8 years – Barking FC, Brimscombe and Thrupp, Colne FC, Hamworthy United, Phoenix Sports, Pontefract Collieries

7 years – Harefield United (5 campaigns), Sevenoaks Town

6 years – FC Romania, Sunderland Ryhope Community Association, Whitton United (5 campaigns), Willand Rovers

5 years – Beckenham Town, Charnock Richard, Histon FC, Long Eaton United, Lymington Town, Northwich Victoria, Spelthorne Sports, West Allotment Celtic (3 campaigns), Westfield FC, Whitchurch Alport

4 years – Badshot Lea, Chichester City, Chipping Sodbury, Guildford City, Leighton Town, Shepton Mallet, Tividale FC


Never KO in EP Rd (Min 3 campaigns)

Bury Town (86 campaigns)

Bedworth United (72 campaigns)

Barton Rovers (47 campaigns)

Heybridge Swifts (42 campaigns)

Lincoln United (37 campaigns)

Northwood FC (34 campaigns)

Didcot Town (33 campaigns)

Stocksbridge Park Steels (31 campaigns)

Ashford Town (Middlesex), Trafford FC (28 campaigns)

Waltham Abbey (24 campaigns)

Prestwich Heys (17 campaigns)

Market Drayton Town (16 campaigns)

Hinckley LR FC (7 campaigns)

Carlisle City (6 campaigns)

AFC Stoneham, Lichfield City, Ossett United (5 campaigns)

Kimberley Miners Welfare (3 campaigns)


First time knocked out in EP Rd ever (Min 3 campaigns)

Corby Town – 78th campaign

Evesham United – 50th campaign

Mangotsfield United – 50th campaign

Steyning Town Community – 24th campaign

South Park Reigate – 13th campaign

Coggeshall Town – 5th campaign


First time Knocked Out in EP Rd for a while

112 years – Frickley Athletic

72 years – Sutton Coldfield Town

21 years – Chipstead FC

17 years – Loughborough Dynamo

16 years – Chalfont St Peter

13 years – Gresley Rovers, Whitehawk FC

11 years – Basildon United

9 years – Saffron Walden Town, Tadcaster Albion, Winterton Rangers (5 campaigns)

8 years – Guisborough Town, Halstead FC (4 campaigns), Yaxley FC

7 years – Hadley FC

5 years – Burnham FC, Exmouth Town (4 campaigns), Irlam FC, Maltby Main, Walthamstow FC, Whitstable Town

4 years – Abbey Rangers, Bridgwater United, Erith and Belvedere, Hebburn Town, Highworth Town, Little Common, Sutton Common Rovers, Tavistock FC, Westfields FC


Consecutive EP Rd KOs

12 – Keynsham Town (over 19 years)

9 – Welton Rovers (over 15 years)

8 – Lordswood FC

7 – Thackley FC, Wellington FC (Somerset) (over 12 years)

6 – Bewdley Town (over 10 years), Radford FC (over 7 years), Sleaford Town

5 – Ashton and Backwell United (over 17 years), Banstead Athletic, Crowborough Athletic, Eastbourne United Association, Redbridge FC

4 – Ashton Athletic, Brockenhurst FC, Crawley Green, Desborough Town, Grimsby Borough, Hereford Pegasus (over 10 years), Holmesdale (Over 7 years), Lydney Town, Selston FC (in just 4 campaigns), Welling Town (in just 4 campaigns)

3 – Abbey Hey (over 5 years), AFC Uckfield Town, Bexhill United (over 4 years), Burscough FC, Canterbury City, Folland Sports (over 8 years), Garforth Town, Hallam FC (over 5 years), Heather St Johns, Hoddesdon Town, Horsham YMCA, London Colney, Melton Town, New Mills (over 7 years), Northallerton Town, Padiham FC, Portland United, Shrivenham FC, Street FC, Thornbury Town (in just 3 campaigns), Vauxhall Motors (over 4 years), Wellingborough Town, Wembley FC, Winsford United, Wokingham and Emmbrook (over 11 years)


Avenged Previous FA Cup Defeat

Horley Town 0-5 Sevenoaks Town

London Colney 0-5 Witham Town

Bishop’s Cleeve 4-1 Wantage Town

Lower Breck 0-2 Penistone Church (lost last year)

Kempston Rovers 2-0 Long Melford

Romulus FC 2-0 Sutton Coldfield Town

Longlevens FC 2-3 Aylesbury Vale Dynamos (lost last year)

Buckland Athletic 2-1 Exmouth Town (lost last year)

Malvern Town 2-1 Worcester City (lost in 1980/81)

Spalding United 2-1 Deeping Rangers

Southend Manor 1-0 Cockfosters


Biggest Wins of the EP Rd

Saltdean United 0-8 Ashford Town (Middlesex) (Biggest DEFEAT)

Leighton Town 9-2 Baldock Town (equal Biggest WIN and Biggest DEFEAT)

Hereford Pegasus 0-6 Stourport Swifts (equal biggest DEFEAT and Biggest WIN)

Trafford FC 6-0 AFC Liverpool (Biggest WIN and Biggest DEFEAT)

Walsham-le-Willows 1-6 St Neots Town (Biggest DEFEAT)

Horley Town 0-5 Sevenoaks Town (equal Biggest WIN)

London Colney 0-5 Witham Town (equal Biggest DEFEAT)

Moneyfields FC 5-0 Bemerton Heath Harlequins (equal Biggest WIN)

Tadley Calleva 2-6 Wincanton Town (Biggest DEFEAT and Biggest WIN)

Heanor Town 1-5 Studley FC

Hereford Lads Club 1-5 Hanley Town (Biggest DEFEAT)

Abbey Hey 0-4 Congleton Town

Bradford Town 0-4 Hamworthy United (equal Biggest DEFEAT and equal Biggest WIN)

Darlaston Town (1874) 0-4 Tividale FC (equal biggest WIN)

Eccleshill United 0-4 Sheffield FC

Irlam FC 0-4 Avro FC (equal biggest DEFEAT and Biggest WIN)

Lakenheath 0-4 Bury Town (Biggest DEFEAT)

Pagham FC 0-4 Erith Town

Kimberley Miners Welfare 5-1 Lutterworth Town (Biggest WIN)

Loughborough Students 5-1 Newark and Sherwood United (Biggest WIN and Biggest DEFEAT)

Wisbech Town 5-1 Ely City

Chichester City 4-0 Frimley Green

Flackwell Heath 4-0 Keynsham Town

Gorleston FC 4-0 Biggleswade United

Heybridge Swifts 4-0 Clapton FC

Lancing FC 4-0 Roffey FC


Newhaven FC 10-0 Canterbury City (Biggest WIN and Biggest DEFEAT)

Colney Heath 1-6 Hertford Town (Biggest DEFEAT)

Kennington FC 0-4 Walton and Hersham (Biggest DEFEAT)

Highgate United 4-0 Coventry United (Biggest DEFEAT)

Histon FC 4-0 Desborough Town

Laverstock and Ford 4-0 Alresford Town (equal Biggest DEFEAT)



Tavistock FC (4) 2-3 Brixham FC (6)

Tadley Calleva (5) 2-6 Wincanton Town (6)

Fleet Town (5) 1-3 Newport (IOW) (6)

Highworth Town (4) 0-2 Reading City (5)

Thatcham Town (4) 2-3 Horndean FC (5)

Chipstead FC (4) 1-2 Tunbridge Wells (5)

Corby Town (4) 0-1 AFC Mansfield (5)

Faversham Town (4) 0-1 Colliers Wood United (5)

Goole AFC (5) 4-1 Consett FC (4)

Brantham Athletic (5) 3-0 Basildon United (4)

Enfield FC (5) 3-1 Hullbridge Sports (4)

Sunderland Ryhope Community Association (5) 3-1 Hebburn Town (4)

Dunstable Town (5) 2-0 Great Wakering Rovers (4)

Romulus FC (5) 2-0 Sutton Coldfield Town (4)

Skegness Town (5) 2-0 Loughborough Dynamo (4)

AFC Stoneham (5) 2-1 Bashley FC (4)

Atherstone Town Community (5) 2-1 Gresley Rovers (4)

Buckhurst Hill (5) 2-1 Walthamstow FC (4)

Buckland Athletic (5) 2-1 Exmouth Town (4)

Harpenden Town (5) 2-1 New Salamis (4)

Ipswich Wanderers (5) 1-0 Yaxley FC (4)

Stansted FC (5) 1-0 Hadley FC (4)


Sutton Common Rovers (4) 0-1 Fisher FC (5)

Barking FC (5) 2-1 Coggeshall Town (4)

K Sports (5) 3-2 Whitehawk (4)

Tow Law Town (5) 2-0 Tadcaster Albion (4)

Worcester Raiders (5) 4-2 Daventry Town (4)


Hat-tricks and more

5 – Callum Laycock (Moneyfields FC)

3 – Adam Vyse (Witham Town)

3 – Brad Norris (Larkhall Athletic)

3 – Charlie Morris (Romford)

3 – Connor Williams (Wincanton Town)

3 – Dontai Stewart (Hertford Town)

3 – James Shaw (Kimberley Miners Welfare)

3 – Lee Chilton (Stourport Swifts)

3 – Lee Robinson (Newhaven FC)

3 – Leon Lobjoit (Leighton Town)

3 – Lewis Toomey (Leighton Town)

3 – Neikell Plummer (Roman Glass St George)

3 – Ricky Johnson (Ashford Town (Middlesex))

3 – Ryan Knight (Kidlington FC)

3 – Tom Bentham (Trafford FC)

3 – Trey Charles (St Neots Town)



Mark Robinson of Seaham Red Star scored the first goal of this year’s FA Cup in their 2-1 win at Redcar Athletic.

Mildenhall Town won 1-0 at Hadleigh United and ended the game with just nine men.

