FA Cup: John Motson's 10 FA Cup third-round shocks

FA Cup third round shocks
Saturday's FA Cup third round action on the BBC
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From Ronnie Radford's rocket to Mickey Thomas's memorable strike, the FA Cup third round is rich with moments of David downing Goliath.

With a handful of non-league sides having battled through to this stage of the competition, this is the round when minnows can make a mockery of their lowly position and create their own slice of cup history.

With the help of veteran commentator John Motson, BBC Radio 5 live will be counting down the top 10 FA Cup third-round shocks in a special show to be broadcast Friday 2 January at 21:00 GMT.

BBC Sport looks back over the top 10, in the order of votes picked up in Friday's Sportsday Live.

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal, 1992

Mickey Thomas (right) proved age is just a number when the 37-year-old scored a crucial free-kick for Wrexham and put them on the way to victory against Arsenal

Mickey Thomas is one of a select few names that instantly evokes memories of an FA Cup giant killing.

With his long, shaggy hair, the 37-year-old former Manchester United and Wales winger was approaching the end of a successful career when he stepped up to take a free-kick for Wrexham, just outside the penalty area.

His struggling fourth-tier side were 1-0 down against defending champions Arsenal as he jogged up before rifling a stunning strike into the top corner, beyond the reach of England goalkeeper David Seaman.

When Steve Watkin struck the winner two minutes from time, Wrexham's David versus Goliath moment was complete.

At the time, Arsenal boss George Graham described Thomas's strike as "a goal in a million" and said the defeat was "probably the biggest low of my managerial career".

It's a giant killing which has stood the test of time.

Bournemouth 2-0 Man Utd, 1984

When Bournemouth were drawn to face FA Cup holders Manchester United in the third round back in 1984 few people, if anyone, gave the struggling Third Division side much chance of causing upset.

But led by young and inexperienced boss Harry Redknapp, the Cherries produced one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history.

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Archive: Redknapp delight at Man Utd shock

Bournemouth matched United for an hour before five minutes of utter madness saw goals from Milton Graham and Ian Thompson give them a 2-0 lead.

Despite boasting a star-studded side that included England captain Bryan Robson, United could not deny Bournemouth a famous victory.

"I remember doing a ridiculous celebration in front of the fans and I think all of our players were shell-shocked," said Thompson. "It was an out-of-body experience and one of those moments where you do something but don't realise until years later how important the goal was."

Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle, 2011

This was arguably the biggest upset of recent years at this stage of the competition as League Two Stevenage, enjoying their first season of league football, beat Premier League Newcastle.

Yet there was nothing lucky about Stevenage's win as they enjoyed more of the possession and more of the shots to hand their opponents one of their biggest upsets in the Cup since they were defeated by Hereford back in 1972.

Stacy Long's deflected strike gave Stevenage the lead, before Michael Bostwick added a second. Cheick Tiote's dismissal did not help Newcastle's cause and even though Joey Barton pulled one back, Peter Winn sealed a famous victory.

Defeat for Alan Pardew's side meant they became only the fourth top-flight team since the formation of the Premier League to lose to fourth-tier opposition.

"The Premier League is all well and good but a few young boys got caught out by the passion and the physical side of Stevenage," said Pardew.

Hereford 2-1 Newcastle United, 1972

Ronnie Radford
Ronnie Radford's long-range strike is one of the most iconic goals in FA Cup history

Edgar Street, Hereford was the unlikely setting for a moment of FA Cup magic in 1972 as Ronnie Radford wrote his name in to the competition's folklore.

Non-league Hereford were the archetypal underdogs as they took on the might of top-flight Newcastle United in their third-round replay.

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Top 50 FA Cup goals: Hereford hero Ronnie Radford's famous strike

On a muddy pitch, the Magpies looked to have escaped an upset when Malcolm MacDonald grabbed a late goal.

But Radford and the Bulls had other ideas.

A tidy one-two with Brian Owen set up Radford to unleash a 35-yard strike past Newcastle goalkeeper Willie McFaul to take the tie into extra time.

Cue an excitable 26-year-old John Motson on commentary: "Oh, what a goal! What a goal! Radford the scorer... and the crowd are invading the pitch."

Ricky George's extra-time winner ensured Hereford went on to have the last laugh and Newcastle went out.

Sutton 2-1 Coventry, 1989

Sutton's win against Coventry in 1989 was not only a great FA Cup upset, but arguably one of the biggest giant-killings of all time.

Coventry were in the old First Division - now the Premier League - and Sutton in the Conference, but the minnows beat the side that had won the FA Cup 19 months previously.

Sutton took the lead when Tony Rains headed home in the 42nd minute before David Phillips equalised seven minutes into the second half. Just before the hour mark, Matthew Hanlan volleyed Sutton into the history books.

It took another 24 years before a non-league side beat a team from the highest division in the FA Cup, when Luton shocked Norwich last season.

Worcester 2-1 Liverpool, 1959

The lowest point before the march to glory?

