Home Features Five Of The Most Shocking Upsets In FA Cup History

Five Of The Most Shocking Upsets In FA Cup History


As League Two Newport County look to cause one of the biggest FA Cup shockers in history, Pundit Arena takes a look at five of the most surprising upsets the competition has ever seen.

5) Wigan 1-0 Manchester City – FA Cup Final 2013

The most recent of our five shockers, Newport’s opponents this evening, Manchester City, were odds on favourites when they took on struggling Wigan in the FA Cup final in 2013.

The underdogs had never won a major trophy in their 81-year history but managed to pull of an incredible upset thanks to Ben Watson’s late header.

After failing to retain their league title, Mancini was left without even the consolation of the FA Cup as Martinez’s side snatched the trophy away from them.

Just a few days later Wigan were defeated by Arsenal and became the first ever team to win the FA Cup and get relegated in the same season.


4) Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United – FA Cup Final 1973 

In 1973 Leeds United were giants of English football and were expected to wipe the floor with second division Sunderland when the two sides met in the FA Cup final.

What followed was one of the most famous days in Sunderland’s history, thanks to Ian Porterfield’s first half goal and Jim Montgomery’s heroics in the Black Cats’ goal.

Try as they might, the heavy favourites could not find the equaliser as the underdogs held on to pull off one of the finest David vs Goliath stories in cup final history.


3)  Wimbledon 1-0 Liverpool – FA Cup Final 1988

Another slender 1-0 win, another FA Cup final and another giant of English football beaten by the heavy underdogs.

“The Crazy Gang’s” victory over Liverpool in the 1988 showcase is perhaps the most iconic FA Cup final ever and represented the peak of Wimbledon’s rise up the Football League.

Lawrie Sanchez gave the First Division side the lead in the game, but perhaps it’s most memorable moment came courtesy of their goalkeeper Dave Beasant.

The stopper became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup final when he kept out John Aldridge’s spot kick as Wimbledon held on for the famous win.


2) Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal – FA Cup Third Round 1992

When bottom of the entire football league Wrexham took on reigning English champions Arsenal, not even the most optimistic of fans predicted an upset.

Wrexham however clearly had other ideas. Despite going 1-0 down to an Alan Smith goal, they equalised thanks to a stunning free-kick form 37-year old Mickey Thomas before grabbing a late winner through Steve Watkin.

10 minutes of FA Cup magic which had a hand in one of the biggest shocks the competition has ever seen.


1) Hereford 2-1 Newcastle – FA Cup Third Round 1972

Watch any compilation video or highlights package about the FA Cup and you’ll be guaranteed to see Ronnie Radford’s screamer for Hereford United against Newcastle.

Hereford were in the Southern Division at the time and had already forced a replay with Newcastle following a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.

It looked as though Newcastle would burst their non-league rivals’ bubble when they took the lead, before Radford’s stunning forty-yard strike forced extra time.

Rickey George then scored in extra time to send Hereford through to the fourth round in the biggest FA Cup upset of all time.



About Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com