Both Sheringham FC (61 years) and Carlisle City (42 years) won after their long absences from the competition.

Wisbech Town have now won all five FA Cup ties against Ely City.

Finn Smith scored for Newport (IOW) at the age of 16 years and 1 day.

FA Cup 2022-23 EP Rd Preview by Numbers

732 – The total number of clubs involved in the 2022-23 FA Cup, the amount that the FA plan to become the permanent number of entries each season based on Levels 1 to 9 in the newly revised Football Pyramid.

208 – The competition record number of ties in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round involving 416 non-league clubs.

5 – Of the 95 Step 4 clubs involved in the Extra Preliminary Round at least five are guaranteed to be knocked out.

11 – The number of clubs from Level 10 (Step 6) in the Football Pyramid involved in this season’s FA Cup.

3 – The number of Step 6 clubs facing opponents two levels above them in the Extra Preliminary Round: New Mills travel to Ossett United, Folland Sports visit Larkhall Athletic, and Brixham FC are hosted by Tavistock FC.

23 – Brixham FC are one of 23 clubs yet to register an FA Cup victory, although nine of them are participating in the competition for the first time: Bury AFC, Golcar United, Worcester Raiders, Darlaston Town (1874), Shefford Town and Campton, Buckhurst Hill, Hilltop FC, Roffey FC, and Midhurst and Easebourne.

9 – Of those clubs with multiple FA Cup campaigns still awaiting their first victory in the competition, Selston FC, Virginia Water, Sheerwater FC and Welling Town are all trying for the 4th time (versus Leicester Nirvana, Hilltop FC, Banstead Athletic and Sutton Athletic respectively), Pinchbeck United are looking to do so at the 5th time of asking (at Melton Town), whilst Holyport FC are hoping to make it 9th time lucky (at Risborough Rangers).

78 – Conversely, 78 clubs involved in this year’s Extra Preliminary Round have actually appeared in the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the competition in the past, with Sheffield FC, Northwich Victoria, Glossop North End and Chatham Town all actually having gone as far as the last eight in the past, admittedly all more than 100 years ago. It requires as many victories as the eventual winners of the competition will need for any of these 416 clubs just to reach the 1st Round ‘Proper’ this season, although Skelmersdale United proved just a couple of years ago it could be done.

125 – Chatham Town are competing in the FA Cup for the 125th time this season. Other clubs starting out in this earliest round also celebrating competition milestones are: Bideford FC and Westbury United (both in 75th campaign), Evesham United, Mangotsfield United, Newhaven FC and Potton United (all 50th), and Cowes Sports, Hassocks FC, Ramsbottom United, Tavistock FC, Walsall Wood, Whickham FC and Yaxley FC (all 25th).

60 – The number of ties involving clubs that have met each other in the FA Cup before, including seven pairs of clubs who last met in the competition just last season. Broadbridge Heath will be most keenest to avenge last season’s defeat having gone down 6-2 against Littlehampton Town.

53 – Eynesbury Rovers have had to wait 53 years to exact revenge for a 2-3 defeat to Newmarket Town in the FA Cup. Fleet Town have waited 52 years since losing 2-5 to Newport (IOW) in the competition, and it’s 43 years since Hoddesdon Town lost 4-3 at Edgware Town, now known as Edgware and Kingsbury.

13 – All eyes really should be on Faversham Town versus Colliers Wood United in the hope of witnessing a repeat of when they last met in the FA Cup 15 years ago where they shared 13 goals in total with Colliers Wood United running out 7-6 winners.

5 – A couple of clubs will be looking to avenge heavy 5-0 defeats from their last FA Cup meeting as Shrivenham travel to Didcot Town after a 14 year wait and Falmouth Town host Saltash United 35 years after their last meeting in the competition.

4 – The most common tie of this season’s Extra Preliminary Round sees Wisbech Town host Ely City for the fifth time having beaten their visitors on each of the previous four occasions they’ve been drawn together in the FA Cup, most recently 4-0 just three years ago.

53 – The number of Extra Preliminary Round ties involving clubs that will meet each other in League action this season with the Northern League Division One the most represented with seven ties in total.

5 – Wythenshawe Town versus Macclesfield FC, Melton town versus Pinchbeck United, White Ensign against St Panteleimon, Rusthall versus Loxwood, and Virginia Water against Hilltop FC are five ties that guarantee the winner will either equal or set their best FA Cup run.

61 – Carlisle City return to the FA Cup after a 42 year gap, whilst Sheringham FC participate in the competition again 61 years after last doing so. Only 20 other clubs have had a longer gap between FA Cup games. Sheringham coincidentally travel to March Town United upon their return having faced March GE United in their original FA Cup game 96 years ago (which they won 9-3).

1 – Despite 71 campaigns and 131 FA Cup games between them neither Norwich United nor Potton United, who face each other in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round, have met a club in the competition whose name begins with the same letter as their opponents does this season.

9 – With a combination of just nine letters in their names, Irlam FC versus Avro FC equals the joint shortest named tie in FA Cup history.

Past ‘Proper’ FA Cup Runs

The potential for being drawn to face a Football League club in the 1st Round of the FA Cup in November seems like a pipedream for the record number of 416 teams participating in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round at the beginning of August.

However, a remarkable 19% of those kicking off the competition this year have actually experienced the limelight of being involved in the competition in the first ‘Proper’ Round before, and some have even gone way beyond that.

Admittedly, several of those clubs achieved that feat in the days both before the Football League began and before qualifying rounds existed, but many more have done so in the 21st Century, the most recent being Skelmersdale United in the 2020-21 season, who not only appeared in the 1st Round ‘Proper’ that campaign but did so after starting out in the Extra Preliminary Round.

The most successful of all the clubs in this season’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round is also the oldest club in the round, and officially the oldest club in the world, Sheffield FC. The Club reached the Quarter Finals three times in their first five campaigns from 1873-74 to 1877-78, but have failed to reappear at that stage of the competition since qualifying rounds were introduced in 1888-89.

Another former FA Cup Quarter Finalist is Northwich Victoria who achieved the feat in in the 1883-84 season. The Vics are the club in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round that have made the most ‘Proper’ Round appearances having done so a total of 31 times, most recently reaching the 2nd Round in 2015-16 and even making the 3rd Round 10 years earlier, going down 3-0 at Premier League side Sunderland AFC.

Chatham Town reached the Quarter Finals in 1888-89, the first season of the Football League, and are the only club to reach the last eight of the FA Cup having begun their campaign in the earliest qualifying round. I wonder what the astronomical odds are that they could do the same this season 94 years after last appearing in the ‘Proper’ Rounds?

The fourth and final club in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round to have made it as far as the FA Cup Quarter Finals in the past is Glossop North End doing so in 1908-09 when the Hillmen were members of the old Second Division. The club has failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds since World War I broke out so a similar run this year seems unlikely.

Saffron Walden Town, Bournemouth (Amateurs) and Hoddesdon Town have all appeared in the 1st Round of the FA Cup in the past but each only did so prior to the introduction of qualifying rounds, and all under former guises; Saffron Walden, Bournemouth Rovers and Hoddesdon.

Winsford United also made the 2nd Round in those pre-qualifying days under a different name, Over Wanderers, but the Blues have subsequently fought their way to the 1st Round on three separate occasions since then.

London rivals Southall FC and Clapton FC both also appeared in the ‘Proper’ Rounds before 1888-89 season, but both have also subsequently recorded their best FA Cup runs to the 3rd Round. Clapton did so in 1925-26 having beaten Southall in the previous season’s FA Amateur Cup Final and so had been exempted until the 1st Round.

Southall achieved their own feat 10 years later, though, having begun their campaign in the Extra Preliminary Round that season, winning 2-1 at home to Hayes, and eventually bowing out a record nine rounds later losing 4-1 at home to Football League Division 3 South opponents Watford FC.

Three of the 416 clubs in this season’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round have gone as far as the 4th Round in the past. Tooting and Mitcham United did so in the 1975-76 season, whilst the other two clubs achieved the feat by defeating a future FA Cup winner.

In 1954-55 Bishop Auckland were the greatest amateur team around and were about to win three successive Amateur Cup Finals. The Two Blues made the 4th Round of the FA Cup after defeating Ipswich Town 3-0 in a reply before losing 3-1 at home to York City.

Four years later Worcester City shocked Second Division Liverpool FC by winning 2-1 in the 3rd Round before losing 2-0 at home to Sheffield United.

Histon FC sort of went one better in the 2008-09 season when the Stutes defeated a former FA Cup winner in the shape of Leeds United in the 2nd Round. Glossop North End had done the same when beating Everton 2-1 in the 1913-14 season, as had Whitley Bay in 1989-90 who won 2-0 at home to Preston North End in the 2nd Round that season. Northwich Victoria would achieve a similar feat when defeating Bury FC in the 2000-01 season, and then again with a 1-0 home win over Charlton Athletic in 2009-10.

Northwich Victoria are also one of 10 clubs in this season’s Extra Preliminary Round who have appeared in the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the FA Cup as recently as during the last 10 years. Corby Town and Daventry Town both did so in 2013-14, Worcester City and Didcot Town two years later, Whitehawk FC and Westfields FC the season after that, and Heybridge Swifts in 2017-18.

Westfields FC made the 1st Round after having started in the Extra Preliminary Round, as did the two most recent of the clubs appear in the ‘Proper Rounds, Chichester City in 2019-20 and Skelmersdale United a season later.

Will any of this season’s 416 clubs in the Extra Preliminary Round achieve the same great feat? I mean, it would only require the same number of victories in the FA Cup as the club that goes on to lift the Trophy would need, so why not?

