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FA Cup sparkles on 150th anniversary

FA Cup sparkles on 150th anniversary

FOOTBALL: The FA Cup is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and last weekend proved the most revered cup competition in club football has lost none of its magic with a number of pulsating games and a few upsets.

FootballFA-Cup
By Ben Tirebuck

Wednesday 12 January 2022, 03:00PM


Cambridge United’s Bulgarian goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov makes a save during the FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle. Mitov was inspired on the day as the third-tier club upset the odds with a famous 1-0 victory at St James’ Park. Photo: AFP

Cambridge United’s Bulgarian goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov makes a save during the FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle. Mitov was inspired on the day as the third-tier club upset the odds with a famous 1-0 victory at St James’ Park. Photo: AFP

The pick of the ties was Cambridge United, who ply their trade in the third tier of English football, conquering Newcastle United of the Premier League, a classic example of the underdog triumph.

Cambridge is world-renowned for its University but it was their players who gave the multi-national team of multimillionaire superstars from Newcastle a footballing lesson in their own back yard last Saturday (Jan 8).

Cambridge thoroughly deserved their win, demonstrating on the day crucial elements that are often over looked in the modern game: passion and hard work.

Joe Ironside, a striker who grew up idolising Magpies legend Alan Shearer, scored the winner in the 1-0 win, prompting delerium among the 5,000 travelling supporters.

The fact that Newcastle are now the richest team in world football following the recent takeover by a Saudi-led consortium only compounded the embarrassment and means focus now urns completely to ensuring the club stay in the top division this season.

There were upsets elsewhere as Kidderminster Harriers, the lowest-ranked side left in the competition, produced a remarkable performance to beat Championship side Reading 2-1. The Harriers will host high-flying Premier League side West Ham United in the next round after the Hammers breezed past Leeds United in their tie.

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Non-league Boreham Wood overcame League One AFC Wimbledon 2-0 to progress, securing £82,000 (B3.8 million) as a win bonus in the process. “This is massive for the club,” said manager Luke Garrard afterwards, whose side travel to Bournemouth of the Championship in the next round.

The fairytale nature of the Cup was epitomised at Hartlepool as teenager Joe Grey came off the bench and was the hero as the League Two team came from a goal down to stun Championship side Blackpool.

Arsenal, who have won the competition a record-setting 14 times, were beaten by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and Huddersfield Town overturned Premier League Burnley 2-1.

Most of the other Premier League teams managed to navigate their respective ties releavtively easy with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, Wolves, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Everton and holders Leicester City all progressing.

Stand out ties in the fourth round include Kidderminster’s game at home against West Ham, an East Midlands derby as Forest host Leicester, an all Premier League tie between Spurs and Brighton, Cambridge hosting Luton Town and European Champions Chelsea entertaining League One Plymouth Argyle who managed to beat Championship side Birmingham City 1-0.

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