Liverpool, then of the Second Division, suffered arguably one of their most embarrassing defeats in 1959 when they lost to non-league Worcester City.

The tie at St George's Lane was originally postponed because of a severe cold snap and rescheduled for 15 January when businesses in the city of Worcester had their weekly early closing day.

The ageing Billy Liddell, who scored 228 goals for Liverpool in an illustrious career, was dropped and Worcester unsettled the visitors with a strong pressing game.

Teenager Tommy Skuse gave the hosts a shock lead after nine minutes and Dick White's own goal made it 2-0 with nine minutes left to play.

Liverpool did pull a goal back, but they couldn't force an equaliser and the national newspapers revelled in the giant killing - some of the next day's headlines including "What Sauce," "Saucy Worcester" and "Worcester too Hot for Liverpool".

Later that year, manager Phil Taylor left the club and was replaced with the legendary Bill Shankly.

Walsall 2-0 Arsenal, 1933

When struggling Third Division side Walsall turned over Arsenal in 1933, English football was shocked.

How could Herbert Chapman's all-conquering Gunners suffer such a defeat? They had already won the FA Cup in 1930 and the league in 1931. Between 1933 and 1938, they would go on to win another four league titles and one cup.

Herbert Chapman
Arsenal won the FA Cup under Herbert Chapman (front left) but also suffered one of the biggest cup upsets in English football when they lost to Walsall in 1933

Was complacency the problem? Chapman made a number of changes to his team and one of the incoming youngsters, Tommy Black, made a mistake which led to a goal.

Chapman's assistant Bob Wall, writing in the Arsenal programme in 1978, recalled: "Chapman told Black that he would never play for Arsenal again - he had let our reputation down, and he need never come to the ground again, his boots would be sent round with the transfer forms." He left the club a week later.

Two days later, the iconic Denis Compton arrived at the club. The rest is history.

West Brom 2-4 Woking, 1991

West Brom were in the second tier of English football, while Woking played in the Diadora League - way down in the seventh tier.

The way the non-league side so impressively took apart their opponents despite being away from home makes this such a memorable FA Cup shock.

That certainly did not look like being the case at half-time as the Baggies led 1-0, but Woking, and in particular Tim Buzaglo, produced a second-half performance that encapsulates the magic of the cup.

Buzaglo, who worked in the computer industry and played cricket for Gibraltar at the time, scored a hat-trick in the space of 15 second-half minutes to turn the tie on its head.

His performance was so dazzling that even West Brom supporters could not help but congratulate Woking, with Baggies fans racing onto the pitch to hold Buzaglo aloft on their shoulders.

Shrewsbury 2-1 Everton, 2003

It was surely written in the stars that Shrewsbury, managed by Everton's most successful captain Kevin Ratcliffe, would cause an upset against the Toffees.

Unlikely as it seemed, Ratcliffe declared after the draw that even though his side were struggling near the bottom of the Football League, they could produce a shock result against a team pushing for a place in Europe and boasting one of the most exciting English youngsters in their ranks - a 17-year-old Wayne Rooney.

And so it proved - the Shrews dominated David Moyes's side for long periods and could perhaps have won by a bigger margin, if not for the heroics of Richard Wright in the Everton goal.

However, Shrewsbury's 34-year-old captain Nigel Jemson opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick and although Niclas Alexandersson equalised, Jemson struck again with a header to send the Shrews into the fourth round.

Birmingham City 1-2 Altrincham, 1986

Non-league heavyweights Altrincham just love the Cup.

Having already held Everton and Tottenham to draws in the 1970s, they fancied their chances against a Birmingham side struggling in the top flight when they met in early 1986.

With a young David Seaman in goal, Birmingham were stunned when Kevin Ellis put the non-league side in front. Robert Hopkins quickly equalised but Altrincham fought back and scored the winner when Hopkins' misplaced pass went beyond Seaman and into his own goal, sealing the shock.

Defeat by Altrincham in the FA Cup cost Birmingham manager Ron Saunders his job

"What has happened here tonight has been coming for the last two years," Birmingham boss Ron Saunders said after the game. "I hope this result shakes things up and I can get some money from the board."

Altrincham manager John King retorted: "I haven't any sympathy for Saunders. In fact, I'd swap places with him. Hasn't he got a contract worth £150,000?"

The Cheshire side became only the second non-league team to beat top flight opposition away from home and Birmingham reacted by sacking Saunders.

Other notable FA Cup third-round shocks
Newcastle United 1-2 Bedford Town (1964)Southern League Bedford, featuring builders, decorators and engineers in their ranks, beat Second Division side Newcastle at St James' Park
Burnley 0-1 Wimbledon (1975)First time for 55 years that a non-league side beat a team from the top division on their own ground
Everton 0-1 Oldham Athletic (2008)Everton fail to take one of the many chances they create and Gary McDonald's strike sends Oldham through
Manchester United 0-1 Leeds (2010)Premier League champions lose to former league rivals Leeds, then of League One

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