Full list of clubs in this season’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round that have appeared in the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the competition in the past: Arlesey Town, Ashington FC, Aylesbury United, Barnstaple Town, Barton Rovers, Bashley FC, Bideford FC, Bishop Auckland, Boston Town, Bournemouth (Ams), Burnham FC, Burscough, Bury Town, Camberley Town, Chatham Town, Chichester City, Cinderford Town, Clapton FC, Clevedon Town, Congleton Town, Consett FC, Corby Town, Crook Town, Daventry Town, Desborough Town, Didcot Town, Ely City, Evesham United, Falmouth Town, Fareham Town, Frickley Athletic, Glossop North End, Gorleston FC, Guisborough Town, Heanor Town, Heybridge Swifts, Histon FC, Hoddesdon Town, Hythe Town, Kendal Town, Lincoln United, Littlehampton Town, March Town United, Newcastle Town, Newport (IOW), North Shields, Northwich Victoria, Penrith FC, Prescot Cables, Redbridge FC, Redhill FC, Rugby Town, Saffron Walden Town, Sheffield FC, Shepshed Dynamo, Skegness Town, Skelmersdale United, Southall FC, Spalding United, St Neots Town, Street FC, Sutton Coldfield Town, Tilbury FC, Tooting and Mitcham United, Tow Law Town, Vauxhall Motors (Ellesmere Port), Walton and Hersham, Welton Rovers, Wembley FC, West Auckland Town, Westbury United, Westfields FC, Whitehawk FC, Whitley Bay, Winsford United, Wisbech Town, Worcester City, Yorkshire Amateur.

Platinum Jubilee FA Cup Records

The nation is celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, representing 70 years since she ascended to the Throne.

Those 70 years cover approximately 50% of the FA Cup campaigns that have ever occurred, and to follow are some FA Cup records relevant to those 70 years, covering all seasons starting with the 1952-53 campaign won by Blackpool FC in what became known as the ‘Matthews Final’.

A total of 1,487 clubs have participated in FA Cup since 1952, but only 148 (10%) of them have participated in every single one of those 70 campaigns.

Twenty-four different clubs have lifted the Trophy during those years with 40 clubs in total participating in the 70 Finals.

Arsenal FC have lifted the Trophy the most times with 11 victories starting in the 1970-71 season, whilst Manchester United have appeared in the most Finals, 18 in total, beginning as runners-up in 1956-57.

The top 10 clubs in the FA Cup over the last 70 years are:

1) Arsenal FC (11 wins), 2) Manchester United (10), 3) Chelsea FC (8), 4) Liverpool FC (8), 5) Tottenham Hotspur (6), 6) Manchester City (4), 7) Everton FC (3), 8) West Ham United (3), 9) West Bromwich Albion (2), 10) Leeds United (1).

Manchester United also hold the record for most times as runners-up having been beaten Finalists a total of eight times since 1952.

West Bromwich Albion are the only club to have appeared in more than one FA Cup Final over the last seventy years and remain undefeated in Finals, having won in both 1954 and 1968.

Four clubs have appeared in more than one FA Cup Final since 1952 but did not lift the Trophy during that time namely Watford FC, Sheffield Wednesday, Crystal Palace and Preston North End, all with two Final appearances.

Tottenham Hotspur hold the record for most Semi-Final exits, falling at the final hurdle a total of 10 times, whilst Sheffield United have the most Semi-Final appearances without making the Final at all, losing in the last four on five separate occasions.

However, Manchester United have appeared in the last four the most times over the last 70 years with a total of 28 Semi-Final games contested.

Manchester United have also appeared in more Quarter Finals than any other club, doing so 35 times, an amazing 50% of all campaigns since 1952. Everton FC have exited the FA Cup at the Quarter Final stage a dozen times, more than any other club, whilst Charlton Athletic have four Quarter Final appearances, the most of any club not to have reached the last four over the last 70 years.

During the Queen’s reign, Blackburn Rovers have exited in the 5th Round more than any other club, 16 times in total, both Newcastle United and Coventry City hold the record for most 4th Round exits (23 times each), whilst Crystal Palace have exited a record 39 times in the 3rd Round.

Just 11 clubs have never exited the FA Cup before the 3rd Round over the last 70 years: Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Everton FC, Leicester City, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough FC, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United.

AFC Bournemouth and Northampton Town jointly hold the record for most 2nd Round exits, 23 times each, whilst Slough Town have appeared in the 2nd Round eight times, more than any other club not to have reached the 3rd Round since 1952.

With 38 defeats Exeter City hold the record for most exits in the 1st Round over the last 70 years.

Weymouth FC and Bath City have both exited the FA Cup in the 4th Qualifying Round on 21 occasions each, the most number of exits in that round, whilst Hucknall Town failed to make the final step to the ‘Proper’ Rounds on six separate occasions.

Since the Queen ascended the Throne, Halesowen Town have made the most 3rd Qualifying Round exits (18), Hyde United have been knocked out in the 2nd Qualifying Round more than any other club (29 times), whilst Clitheroe FC have gone out in the 1st Qualifying Round a record 32 times.

Both Arundel FC and Three Bridges have the most exits in the Preliminary Round, 26 times each, whilst Clapton FC, Thackley FC and Lordswood FC hold the record for most Extra Preliminary Round exits, having been knocked out at the earliest stage possible 13 times each.

At least those three clubs can claim to have at least once gone beyond the Extra Preliminary Round during the last 70 years whereas Holyport FC have exited in the very earliest round in all eight of the campaigns during those years, the most of any club not to appear in the Preliminary Round.

The highest ranked team not to have participated in all 70 FA Cup campaigns since 1952 is 2nd placed Manchester United who famously did not defend their title in the 1999-2000 season having withdrawn to participate in the Club World Championship.

Of the 148 clubs that have been involved in every FA Cup campaign since the Queen ascended the Throne, the lowest ranked one is Uxbridge FC in 614th position with just seven appearances in the 3rd Qualifying Round the best the club could muster during that time.

The biggest margin of victory in the FA Cup over the last 70 years occurred in the 1st Qualifying Round of the 1953-54 season with Northern League side Ferryhill Athletic winning 18-0 against Skinningrove Works from the lower Cleveland League Division One.

The biggest victory in the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the competition since 1952 occurred in a replay when Tottenham Hotspur won 13-2 against Crewe Alexandra in the 1959-60 4th Round after the two sides had played out a two-two draw in the first game.

The biggest debut win since 1952 actually happened in the most recent 2021-22 campaign when Jersey Bulls won 10-1 against Horsham YMCA in the Extra Preliminary Round. There have been only 10 bigger debut margins of victory in FA Cup history.

Team Northumbria have had the worst debut performance in the FA Cup over the last 70 years losing 11-0 at home to Consett FC in the 2007-08 Extra Preliminary Round.

Roman Glass St George returned to the FA Cup for the 2018-19 season 65 seasons after previously participating in it in 1953-54 as Bristol St George, the longest gap between campaigns of any club during the last 70 seasons.

Boston United produced the biggest victory by a non-league side over Football League opposition when winning 6-1 at Derby County in the 1955-56 2nd Round.

Since the Queen ascended the Throne, Lincoln City have progressed the furthest of any non-league club when reaching the Quarter Finals in 2016-17 campaign.

The highest ranked club that was always a non-league club during the past 70 years is Telford United ranked 97th courtesy of a trip to the 5th Round in 1985-86 season. However, that club no longer exists and so the highest ranked existing club that has been a non-league side in all 70 FA Cup campaigns is 101st placed Blyth Spartans who famously reached the 5th Round in the 1977-78 season.

FA Vase 2021/22 Season Review

This season’s FA Vase involved 618 clubs from Step 5 and Step 6 of the Football Pyramid all with as much chance as each other of competing for a place in the showpiece final at Wembley on 22nd May.

Twenty-four clubs were participating in the competition for the first time including the re-formed Macclesfield FC and two clubs that made it as far as the 3rd Round in their debut campaigns, Berks County and Buckhurst Hill. Lee Sackey of Berks County even scored a hat-trick in successive ties.

Reece Bucket of Eversley and California scored the first goal of this year’s competition in their 3-0 victory over Virginia Water, but it was Hinckley AFC who made the biggest impact in this season’s 1st Qualifying Round by setting a new biggest victory in FA Vase history when winning 18-0 at St Martins. Charlie Evans scored a hat-trick whilst Kai Gibbs and Joel Heely netted four times each.

A goal-scoring feat of a different kind happened after Bishop Auckland and Ryton and Crawcrook Albion shared four goals in their 1st Qualifying round tie. Bishop Auckland eventually won the match 15-14 on penalties.

And Epsom and Ewell were two-nil down at Larkfield and New Hythe Wanderers as the clock ticked into the 90th minute, but the Salts still won the match by scoring three goals before the final whistle.

In the 2nd Qualifying Round Chris Blunden of Tring Athletic netted after just 22 seconds in their 4-1 win at FC Deportivo Galicia.

FC Isle of Man became the first club from that island to reach the 1st Round of the FA Vase since Douglas High School Old Boys achieved the feat back in 1990.

Coventry Sphinx ended up as the overall top-scorers in the competition netting 22 times in all with Callum Stewart contributing nine of them.

Raynes Park Vale equalled their biggest ever FA Vase margin of victories three times during their campaign with 4-0 wins over Welling Town and Crawley Down Gatwick and a 6-2 victory against Blackfield and Langley.

Carlisle City had their best run in the Vase for 42 years by reaching the 2nd Round but this was only their 8th campaign since then. Brockenhurst surpassed this by equalling their best Vase run to the 5th Round, achieved just once before in the very first competition in 1974/75 despite participating in all 47 campaigns since then.

Overall 92 clubs equalled or set their best FA Vase runs this season including the two clubs that have reached the Final, Littlehampton Town and Newport Pagnell Town.

Littlehampton Town are the first club from the Southern Combination League / Sussex League to reach the Final and did so after starting in the 1st Round and after benefitting from an opponent being disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.

Newport Pagnell Town began their campaign in the 2nd Qualifying Round and have won through eight ties to reach the Final.

