Ranking the 8 greatest cult heroes in FA Cup third-round history
These people have done more than most to give the world's oldest knock-out competition its romantic reputation...
8. Mickey Thomas (Wrexham 2 – 1 Arsenal, 1992)
Mickey Thomas had already spent six years with Wrexham in the 1970s at the start of his career before going on to play for Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea among plenty of others.
After returning to north Wales more than a decade later, the 37-year-old then helped his local club – who were the lowest-placed team in the Football League at the time – overcome holders Arsenal.
By curling a free-kick beyond David Seaman with eight minutes to go, he set up a frantic finish that saw Steve Watkin grab a late winner and Jimmy Carter have an even later equaliser controversially ruled out for offside.
It was a moment that provided the club where he made his name with the most famous result in their history, and served as a reminder that the romance of the cup is not limited to unknown names.
7. Dickie Guy (Burnley 0 – 1 Wimbledon, 1975)
Mickey Mahon scored the only goal when Wimbledon became the first non-league side to win away against a top-flight club in more than half a century, but it was the performance of goalkeeper Dickie Guy that proved the difference on the day.
Guy pulled off a string of fantastic saves to keep the Clarets at bay in the third round, and also went on to save a Peter Lorimer penalty to force a replay against Leeds United next up.
Their exploits were enough to help earn election into the Football League two years later, although Guy – who made over 600 appearances for the club – decided against turning professional in order to continue his job as a tally clerk.
Wimbledon were soon to embark on a remarkable rise up the leagues that culminated in their famous FA Cup final victory over Liverpool in 1988, a story that was perhaps only made possible thanks to Guy’s clean sheet 11 years earlier.
6. Nigel Jemson (Shrewsbury Town 2 - 1 Everton, 2003)
Nigel Jemson was not always a lower-league player.
Invited for a trial at Manchester United by Alex Ferguson, he scored the winner for Nottingham Forest at Wembley in the 1990 League Cup final.
Brian Clough once described the striker as the only person in football with a bigger head than him, although that self-assuredness had presumably waned during a career that encompassed nine clubs and six different loan spells.
But in a glorious swansong for Shrewsbury, the journeyman forward scored both goals in a remarkable defeat of Everton at Gay Meadow – a brace that ensured he ended up as the competition’s top scorer with five.
Not a bad way to bow out of professional football, even if the Shrews were relegated to the Conference at the end of the season.
5. Matthew Hanlan (Sutton United 2 – 1 Coventry City, 1989)
Before Luton’s victory over Norwich in 2013, you would have to go all the way back to 1989 for the last time that a non-league side managed to knock out a top-flight team.
Coventry had lifted the trophy just two years earlier when they travelled to Sutton United, but were handed an early exit in front of nearly 8,000 fans at Gander Green Lane.
It was Matthew Hanlan who settled the content after sending close-range volley high into the net past Steve Ogrizovic just after the hour mark.
A bricklayer by trade, Hanlan continues to encapsulate the glory that can be bestowed upon everyday people in unglamorous day jobs by the oldest cup competition in the world.
4. Harry Redknapp (Bournemouth 2 – 0 Manchester United, 1984)
Forget winning the trophy with Portsmouth in 2008 – it is Harry Redknapp’s embarrassment of Manchester United nearly a quarter of a century earlier with Bournemouth that surely ranks as his finest result in the competition.
In his first season in the dugout, the then 36-year-old outwitted Ron Atkinson’s holders with motivational tactics that included runs on the beach, cups of tea by the seaside and little white lies about the United players watching horse racing in the club bar shortly before kick-off.
After the game, the Third Division side arrived at the local nightclub only to be told that a group of imposters were already enjoying their free drinks.
Redknapp’s players may have been barely recognisable, but his astute management of them on that day ensured they would be remembered forever.
3. Martin Thomas (Swansea 1 – 0 West Ham, 1999)
When Julian Dicks netted a late equaliser at Upton Park to rescue a replay against Swansea City in 1999, most assumed the Fourth Division club had blown their chance of a famous upset against a West Ham side that would go on to finish fifth in the Premier League that season.
Yet despite fielding Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and boyhood Swansea fan John Hartson, the Hammers were blown away at a wet and windy Vetch Field.
It was Swans midfielder Martin Thomas who scored the winner with a swerving volley from 20 yards, despite having earlier fractured his kneecap after a tackle from the ironically-named Tim Breacker.
He missed the next three months as a result, but in helping his side become the first fourth-tier team to beat a top-flight club since the restructuring of the league system in 1992, the pain was probably worth it.
2. Tim Buzaglo (West Bromwich Albion 2 – 4 Woking, 1991)
Even though West Brom were Second Division strugglers back in 1991, they were still expected to easily overcome Isthmian-League Woking at the Hawthorns.
Yet after leading 1-0 at half time, the Baggies were quickly undone by a 15-minute hat-trick from a striker in Tim Buzaglo, who, having also played cricket for Gibraltar, could not even count football as his main sport.
His third goal had prompted some home supporters to enter the pitch and remonstrate with their players, but by the end the man who had humiliated the five-time winners was being carried on their shoulders to chants of “sign him up!”
Not bad for a man who later admitted to being physically sick with nerves in the dressing room beforehand.
1. Ronnie Radford (Hereford United 2 – 1 Newcastle United, 1972)
Southern League side Hereford United had performed superbly to earn a replay against Newcastle United at St James Park, but when Malcolm MacDonald put the Magpies 1-0 up at Edgar Street with eight minutes to go the tie looked over.
That was until Ronnie Radford scored a wonderful equaliser on an impossibly muddy pitch by winning the ball with a sliding tackle, playing a one-two and belting the bobbling ball into the top corner from 35 yards out.
Ricky George went on to score the winner, but the scenes of celebration following Radford’s goal – with him wheeling away with arms aloft and fans spilling through the rope that separated them from the pitch – are why the tie, and third round in general, are still so fondly remembered.
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