The Giant Killers

Every F A cup giant killing since 1888

All time greatest F A cup giant killings

Number 76

 Fulham 3-0 Derby County

Quarter Final

Saturday February 29th 1936

Craven Cottage

Attendance: 37,151

Scorers: Johnny Arnold {51}, Bert Barrett {70}, Trevor Smith {72}

Ranked at the time: 19

Jan Garber scored a hit with his band's recording of 'A beautiful lady in blue', Charlie Chapilin was starring in his final silent film as his tramp character struggled to cope in a modern society until getting help from a homeless girl {Paulette Goddard} in 'Modern Times' , President Roosevelt announced drastic plans for taxation of the richest in the United States and British Ice Hockey reached it's zentih as they returned from Germany as the newly crowned Olympic Champions.

 

Football was dominating the news for all the wrong reasons with the Football League's battle to stamp out football betting having reached ridiculous levels. The one major organisation the football authorities couldn't control was the Pools and in a drastic move the completely cancelled they League programme, announcing fixtures at just forty-eight hours notice.

The results were a sharp decline in attendances across the country and the plan was scrapped after just two weeks. The Cup, naturally was unaffected and attendances at cup ties soared to new heights as the majority of fans, who were not particularly partisan to any one club and just wanted to see a local game, flocked to the guaranteed games the F A Cup offered.

Second Division Fulham were among those still enjoying the diversion of the cup as the Pools war raged, having put paid to the hopes of Third Division Brighton in round three before putting five past Second Division rivals, Blackpool in round four to set up the dream tie for The Cottagers, a trip up the Fulham Road to next door neighbours, First Division Chelsea in round five.

Memories were still fresh among the faithful who visited the ground on the banks of the Thames of their side who ten years earlier had defeated three top flight sides on the way the the quarter finals, though relegation to and promotion back from the Third Division for the first time had happened in the years since and the club had also come just four points short of top flight football in 1933.

This was their first season under the management of former Derby winger, Jack Peart whose unremarkable team of largely unremarkable players had only the cup to play for with any prospect of promotion out of the question and safety assured barring a complete meltdown. The fifth round tie with Chelsea would be the biggest game the Fulham fans had enjoyed for years.

The original game turned out to be a huge anti climax when London's famous pea souper fog descended on Stamford Bridge and wiped out any hope of the cup tie being played. Four days later they had another go and this time played out a tense but ultimately fruitless goalless draw. The delighted Fulham fans relished having their neighbours coming to see them at The Cottage.

As the two sides prepared for the replay the draw for the quarter finals pitted the winners against the form team of the competition, Derby County. The Rams were lying second in the top flight but all hope of winning the title was remote with leaders, Sunderland having already run up a huge lead that indeed proved more than enough for them to be crowned Champions in April. With the title virtually out of reach, the bookmakers were in little doubt that, if kept apart, the Rams must surely face Arsenal at Wembley in the cup final. A victory for Fulham in their fifth round replay against Chelsea would only enhance the bookmakers faith in The Rams.

The fifth round replay between the two west London sides lived long in the memory and folklore of both clubs as the crazy cup tie. Over 30,000 were present on a Monday afternoon, many of them having pulled a sickie to get the day off work to witness what proved to be a hugely bad tempered and highly controversial cup tie.

Fulham had been the better side in the first half and had deservedly taken the lead through Trevor Smith but it was with nineteen minutes remaining that the pivotal moment of the match occurred when Chelsea's outside left, Gibson, cut inside his man and unleashed a powerful shot that Alf Tootill could only get a finger tip to. It wasn't enough and the ball continued towards goal, bounced a yard before the net and...nothing. The ball had stuck fast in the glue pot goal mouth instead of carrying on its course into the net as it would have done on dry ground and a swarm of Fulham defenders raced in to complete the unlikely clearance, which was effected by Jimmy Tompkins.

That though was only half the story as Tompkins' clearance set Fulham on an attack the resulted in Jim Hammond doubling their lead. It must have been a gut wrenching double whammy for Chelsea, though the men from Stamford Bridge would not have questioned the playability of the pitch as today and would merely have put it down to one of those things that happens in football.

The final ten minutes were sensational and memorable in their own right as first, Arnold looked to have put the game beyond their visitors with a killer third goal and then Fulham had to withstand a furious Chelsea fightback that saw William Barraclough net with eight and four minutes respectively remaining.

Chelsea threw everything at Fulham in those remaining four minutes but Alf Tootill's goal held and the final whistle blew on a cup tie that those who watched it never forgot. As a cupset, Fulham's defeat of Chelsea wasn't that big but to take the scalp of Derby in the quarter finals five days later would be.

A colour clash meant that, in the tradition of the time, Fulham would change and they emerged in their unfamiliar red and white hoops with an unchanged line up from that, which had vanquished Chelsea five days earlier. Surprisingly Derby too changed their kit, entering the still boggy field in their West Hamesque second colours.

The cup quarter finals fell on the second and final disastrous week of the Pools war with some top flight league games attracting attendances as low as 4,000 spectators. So it was a great relief to Fulham's directors that, when their gates opened, 37,000 people came through to see the cup favourites in action. It would be a brutal battle that saw many players leave the field hobbling and nursing injuries.

Fulham started the better as Derby abandoned the silky football, that was earning them great credit in the League, for a more rugged style that at times made for uncomfortable viewing. The tackles started flying in from the first minute and the referee, Mr Carnwell found himself having to stop play on several occasions to advise players to tone it down a bit. Yet despite this there was no malice of any sign of players coming back for afters, so focused were both sides on just winning the tie.