It is the seventh successive season that both clubs are appearing in the Final for the first time, and keeps up the tradition of at least one club being a first-time finalist in all 48 FA Vase Finals to date.

Facts & Feats from 150th Anniversary Season of the FA Cup

Even though this famous knock-out competition is celebrating its 150th anniversary, this season’s FA Cup has still produced club records, competition firsts and many unusual facts and feats.

In the Extra Preliminary Round Jersey Bulls won 10-1 against Horsham YMCA in their first ever FA Cup game, a debut game margin of victory bettered only 10 times in FA Cup history. Jersey Bulls would go on to be this season’s top scorers with 24 goals and would become the first Channel Island club to reach as far as the 3rd Qualifying Round.

Four clubs achieved unwanted FA Cup records in the Extra Preliminary Round, too. Holyport have now exited at this stage in all eight of their FA Cup campaigns, now just three away from equalling the record of 11 out of eleven set by Headingly in the 1930s.

Keynsham Town posted a record equalling 11th consecutive Extra Preliminary Round exit, although the club does have 27 campaigns in total.

Wolverhampton Casuals were knocked out in this round for a record 24th time, whilst Staines Town exited the FA Cup at the earliest stage for the first time in their 58th campaign.

By exiting in the Preliminary Round Melksham Town equalled the record for most FA Cup campaigns without ever appearing in the ‘Proper’ Rounds. It was their 97th campaign.

Adam Boyes netted five times for Marske United in their 7-0 victory over Pickering Town on his way to being this season’s overall top FA Cup goal-scorer.

Worthing exited the FA Cup in the 1st Qualifying Round for a competition record 44th time.

Redhill equalled the FA Cup’s best ever comeback result winning 4-3 at Sevenoaks Town after being 3-0 down at half time.

Shaftesbury reached the 2nd Qualifying Round for only their second time, 112 years after first doing so.

Kettering Town became the first club to score more than 900 FA Cup goals during their 2-0 win over Leamington in the 3rd Qualifying Round. The club would eventually score a total of 904 goals, a record 787 of which have been scored in the Qualifying Rounds.

Bath City set a new unwanted FA Cup record by exiting in the 4th Qualifying Round for the 31st time.

Hayes and Yeading United became the first team to reach the 1st Round ‘Proper’ in three successive seasons as a Level Seven club in the Football Pyramid.

Yeovil Town set a new competition record by reaching the FA Cup 1st Round ‘Proper’ for the 52nd time as a non-league club. In the 1st Round they met Yate Town, the first time in more than 73,000 FA Cup games that two clubs beginning with the letter ‘Y’ played each other in the competition. Yeovil Town would go on to set a new FA Cup record in the 2nd Round when Stevenage became the Glovers’ 21st Football League scalp whilst participating as a non-league club.

Stratford Town reached the 1st Round ‘Proper’ for the first ever time in what was the club’s 41st FA Cup campaign.

Stockport County beat Bolton Wanderers 5-3 in their 1st Round Replay to record the third highest number of goals scored by a non-league side over Football League opposition. Bolton hadn’t lost to a non-league side in the FA Cup for 110 years (versus Chesterfield 0-2).

FC Halifax Town beat Maidenhead United 7-4 in the 1st Round, only the second time such a score-line has been recorded in the ‘Proper’ Rounds, and the highest aggregate score between two non-league sides in the ‘Proper’ Rounds for 64 years (Gillingham 10-1 Gorleston).

Harrogate Town reached the FA Cup 3rd Round for the first ever time in their 49th campaign.

Barrow extended their record of most FA Cup 3rd Round appearances without ever yet going further in the competition to 13 times.

Kidderminster Harriers defeated second tier Championship side Reading to equal the largest league gap for a level six non-league side to knock out Football League opponents.

Chelsea extended their own record by reaching the FA Cup 4th Round for the 24th consecutive season. Chelsea would go on to become the first club to reach five FA Cup Finals across just six seasons, and only the second club to appear in three consecutive FA Cup Finals after losing the previous two.

Boreham Wood reached both the FA Cup 4th and 5th Rounds for the first time ever in the club’s 51st campaign, becoming just the tenth non-league club to make the 5th Round (in current structure). The Wood also became the first ever non-league side to reach the 5th Round without conceding a goal en route.

Hartlepool United exited the FA Cup in the 4th Round for the 7th time, now just one behind the record for those clubs never yet to have appeared in the 5th Round.

Manchester United now have an 11 to 2 win ratio against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, the second most one-sided match-up in FA Cup history.

Tottenham Hotspur became the highest scorers in FA Cup history during their 3-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in the 4th Round with a grand total of 906 goals. And with 850 of those goals being scored in the ‘Proper’ Rounds, Spurs also surpassed Aston Villa to become the highest goal-scoring club in just the ‘Proper’ Rounds, too.

Wolverhampton Wanderers exited the FA Cup in the 4th Round for a competition record 31st time.

The previous time Championship side Luton Town reached the 5th Round they were a non-league club (just nine years ago).

Everton reached the FA Cup Quarter Finals for a competition record 47th time. Unfortunately, the Toffees also exited in the Quarter Finals for a competition record 21st time.

For a record seventh successive season all four FA Cup semi-finalists were top-flight clubs.

Whichever of Chelsea or Liverpool lose in this season’s FA Cup Final they will join Manchester United and Everton as being joint record eight times FA Cup runners-up.

This 141st FA Cup Final is occurring on 14th May, a record equalling sixth time a Final has been played on the same date.

Chelsea & Liverpool – FA Cup Facts

The 150th anniversary FA Cup Final involves two leading Premier League sides, Chelsea and Liverpool, who both have a rich history in the competition over its 150 years existence.

Chelsea vs Liverpool in the FA Cup

The 2022 FA Cup Final will witness the twelfth encounter in the competition between Chelsea and Liverpool with the Blues from London ahead by seven wins to four against their Merseyside rivals in past meetings. There has never been a draw between the two clubs in the FA Cup.

Liverpool won both Semi-Finals between the two clubs, in 1965 and 2006, but Chelsea won 2-1 the only other time they have met in a Cup Final, 10 years ago.

Whichever side loses this year’s Final will join Everton and Manchester United as the three clubs to have been FA Cup runners-up the most times – eight.

Surprisingly Similar Stats

Chelsea are appearing in their 16th FA Cup Final, Liverpool their 15th. Only Arsenal and Manchester United have appeared in more.

Former Liverpool striker Ian Rush holds the record for most goals scored in FA Cup Finals (5), but Didier Drogba of Chelsea holds the record for scoring goals in most FA Cup Finals (4), including what proved to be the winner in their 2012 Final meeting.

Liverpool twice lifted the Trophy during the 1980s to be regarded as the best FA Cup team of that decade, whilst Chelsea were FA Cup winners three times in the 2010s to be regarded as that decade’s best club in the competition.

Liverpool were involved in the last FA Cup Final to be contested by two clubs that had never previously appeared in a Final before when they faced Burnley in 1914, whilst Chelsea participated in the last FA Cup Final contested by two clubs that had never yet lifted the Trophy when taking on Leeds United in 1970.

That 1914 Final involving Liverpool was the last one to be played at the Crystal Palace ground whilst the 1970 Final involving Chelsea was the last one to be resolved at a Club’s ground, namely Old Trafford.

Chelsea won the FA Cup the last time it was played at the old Wembley (2000 vs Aston Villa) and the first time it was played at the new Wembley (2007 vs Manchester United). Liverpool won the FA Cup the first time it was played outside England (2001 vs Arsenal) and the last time it was played outside England (2006 vs West Ham United).

Both Chelsea in 2010 and Liverpool in 1986 are among a select number of clubs to have achieved the FA Cup and League Double.

If Chelsea concede just one goal in this season’s FA Cup Final they will be out on their own as the club that will have conceded the most Cup Final goals (currently on 21 with Manchester United). If Liverpool lose this season’s Final they will be out on their own as the club that has exited the competition at the hands of the eventual winners the most times (currently on 25 with Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion).

Club Specific Facts in the FA Cup Over Time

In 1899 Liverpool scored the most goals in one season’s Semi-Final matches without reaching the Final, netting six times against Sheffield United across their three games.

Chelsea hold the unwanted record of biggest defeat for a Football League club by a non-league side when losing 7-1 at Crystal Palace in the 1905/06 season. In their defence they did play a reserve side that day as the first team had a League fixture to fulfil at the same time.

In 1915 Harry Halse of Chelsea became the first player to appear in three FA Cup Finals with three different clubs having lifted the Cup with Manchester United in 1909 and Aston Villa in 1913.

When Liverpool lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1965 it was at the time the longest gap between first FA Cup Final and finally lifting the Trophy (51 years).

In the 1967 FA Cup Final Joe Kirkup of Chelsea (along with Cliff Jones of Spurs) became the first named substitutes in a Cup Final, although neither was used.

In 1970 Chelsea became the first club to lift the FA Cup after being behind three times in the Final itself.

In 1986 Liverpool became the first League winners to lift the FA Cup by defeating that season’s League runners-up (in the first Merseyside Derby Final against Everton).

In the 1989 FA Cup Final Liverpool striker Ian Rush became the second substitute to score a brace in a Cup Final. The first brace by a substitute had been completed just two minutes earlier by Stuart McCall of Everton.

In 1997, Chelsea manager Rudd Gullit became the first non-British manager to lead his side to FA Cup glory.

Liverpool versus Everton is the most common FA Cup tie in the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the competition with the clubs having been drawn together 25 times in total, last doing so in the 2019/20 season.

Chelsea have won through their last 24 FA Cup 3rd Round ties, a competition record, last tasting defeat in the 3rd Round in 1998 losing 5-3 to Manchester United.

Liverpool are one of only two clubs to have won the FA Cup Final on a penalty shoot-out.

Chelsea are the only club to lose to the same opponents three times in FA Cup Finals; to Arsenal in 2002, 2017 and 2020.

A Liverpool win in this year’s Final would move them up one place to become the fourth best club in FA Cup history. Chelsea will remain in third place whatever the result.

This season Chelsea are the first ever club to appear in five FA Cup Finals across six consecutive seasons.

Chelsea are looking to avoid becoming the first club ever to lose three consecutive FA Cup Finals.

A to Z of the FA Cup

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup I have produced an A to Z of the competition. I have avoided just listing individual players or clubs, successful or not, or particular matches or finals, rather I’ve included ONE item per letter that is reflective of what the FA Cup has been about.

This is a companion piece to my ‘FA Cup 150’ book, short-listed for Sunday Times 2022 Football Book of the Year available to buy from my website or from Amazon. https://www.facupfactfile.co.uk/shop

I welcome additional entries to this lexicon so please do submit your items / topics for any letter of the alphabet and I will add them to this blog alongside the name of the person submitting it.

Let’s make this the most comprehensive A to Z of the FA Cup there can be!

A – After Extra Time

Without cup ties there would never have been extra time, and as the FA Cup was the first ever knockout competition, then it was also the first to have a match involve extra time. The first known record of a match ending ‘After Extra Time’ occurred in the 1874/75 season, in the third round of the fourth running of the competition, when Shropshire Wanderers and Woodford Wells couldn’t be separated and ended up as a one-one draw.

In the semi-finals of that same season Royal Engineers became the first club to win a game ‘After Extra Time’ in their 1-0 replay victory over Oxford University. Royal Engineers were then involved in the first Cup Final to require extra time, drawing one-one with Old Etonians before winning the replay by two goals to nil.

The first FA Cup Final to be settled in ‘After Extra Time’ was in 1877 when The Wanderers won two-one against Oxford University.

The most goals scored in extra time happened in the Second Round of the 2010/11 season when League One side Leyton Orient hosted National League North opponents Droylsden in a replay. After 90 minutes the clubs were still inseparable at two apiece, but Orient amazingly scored six goals without reply in the extra half hour.

A – Abide With Me (suggested by @DaveyHugs)

For the 1927 FA Cup Final the traditional Cup Final pre-match tune, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, was replaced by Abide With Me, a favourite hymn of George V and Queen Mary.

It is now the traditional hymn sung before every FA Cup Final, usually led by a solo artist, but sung with gusto and emotion by the tens of thousands of fans at Wembley Stadium in a rare show of unison ahead of their partisan support throughout the game.

B – Both teams progressed

When the FA Cup was conceived the mechanic for dealing with games that ended in a draw had not been set in stone. It was at the discretion of the FA Committee as to whether drawn games were replayed or whether both clubs were advanced to the next round. Subsequently the original clubs of Hitchin and Crystal Palace played out a goalless draw in the very first round and the FA made the decision that both clubs should progress to the Second Round.

The FA also applied this same approach to the tie between Donnington School and Queen’s Park who were unable to arrange a date to play their First Round game before the next round was due to be played. The FA decided to progress both clubs and make it a Second Round tie instead. It didn’t help and the tie still never happened, as Donnington School withdrew.

Crystal Palace were involved in another goalless draw against The Wanderers in the Third Round and both clubs were progressed to the Semi-Finals. When both Semi-Finals also ended in goalless draws the FA realised that there was no logic to progressing all four clubs and so both games went to replays.

The idea of progressing both clubs to the next round after a draw never made it beyond that inaugural FA Cup season

C – Cup Final venues

The FA Cup Final has been contested at 13 different grounds with six ‘permanent’ venues of Kennington Oval, The Crystal Palace, Stamford Bridge, original Wembley, The Millennium Stadium and the new Wembley among them.

In the second running of the competition the Cup Holders were allowed to pick the venue for the Final that season and The Wanderers selected a ground at Lillie Bridge, not too far away from where Stamford Bridge is located now.

The first Final to be contested outside of London was in 1886 when Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion replayed their original game at the Racecourse Ground in Derby.

The first Cup Final scheduled to be played outside of London occurred in 1893 after the Kennington Oval was deemed unsuitable to accommodate the large crowds that were amassing for the occasion. Fallowfield in Manchester was the venue for Wolves one-nil victory over Everton, but the ground proved inadequate and was never used again.

Goodison Park hosted the 1894 Final that saw Notts County become the first club from the second tier to lift the Trophy, but the FA’s desire to hold its crown jewel Final in London led to The Crystal Palace becoming its second permanent home.

During that time replays were invariably played in the north of the country with Burnden Park in Bolton, Goodison Park, Old Trafford and Bramall Lane in Sheffield all selected.

Old Trafford was used for the 1915 Final and for the 1970 Final replay to become the only ground in the north to host three Final matches. Only the Millennium Stadium at the start of the 21st Century has held more Finals outside of London.

D – Disqualified

It’s hard enough trying to win FA Cup matches on the pitch without having to concern yourself with whether or not you’ve fallen foul of the latest FA Rules and Regulations. On average one club per FA Cup campaign has been disqualified for a myriad of different reasons, but most commonly because of fielding an ineligible player.

The first club to be disqualified from the competition was Sheffield FC who refused to play extra time after drawing two apiece at Nottingham Forest in the Fourth Round in the 1879/80 season.

Over the next few seasons many clubs were disqualified for the crime of paying their players until the FA succumbed to the inevitability of the rise of professionalism.

In 1891/92 season Royton FC and Spennymoor FC were both disqualified after their respective victories, notable for the fact that this was the only season both clubs ever entered the FA Cup.

Clubs are still being disqualified to this day with Bottesford Town and Bugbrooke St Michaels both being ejected this season for breaking the rules.

E – Extra Preliminary Round

The Extra Preliminary Round is now the first stage of 14 rounds in each FA Cup season occurring nine months before the Cup Final in May. It now consists of around 380 clubs from Steps Four to Six in the Football Pyramid, but was first introduced in the 1903/04 season to accommodate the rapid rise of entries that occurred at the start of the 20th century.

Just 24 clubs were involved in that season with Cray Wanderers winning seven-two at Dartford and Maidstone Church Institute winning five-nil at Royal Engineers Service Battalion the most notable score-lines of the round.

As the FA adjusted the competition’s structure to accommodate the continued influx of new teams the Extra Preliminary Round was temporarily deemed surplus to requirements after just two seasons, but it returned as a permanent fixture for the 1908/09 season.

This continued to be the case up until the 1950/51 season after which the FA changed the rules of entry to the FA Cup resulting in a dramatic decrease in eligible clubs and so for the next 50 years the Extra Preliminary Round was deemed unnecessary.

This all changed again at the start of the 21st Century when the FA opened up the competition to many more non-league clubs and the Extra Preliminary Round now signifies not only the start of the FA Cup, but also for many teams the start of their season.

F – FA Challenge Cup

When the FA Cup was established in 1871 its actual name was The FA Challenge Cup and the premise of the competition was that the previous season’s winners would be challenged by the team that won through the knockout phase. Ostensibly this meant that the winners of the FA Cup would be exempt until the following season’s Final.

This application only occurred once in the competition’s history for the 1872/73 season whereby Oxford University defeated Crystal Palace, Clapham Rovers, Royal Engineers and Maidenhead (and received a bye in the ‘semi-final’ against Queen’s Park) for the right to ‘Challenge’ The Wanderers in the Final.

The ‘Challenge’ aspect was immediately dropped, but the official name of the competition ‘The FA Challenge Cup’ remains.

G – Giant-killing

For many what makes the FA Cup so special is all the occasions when a significant underdog has humiliated a big club and sent them packing from the competition against the odds.

The term ‘giant-killing’ is a relatively new one in football parlance, but the instances of Davids beating Goliaths in the FA Cup has happened throughout the competition’s history even though those games may not have been labelled as such.

The first concept of surprise results occurred in the 1878/79 season when northern provincial clubs first came to the fore with the likes of Nottingham Forest winning at Old Harrovians and Darwen taking Old Etonians to three games.

Even in the first season of the Football League there were results that now would be classed as giant-killing. League side Stoke (City) lost two-one at home to non-league Warwick County in that season’s First Qualifying Round, and Bolton Wanderers were thrashed four-nil by Linfield Athletic later in the same season.

Everyone has their favourite giant-killing exploit from throughout the competition’s history from Yeovil Town defeating the mighty Sunderland in 1949, Worcester City knocking out Liverpool ten years later, Hereford United and Ronnie Radford famously taking down Newcastle United, to Bradford City’s amazing four-two comeback win at Chelsea just seven years ago.

Nowadays, giant-killing feats are less regarded as top level clubs often field second string teams when facing lower level and non-league sides, but for the victors of those games the achievement is still regarded as special, just ask Kidderminster Harriers and their fans following their victory over Championship side Reading just this season and their oh-so close to doing the same against West Ham United.

H – Hooded Parkas

The giant-killing feat by Hereford United over Newcastle United in the 1971/72 season is synonymous with the achievement, with it being aired season after season whenever the third round of the FA Cup comes around.

But aside from the two terrific goals scored by the Southern League side that day, the other over-riding image is of the celebrations by the fans, in particular the pitch invasions after each goal and at the end, by hundreds of kids and youths all kitted out in their fur-lined hooded parkas.

That game evokes the glory days of the FA Cup in many people’s eyes, the likes of which will never be repeated in modern day stadia, even at a lower level in the Pyramid, and symbolises to them when the competition was at its pinnacle and when a David beating a Goliath meant something. And the enduring image of hooded parka clad kids is part and parcel of that rose tinted memory.

I – Intermediate Round

The Intermediate Round was a short-lived part of the FA Cup for five seasons at the beginning of the 20th Century. It was introduced at a time of increased interest in the FA Cup, but also with increased membership of the Football League, and was seen as a way by the FA of exempting the better standard professional clubs without impacting on the set structure of the ‘Proper’ Rounds of the competition.