Derby were the happier side at the interval. They hadn't managed to take any form of grip on the game and had the brilliance of Jack Kirby to thank for keeping the score sheet blank with two fantastic saves that had the crowd on their feet feeling certain that the deadlock must be broken. Then, after half an hour, Udall, the Derby right back crumpled in pain after attempting a shoulder charge on a Fulham opponent and had to be nursed from the field in some distress. It looked certain that The Rams would have to battle on with ten men and it was a great surprise when the crippled full back returned to the field just before the interval, heavily strapped up.

Half time gave Derby the chance to regroup with their formation having to change to accommodate the stricken Udall who was moved to the traditional role for any passenger, the wing. It emerged that the unfortunate full back had dislocated his shoulder but would manfully stay at his post for the second half. As the game got back under way it was soon apparent that Udall, wasn't as hindered by his injury as first thought and was able to run quite freely, leaving four eminent referees, viewing the game as part of an investigation into the feasibility of having a second official on the pitch, to conclude that having wounded men on the field was unfair on their opponents. And yet none of the four considered the idea of substitutes for even a second.

{Image below - Derby [dark shirts], successfully defend their goal on this occasion}

If Fulham had any concerns over being forced to face a wounded man they quickly put it to one side and set about making up for not having taken their chances in the first half. Just six minutes had gone when Syd Gibbons slid a pass out to Finch whose centre was met at the far post with a thunderous header by Arnold that was too close to goal for Kirby to react to.

First blood Fulham but it was the second goal that really took the wind out of Derby's sails with twenty minutes remaining when Arnold's miscued corner sailed away from the penalty area towards Bert Barrett who met the ball in full stride and unleashed a full blooded volley that travelled like a rocket into Kirby's net. There may have been a hint of a deflection but it made little difference and must surely have been nothing more than a hint for if it had hit any player properly they would probably have needed the smelling salts.

By this time Derby were pretty much down to nine fit men with Napier now hobbling helplessly out on the opposite wing to Udall but Fulham were deserving of their command of the game and they put the issue beyond doubt just over a minute later when Trevor Smith smashed a close range effort past Kirby.

A nasty clash between Syd Gibbons and Sammy Crooks left both men hobbling in agony in the remaining few minutes and with Derby now effectively down to eight fit men it must have been a blessed relief when Mr Carnwell brought proceedings to a close. The wounded were nursed from the field as the Fulham crowd took it in that their mid table Second Division side had sent the second best team in the land packing.

Derby fans would be forgiven for thinking that they had been kicked off the park but the referee's committee, which included two former cup final officials, concluded that much of Derby's misfortune was of their own doing. Fulham meanwhile prepared for their first appearance in an F A Cup semi final for over a quarter of a Century.

The men from Craven Cottage went into the draw as the rank outsiders, as most Second Division sides  would expect but they were no forlorn hope of making a first trip to Wembley in a line up that included fellow Giant Killers and Second Division promotion chasers, Sheffield United and mid table top flight side Grimsby Town, whose fans felt that this was surely their best chance yet of reaching their first cup final. That would be as long as they avoided new hot cup favourites Arsenal in the semis. Surprisingly Arsenal was exactly the draw many Fulham fans wanted as they preferred the prospect of a London derby, for which Tottenham's White Hart Lane was already on standby, over the seemingly more realistically winnable ties of Grimsby or United.

The draw paired the two Second Division sides to ensure that the lower division would be represented at Wembley to the delight of those Fulham fans who had looked at the bigger picture and were glad to avoid Arsenal. Sheffield United though remained favourites of the two lower division sides to make it to Wembley.

Wolverhampton Wanderer's Moylneux ground was chosen as the venue for the semi final and a huge contingent of West Londoners departed on the football specials, carrying an array of white and black favours but it wasn't to be their day. Two glorious chances went unconverted in the early stages and The Cottagers were made to pay by a more clinical United side. The Londoners were two goals down by the time Johnny Arnold offered them late hope with what proved to be nothing more then a consolation and the dream of Wembley was over.

As if to add insult, Fulham travelled to Sheffield the following week and left with the points, which would ultimately help deny United the promotion that their football that season perhaps deserved but it was still scant consolation for Jack Peart's side, none of whom ever made it to Wembley.

The only goal of the League encounter was scored by Mike Keeping who may have felt the semi final defeat harder than most as he had also missed out in the Southampton side of nine years earlier. Keeping would go on to greater fame when briefly being named head coach of Real Madrid in 1949.

Eddie Perry received belated International recognition after he left Craven Cottage, winning his first Welsh cap very late in his career but Fulham was his first love and he returned there as a coach and scout, being credited as the man who discovered the Fulham legend, Johnny Haynes.

Like many of his generation, Jim Hammond kept his sporting hand in long after he was too old to take the football field with a first class Cricket career with Sussex in the late 1940s.

The harshest twist of history was reserved for manager, Jack Peart. The man who had masterminded the cupset of his former club and who had so nearly taken Fulham to Wembley remained in charge after World War Two and by 1948 had built a team good enough to finally make a successful bid for promotion to the big time. Just a few weeks into what proved to be their breakthrough season, Peart passed away and missed out on his greatest achievement.

 
The young men who went to Wolverhampton in hope of seeing their side reach Wembley would be grand fathers by the time The Cottagers finally achieved that feat thirty-nine years later.
 
Fulham: 1:Alf Tootill, 2:Jimmy Hindson, 3:Mike Keeping, 4:Bert Barrett, 5:Syd Gibbons, 6:Jimmy Tompkins, 7:Finch, 8:Trevor Smith, 9:Eddie Perry, 10:Jim Hammond, 11;Johnny Arnold

Derby: 1:Jack Kirby, 2:Udall, 3:George Collin, 4:Nicholas, 5:Jack Barker, 6:Eric Keen, 7:Sammy Crooks, 8:Napier, 9:Jack Bowers, 10:Ramage, 11:Dally Duncan