It became the first round of the competition that was drawn on a national basis and sat between the Fifth Qualifying Round (later the Sixth Qualifying Round) and the First Round ‘Proper’ and consisted of just ten ties.

No club has a best FA Cup run to the Intermediate Round in their overall Cup records, but West Ham United, Darwen, Gillingham and Brentford jointly hold the record for most Intermediate Round exits, each being knocked out at this stage of the competition three times.

Its last use in the FA Cup in the 1904/05 season coincided with the first time fourteen rounds would be contested to determine the winner. It was a one-off as the FA restructured the competition again, and fourteen rounds would not become a permanent element of the competition for another 10 years.

J – John, Johnny, Jonny & Jonathan

The most common forenames used amongst the thousands of players who have participated in FA Cup Finals across its 150 year existence. The have been 150 different players with one of these four names who have participated in a Cup Final, including a John Arne and a John Obi.

However, the most common forename of FA Cup winners is one of Bill, Billy, Will, William and Willie who have lifted the Trophy 90 times between them so far.

K – Khaki Cup Final

The 1915 FA Cup Final played at Old Trafford between Sheffield United and Chelsea is known as the Khaki Final because of the high number of injured and recuperating servicemen there in attendance. Almost 50,000 spectators witnessed a straightforward three-nil victory for the South Yorkshire side in what would be the last official football match to be played until after hostilities ceased four years later.

L – Losing semi-finalists

Who remembers losing semi-finalists outside of those fans of the clubs who came oh-so close to achieving their FA Cup dream? Can you even name last year’s two unlucky clubs without Googling it?

Everton have lost more FA Cup semi-finals than any other club, 13 in total, but that is tempered by the fact that the Toffees have also won 13 semi-finals.

Fans of Norwich City, Swifts and Oldham Athletic have witnessed their clubs participate in the most semi-finals without ever being able to celebrate victory, each losing out on three separate occasions.

Of those that have at least made it through to a Cup Final the clubs with the worst ratio of losses to wins are Nottingham Forest (75% of 12 semi-finals lost), Birmingham City (78% of nine semi-finals lost) and Fulham (83% of six semi-finals lost).

M – Magic of the Cup

The term ‘Magic of the Cup’ has become cliched in recent times and has different meanings to different sets of people and organisations.

The media overuse the term when promoting the competition to attract viewers, and abuse the term by then selecting a game involving two top-flight clubs that has absolutely nothing to do with the magic of the competition and everything to do with their misplaced belief that such a game will attract more viewers.

For football romantics of a certain age and above who grew up with the FA Cup Final being the only domestic match shown live on television, the term is closely associated with their often rose-tinted, dewy-eyed memory of those times, reinforced by the media reshowing classic FA Cup encounters from that period.

For many the term relates to the fact that many a lower level club has humbled a giant from the top division in the past, and the term is applied to any encounter that might produce such an outcome in modern times, even though in many eyes any such upset nowadays is tainted by a view that the top club fielded a weakened side.

But for two specific groups of people, the Magic of the FA Cup is very real indeed. Just ask Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic and Leicester City fans what they think the term means and they will all gladly regale you with their wonderful experience of the day their club lifted the Trophy itself.

The other group of people who still experience the Magic of the FA Cup are all those involved with clubs in the early qualifying and preliminary rounds of the competition whether they be players, coaches, managers, board members, fans or volunteers. There is a special love for the FA Cup amongst these clubs with the ‘magic’ being the simple fact that they are involved in the same competition as their football heroes both past and present. And the dream, that with luck on their side, it could be their turn to actually face them.

N – Neutral grounds

From its inception neutral grounds have always played an important part in the FA Cup. Both semi-finals and the Final itself were to be played on neutral territory. For the first few seasons this meant all those games were to be played at Kennington Oval. From the 1874/75 season this rule was extended to the Third Round as well, ostensibly the Quarter Finals, but with the expansion in entrants this rapidly meant all games from the last 16 round onward would be played there.

This rule eventually became unmanageable, both because of the number of games to be played and because of the location of clubs around the country reaching those stages of the competition, so it was pared back to the Quarter Finals when that became the Fifth Round, and reverted back to just the semi-finals and Final from 1880/81 season.

The first semi-final not played at Kennington Oval occurred in the very next season when Blackburn Rovers and The Wednesday played at a goalless draw in Huddersfield, then replayed in Manchester.

Of course, use of neutral grounds has not been restricted just to games in those rounds as they have also been used when clubs could still not be separated even after games at both respective home grounds. The first such instance occurred in the Second Round of the 1873/74 season when Clapham Rovers eventually beat Cambridge University at the third attempt.

I’ve not identified the ground used for that third game, but interestingly Clapham Rovers played their Third Round home tie against Sheffield in Peterborough, this after Sheffield had played their Second Round home tie against Pilgrims at a neutral ground, too.

Neutral grounds have also been used when a lower level club has been drawn against a giant from the top two divisions, either for safety reasons or to maximise attendance. In 1908/09 both Croydon Common versus Woolwich Arsenal and Norwich City versus Reading were played at a neutral venue, the latter taking place at Stamford Bridge. Were these games the first examples of neutral grounds being selected due to one or other of those reasons?

O – One-sided Games

The record margin of victory in an official English football match occurred in the FA Cup in the 1887/88 season when Preston North End defeated Hyde by twenty-six goals to nil. That game saw three different players score five or more goals and, along with other mis-matches, led to the introduction of qualifying rounds to prevent future embarrassing one-sided score-lines. It didn’t work.

Just three years later Staveley won nineteen-nil against Sheffield Walkley in the First Qualifying Round, whilst three years after that Preston North End netted eighteen times without reply against Reading.

That eighteen goal margin of victory has been achieved four more times since, and Rothwell Town produced the only seventeen goal demolition in the competition’s history in the 1927/28. The significance of that win over Stamford is that it is the largest margin of victory ever in an FA Cup replay. The clubs had drawn two apiece in the original game.

And one-sided games continue in the FA Cup into the 21st century with Stocksbridge Park Steels winning seventeen-nil against Oldham Town in 2002/03 Preliminary Round, including an FA Cup record equalling ten goal haul by Paul Jackson.

The most one-sided FA Cup Finals came 116 years apart with six-nil victories for Bury against Derby County in 1903 and for Manchester City against Watford in 2019.

P – Penalty Shoot-outs

The first ever FA Cup match to be decided by penalty kicks actually occurred in the 1971/72 season, the competition’s centenary year, but which took place at the start of the following season. Two years earlier the FA had introduced the ill-conceived idea of a third/fourth place play-off to be played the night before the FA Cup Final. However, it quickly became apparent that these games held very little interest for fans, or even for those involved.

The 1971/72 game between Birmingham City and Stoke City was held over until August and ended in a goalless draw. Birmingham City then won the tie four-three on penalties.

In the competition proper, penalties kicks were introduced 20 years later for the 1991/92 season after the concept of multiple replays was discontinued, in the ‘Proper’ Rounds at least. Rotherham United beat Scunthorpe United seven-six in the first penalty shoot-out in that season’s First Round after two drawn games. A day later Exeter City defeated Colchester United on penalties. The two clubs had played out 210 minutes of football without producing a goal, and so Colchester United were eliminated from the competition despite not conceding.

Later that same season Liverpool became the first club to reach an FA Cup Final by winning a penalty shoot-out, defeating Portsmouth three-one in their replay.

Multiple replays continued in the qualifying rounds for another six years until replays in those games were to be settled on penalty kicks after two drawn games. Whitley Bay, Burnham and Dorking were the first beneficiaries of this way of resolving FA Cup games.

The first FA Cup Final to be settled on penalties didn’t occur until 2005 when Arsenal and Manchester United played out a stalemate at the Millennium Stadium. Arsenal won the shout-out five-four to become the first club to win the FA Cup without scoring a goal in the Final.

Q – Qualifying Rounds

Qualifying rounds were introduced in the FA Cup for the 1888/89 season as a way of seeding the perceived better clubs and avoiding the types of mis-matches that had resulted in a plethora of double-digit thrashings. Basically weed out the weaker teams before the stronger teams take part.

That 1888/89 season coincided with the inaugural Football League season, but the FA did not necessarily regard League sides as being of a better standard of other clubs, and so a few of them had to play in the Qualifying Rounds until even after the current structure was put in place in 1925.

As a consequence some Football League clubs never made it beyond the Qualifying Rounds, and by losing in the First Qualifying Round Stoke (City) became the first League club to lose to non-league opponents, Warwick County, during that inaugural League season.

Initially there were just four qualifying rounds, but with the FA maintaining the ‘Proper’ Rounds to five, as the number of entrants expanded so did the number of qualifying rounds. By the 1904/05 season there were nine in total made up of two preliminary rounds, six qualifying rounds and an intermediate round.

An extra ‘Proper’ Round was then added which initially reduced the number of qualifying rounds down to five, but as entry numbers continued to rise, this gradually crept up to eight in total and was not adjusted again until the 1925/26 season.

The number of qualifying rounds then reduced to six, and as FA rules on entry changed causing reduction in total entries after 1951, this was reduced to five and then to four, before rising back to five then six qualifying rounds by the 2000/01 season, the level it has maintained to this day.

R – Replays

The first FA Cup replay occurred in the very first FA Cup campaign in the Second Round following a one-one draw between Barnes and Hampstead Heathens. The Heathens won that first ever replay one-nil.

There were no replays as such in the following season, a feat not replicated until the Covid impacted season of 2020/21 when replays were scrapped.

The first time a second replay occurred was the aforementioned Clapham Rovers versus Cambridge University tie in the Second Round the following season, eventually won by Clapham Rovers.

The first FA Cup Final replay occurred in the next season, 1874/75, with Royal Engineers defeating Old Etonians two-nil after the sides had initially played out a one-one draw.

The first triple replay occurred in the Third Round of the 1886/87 season between local rivals Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers. A two-two draw was followed by a one-one draw which was followed by the two clubs sharing six goals before Villa eventually won two-nil in the fourth game.

The first time four replays were required to settle a tie happened in the Third Qualifying Round of the 1899/1900 season between Gillingham and Arsenal, both playing under former names, New Brompton and Woolwich Arsenal respectively. One-one, nil-nil, two-two and then one-one again were the results before New Brompton eventually won one-nil at the fifth time of asking.

Coincidentally, Arsenal were also involved the last time five games were required to settle an FA Cup tie, in the 1978/79 season against Sheffield Wednesday, two divisions below them at the time. Arsenal won through that Third Round marathon, which had seen three games played at Leicester City’s Filbert Street across just eight days, and the Gunners would go on to lift the Trophy that season.

And coincidentally still further, the last FA Cup Final to require a replay was also between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday. The two clubs had already met in the 1993 League Cup Final and so were setting a record of the first time the same two clubs contested the two domestic Cup Finals in the same season. The replay went all the way to the last touch of the ball when Andy Linighan headed the winner in the 120th minute.

And Arsenal were also involved in the last ever FA Cup semi-final to require a replay, this time losing two-one to Manchester United at Villa Park in 1999, in what many describe as the best semi-final of them all. Can’t understand why replays at this stage of the competition were scrapped. Due to laughably supposedly easing fixture congestion replays were scrapped at the Quarter Finals stage and then the Fifth Round stage. How long before they disappear altogether?

The days of replays well may be numbered, but back in the day when games were replayed to their natural conclusion, only one FA Cup game in history required five replays to finally settle it. That was the Fourth Qualifying Round tie between Alvechurch and Oxford City in the 1971/72 season. Alvechurch finally won one-nil after eleven hours of football to reach the ‘Proper’ Rounds for the first time.

The last multiple replay to happen was also a Fourth Qualifying Round tie in 1996/97 when Morecambe finally defeated Lancaster City four-two in their third meeting.

S – Special guests

King George V was the first reigning monarch to present the FA Cup to the winning team’s captain in 1914, the last Final played at the Crystal Palace ground, and also the last FA Cup Final to be contested by two clubs neither of which had appeared in a Final before, Burnley and Liverpool.

King George VI first presented the Trophy in 1937 to Raich Carter as Sunderland won the FA Cup for the first time. Raich Carter is the only player to win the FA Cup both before and after World War II, doing so with Derby County in 1946.

The future Queen Elizabeth attended that 1946 FA Cup Final, but her father presented the Trophy. Princess Elizabeth did present the Trophy in 1949 to Billy Wright, but first did so as Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to Harry Johnston of Blackpool.

The Queen last presented the FA Cup to the winning captain in 1976, to Peter Rodrigues of Southampton of the Second Division. Since then various other royals have typically presented the Trophy, with Lennart Johansson (FIFA President) and Bobby Robson two notable exceptions, whilst Prince William in his capacity as President of the FA has presented the Trophy in recent Finals.

Sir Winston Churchill is the only incumbent Prime Minister to have presented the FA Cup doing so in 1952 to Joe Harvey of Newcastle United.

T – Toss of a coin

Only one tie in FA Cup history has been settled on the toss of a coin and it happened way back in 1873/74 when Sheffield and Shropshire Wanderers were drawn together in the First Round.

The two clubs played out two goalless draws and instead of playing a third game they decided that a coin toss should settle it. Sheffield won to progress to the Second Round.

The two clubs were drawn together to face each other in both the next two seasons, but neither game went ahead as Sheffield scratched ahead of their match in 1874/75 and Shropshire Wanderers scratched the following season. It’s the only instance of two sides being drawn together more than once and no side ever actually winning the game by scoring more goals than their opponents.

U – Unexpected Cup Winners

One of the main appeals of the FA Cup is that anybody can beat anybody else on their day. And nowhere is this more evident than in the FA Cup Final itself. The competition is littered with the discarded runners-up medals of players of hot favourite clubs.

Blackburn Olympic were the first club to upset the natural order of things by defeating the gentlemen amateurs of Old Etonians in the 1883 Cup Final to become the first northern provincial club to lift the Trophy. However, they were only unexpected winners in the eyes of the Old Etonians and their ilk as the tide change from southern amateur to northern professional dominance was already in full flow. However, Blackburn Olympic would disappear from the scene almost as quickly as they appeared.

In 1888 West Bromwich Albion defeated the mighty Preston North End who had scored 49 goals en route to the Final and had allegedly requested a team photo with the Trophy ahead of the game so as to be photographed with it in pristine shirts. West Brom are the only club to date to appear in three successive FA Cup Finals and only win the third one.

Notts County lifted the FA Cup in 1894 becoming the first club from the second tier to do so, winning comprehensively four-one against Bolton Wanderers, the biggest Cup Final margin of victory by a lower level club. Apart from one semi-final in 1922 the club has been nowhere near replicating this feat and hold the record for longest time since lifting the Trophy of those clubs still participating in the FA Cup.

In 1901 Tottenham Hotspur famously became the first and only non-league club to lift the FA Cup. Whilst on paper this appears as if it was unexpected, the truth of the matter is that Southern League teams were considered on a par with Football League clubs who were mainly northern and midlands based teams. The real surprise was the world record at the time crowd that witnessed the first game, the first time more than 100,000 spectators had attending a football match anywhere in the world.

Wolverhampton Wanderers became the second club from the second tier to win the FA Cup in 1908, the lowest ranked club from that division ever to do so, defeating the most dominant club of the period Newcastle United by three goals to one.

Barnsley also lifted the Trophy as a second tier side four years later beating West Bromwich Albion one-nil at the end of extra time in the replay. Barnsley set an FA Cup record of scoring fewer goals en route to winning the Cup (11) than games actually played (12).

In 1931 West Bromwich Albion became the first club to lift the FA Cup and be promoted from the second tier in the same season, made all the sweeter by defeating local rivals Birmingham (City) two-one in the Final.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were the pre-Final hottest of hot favourites when taking on Portsmouth in the 1939 Cup Final but Pompey shocked them with a comprehensive four-one victory to lift the Trophy which they wouldn’t relinquish for seven years.

Sunderland’s FA Cup Final victory over Leeds United in 1973 is considered by many to be the greatest Cup Final shock of all time and is remembered less for Ian Porterfield’s winning goal than it is for Jim Montgomery’s amazing double save and Bob Stokoe’s victory run and dance.

Three years later the second tier underdog won again as Southampton beat Manchester United one-nil on a gloriously hot day. It became the longest gap (76 years) any club has had to wait between their first FA Cup Final appearance and finally lifting the Trophy.

Ipswich Town unexpectedly defeated Arsenal in 1978 thanks to a Roger Osborne goal, a defeat that caused Liam Brady to throw his medal away in disgust. I wonder who has it.

Two years later Brady would be disappointed again as West Ham United became the latest, and last to date, club from the second tier to win the FA Cup and inadvertently their match winner would become the answer to the trick question: Sunderland did it in 1979 and Villa did it in 1981, but who did it in 1980?

In many people’s eyes Wimbledon’s victory over Liverpool in 1988 is an FA Cup Final shock. It may have been a surprise, unexpected even, but not a shock. True, Liverpool were the best team in the land, but Wimbledon had finished seventh in the League that season.

Wigan Athletic became the first club to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season and although the Latics were in the same division as Manchester City in 2013, many regard this as the most surprising FA Cup Final victory of all time.

V – Voided games

FA Cup games get voided for all sorts of reasons, but usually because a losing side has complained about a breach of the rules by the winning club. Sometimes these complaints can lead to the club being complained about being disqualified but on many more occasions it leads to the game being re-played, often at a different ground to the original game.

The first instance of a voided game occurred in just the second running of the competition when South Norwood won one-nil at home to Windsor Home Park in the Second Round. The FA deemed that the game had ended before the 90 minutes had been played and ordered a re-play which Windsor Home Park won.

In 1881/82 Wednesbury Strollers complained after their five-two defeat at Notts County which was upheld by the FA much to the disgust of Harry Cursham who had netted twice in the match. He exacted his revenge in the re-played game by notching a double hat-trick in an eleven-one victory.

The following season Dreadnought complained after a two-one home defeat to South Reading. It made no difference as South Reading won the re-played game by the same score-line.

In the 1889/90 season Third Round Notts County had a complaint upheld after a five-nil away defeat to The Wednesday who then complained themselves after County won the re-played game by three goals to two which the FA also upheld. The Wednesday won the third game without any further complaints.

The following season Blackburn Rovers became the first club to lift the FA Cup after being forced to re-play an earlier tie against Middlesbrough Ironopolis after their opponents complained about the original defeat.

The Wednesday were at it again in the 1892/93 First Round after they and Derby County had both complained after their respective defeats, with The Wednesday yet again winning through in the third game.

From the start of the 20th century most complaints were due to a belief that a winning side has played an ineligible player and if those complaints are upheld the offending club is usually disqualified from the competition and so fewer and fewer matches were declared void to be re-played.

One of the most recent games to be voided involved Arsenal and Sheffield United in a Fifth Round tie in 1998/99 season. Arsenal won the game two-one, but the winning goal from Marc Overmars had come directly from a throw-in that had been conceded deliberately due to a player needing treatment. Accepted convention is that the ball is thrown to the team that conceded the throw-in and the game continues. Unfortunately Nwankwo Kanu was not aware of this convention and played the ball to Overmars who scored. After fury expressed by all at Sheffield United Arsene Wenger requested the game be null and voided and re-played. The FA agreed, but it made no difference. Arsenal won the re-played game two-one as well with Overmars on the score-sheet again.

The most recent ‘Proper’ Round game to be voided came a year later in the First Round in a replay between Oxford City and Wycombe Wanderers. The replay had just ended and a penalty shoot-out was about to start when a smoke alarm in the stadium went off preventing the penalties from taking place. The match was declared void and Wycombe Wanderers won the third match one-nil.

The most recent match to be voided in the FA Cup was the Preliminary Round game in 2007/08 where Barnt Green Spartak beat Willenhall Town three-two. The losing side complained about an ineligible player from the winning team, and the FA decided the game should be re-played rather than disqualify them. It paid off for Willenhall who won the re-played game three-one.

W – Walkovers

Walkovers have been a feature of the FA Cup from since the first ever round scheduled for the 11th November 1871 when both that season’s eventual finalists, Royal Engineers and The Wanderers, progressed due to their respective opponents of Reigate Priory and Harrow Chequers scratching.

And the significance of The Wanderers walkover is that the winning goal in the Cup Final was scored by Morton P Betts who played under the pseudonym A H Chequer, a nod to the fact that he had been a member of Harrow Chequers, and if they had played their First Round game he would not have been eligible to play for The Wanderers in the Cup Final. And the whole history of the FA Cup as we know it would have been affected.

Clubs typically receive walkovers because their opponents scratched from the competition or because they had been disqualified by the FA before the game was played. The first walkovers due to disqualification both happened in the Second Round of the 1885/86 season when Oswestry and Clapton were both kicked out before their respective replays against Crewe Alexandra and South Reading respectively. South Reading also benefitted when their Third Round opponents, Clapham Rovers, were also disqualified before their game was played.

As time progressed the number of clubs per season scratching gradually diminished until maybe only one or two per season might result in a walkover. The main exception to this came in the 1914/15 season when the FA Cup continued despite WWI already occurring. Many clubs were unable to field sides for FA Cup games, or any games, because their players had enlisted en masse to fight in the War. More than 80 clubs progressed to the next round during that season as a consequence of a walkover.

Chichester City in the First Round in 2019/20 and Chorley in the Fourth Qualifying Round in 2020/21 both officially received walkovers against Bury and Macclesfield respectively, although by the time the draws were made for those rounds the clubs would have been recorded as receiving a bye. However, because Bury and Macclesfield had officially entered the FA Cup in those two seasons, then they also had officially been exempted until those two rounds. And so they are recorded as walkovers and not byes.

X – Xpunged

As with any A to Z list artistic licence is required for the letter X. For any FA Cup game that is voided the result is expunged from the records. What this means is that any goals scored in those matches are wiped from the records and don’t count toward overall season or competition records.

And it hasn’t just been single games that have been expunged. In 1939 the Extra Preliminary Round ties were played. Unfortunately these games took place on the day after Hitler instructed his troops to invade Poland, and the day before Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. As a consequence all football was stopped and all the results from the 39 games played that day were wiped from the official records.

For one club in particular this was a significant blow. Durham based club Holiday’s Sports had entered the FA Cup for the first time for the 1939/40 season and won their debut game two-nil against Brandon Social. Unfortunately, Holiday’s Sports never entered the FA Cup again, and officially they never did. Unofficially, they are the only club with a 100% record in the competition.

Y – Yellow ball

Yellow balls were often used for matches that were played in snowy conditions. However, it is very unlikely that the FA Cup Final should ever be played in such conditions, but a yellow ball was actually used in 1973 when Sunderland surprised Leeds United (an orange ball had previously been used in the 1968 Final and would be used for both the 2014 and 2015 Finals).

Sunderland’s performance that day has resulted in that yellow ball has becoming famous as video clips of Jim Montgomery’s brilliant double save are aired every FA Cup Final day, and every time the media want to highlight FA Cup shocks, and every time Sunderland or Leeds United feature in the competition. You get the picture.

Z – Zero replays

The 2020/21 FA Cup season was unique for several reasons, but most notably it was the first season where there would definitely be no replays scheduled. The 1872/73 season had been the only one on record not to have had any replays, but that was more by accident rather than by design due to on-field events rather than the deliberate off-field decision caused by the Covid-19 situation.

However, that zero replay situation may well become the norm as the FA is pressurised to find space in the football calendar to accommodate the ever expanding European competition. First FA Cup Final replays ended after the 1993 season. Then FA Cup semi-final replays ended after the 1999 season. Then FA Cup Quarter Final replays ended after the 2017 season. Then Fifth Round replays ended after the 2018 season.

Then replays from the Third Round onward were scrapped, supposedly temporarily, during the 2021/22 season, but the trend is very clear. As with multiple replays, they will probably be phased out in the ‘Proper’ Rounds first and then eventually in the Qualifying Rounds.

FA Cup 2021/22 5th Rd Review

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup my ‘FA Cup 150’ book provides facts and stats and Top 150 lists for the first 150 years of the competition and can be ordered from this link: https://facupfactfile.co.uk/shop or from Amazon.


Stat of the Round

Everton reach the FA Cup Quarter Finals for a record 47th time.


First time in Quarter Finals in a while

26 years – Nottingham Forest

7 years – Liverpool FC

5 years – Middlesbrough FC

3 years – Crystal Palace


Into Quarter Finals and long time since last KO before QF

4 years – Manchester City

3 years – Chelsea FC


Consecutive 5th Rd KOs

3 – Tottenham Hotspur


Avenged Previous FA Cup Defeat

Middlesbrough FC 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (A.e.t.) (Lost previous four ties)

Southampton FC 3-1 West Ham United (Lost previous three ties)

Nottingham Forest 2-1 Huddersfield Town


Biggest Wins of the 5th Rd

Peterborough United 0-2 Manchester City

Southampton FC 3-1 West Ham United

Everton FC 2-0 Boreham Wood



Middlesbrough FC 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (A.e.t.)


FA Cup 2021/22 – 5th Rd tie-by-tie preview

The 150th anniversary of the FA Cup continues on Tuesday 1st March with the 5th Round, and during that week and the following Monday, 16 clubs from the Premier League, EFL Championship and the National League, will battle it out for a place in the Quarter Finals.

To commemorate this significant anniversary my highly rated ‘FA Cup 150’ book provides facts and stats and Top 150 lists for the first 150 years of the FA Cup and can be ordered from my website here: https://facupfactfile.co.uk/shop or from Amazon on this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cup-150-unofficial-cornucopia-FACupFactfile/dp/1527295648.


One specific quirk of this season’s 5th Round is that the away team has a better head-to-head record in the competition against their respective home team opponents in all ties (except for Everton vs Boreham Wood, who are unsurprisingly meeting in the FA Cup for the first time).

The Eight FA Cup 5th Round Ties (listed in tie no. order).

Tie No. 1Luton TownChelsea
League StatusEFL ChampionshipPremier League
FA Cup FormLast made Quarter Finals 28 years ago, losing to Chelsea in SF that yearMade at least Quarter Finals in five of last six seasons
NotesWon 2-0 in 1934/35 replay. KO: Weds 2 March, 7.15pm BBC 1Won 4-0 in 1926/27, Won 2-0 in 1993/94 & Won 3-1 in 2020/21
Tie No. 2Crystal PalaceStoke City
League StatusPremier LeagueEFL Championship
FA Cup FormJust once gone beyond 5th Rd in last 5 yearsLast made Quarter Finals 10 years ago
NotesWon 1-0 in 2015/16. KO: Tues 1 March, 7.30pm BBC Red ButtonWon 1-0 in 1988/89 & Won 4-1 in 2012/13 replay
Tie No. 3Peterborough UnitedManchester City
League StatusEFL ChampionshipPremier League
FA Cup FormJust once gone beyond 5th Round, 57 years agoMade at least Quarter Finals in four of last five seasons
NotesKO: Tues 1 March, 7.15pm ITV 1Won 1-0 in 1980/81 5th Round
Tie No. 4LiverpoolNorwich City
League StatusPremier LeaguePremier League
FA Cup FormLast went beyond 5th Rd 7 years agoJust once gone beyond Rd 5 in last 29 years
NotesWon 5-0 in 1985/86 & Won 3-1 in 1989/90 replay. KO: Weds 2 March, 8.15pm ITV 1Won 3-2 in 1908/09, Won 3-0 in 1936/37 & Won 3-1 in 1950/51
Tie No. 5SouthamptonWest Ham United
League StatusPremier LeaguePremier League
FA Cup FormTwice went beyond 5th Rd in last 4 seasonsLast went beyond 5th Rd 6 years ago
NotesKO: Weds 2 March, 7.30pm BBC Red ButtonWon 3-1 in 1919/20 replay, Won 1-0 in 1922/23 2nd replay & Won 2-1 in 1974/75
Tie No. 6MiddlesbroughTottenham Hotspur
League StatusEFL ChampionshipPremier League
FA Cup FormLast went beyond 5th Rd 5 years agoLast went beyond 5th Rd 4 years ago
NotesKO: Tues 1 March, 7.55pm BBC 1Won 1-0 in 1904/05 replay, Won 3-1 in 1955/56, Won 4-0 in 1965/66 & Won 2-1 in 2019/20 replay
Tie No. 7Nottingham ForestHuddersfield Town
League StatusEFL ChampionshipEFL Championship
FA Cup FormLast went beyond 5th Rd 26 years agoLast went beyond 5th Rd 50 years ago
NotesKO: Mon 7 March, 7.30pm ITV 4Won 3-0 in 1938/39 replay
Tie No. 8EvertonBoreham Wood
League StatusPremier LeagueNational League
Best Cup RunWINNERSRound 5
FA Cup FormLast year made Quarter finals for first time in 5 yearsFirst appearance in 5th Rd in 51st campaign, and yet to concede this season
NotesNo club has gone beyond the 5th Round more often than Everton.No previous FA Cup meetings. KO: Thurs 3 March, 8.15pm ITV 1