The Giant Killers

Every F A cup giant killing since 1888

Giant Killers

 

1994

1993 - 1995 

 Birmingham City 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers
 
Third Round: Saturday January 8th 1994

Attendance: 19,666       

Scorers: {Birmingham} Paul Harding {6}: {Kidderminster} Neil Cartwright {28}, Jon Purdie {64}     

Ranked at the time: 156

For the fans of Kidderminster Harriers, a third round draw in the cup against any of the West Midland’s big four clubs was a dream come true so when their number was paired with Birmingham City, the whole town was buzzing right through Christmas. Kiddy were enjoying the greatest season in their history and were posting a very strong bid to win the Conference and gain the riches that came with it of earning a place in the Football League. City by contrast had endured hard times over the previous decade that witnessed them fall from the elite of English Football to the third tier. Promotion back into the second tier in 1992 turned the tide but a solid start to their 1993/94 season evaporated in the dark days before Christmas with a miserable run of six consecutive defeats in which a only a solitary goal was scored. Manager, Terry Cooper paid with his job and Barry Fry arrived to try and stave of relegation back to the third tier. For Fry’s opposite number, Graham Allner, St Andrews provided a return to the club where he had spent youth youth team playing days. Allner’s side included former City player John Deakin as well as Simeon Hodson, once a cup quarter finalist with top flight Notts County. Nobody at Birmingham took anything for granted. It was just eight short years since a humiliating exit to Altrincham but results had improved under new man Fry and feelings were that the new impetus would help City through. 

Birmingham needed a good start and with just six minutes gone their first productive move delivered. Scott Hiley’s cross into the six yard box was inadvertently helped on by Martin Weir past two helpless Kiddy defenders and neatly into the path of Paul Harding who could hardly miss from barely four yards out. The home side set out to kill the tie off and created a host of excellent chances, hitting the woodwork and forcing Kevin Rose into two excellent saves as Kidderminster struggled to stay in the tie before the Conference leaders showed why they had been such a difficult side to beat. When Paul Bancroft crossed into the box on the half hour there were four red and white shirts to attack it with Neil Cartwright rising highest to head home an unlikely equaliser.

Kiddy started the second half no better than the first when Simeon Hodson was a little harshly adjudged to have unfairly bundled Kenny Lowe over in the penalty area. The Birmingham players celebrated too soon however when Andy Saville struck his penalty against a post. Kiddy also had to ride their luck when Chris Whyte’s goal bound header was cleared off the line minutes later. The question began to be asked that with so many good chances having been thwarted, could Kiddy make Birmingham pay? The answer came on sixty-four minutes when Jon Purdie was allowed time and space to tee up a screamer into the City goal, right in front of the travelling Kiddy fans. Birmingham threw everything into the remaining minutes to try and force a replay, which looked to have been secured with just five minutes left when Andy Saville lashed home. The offside flag that stopped the cheers in the Birmingham throats seemed harsh but Kiddy took every shade of luck they could get to cling on for a memorable victory. [image below: Jon Purdie unleashes a screaming winner]

Birmingham were, perhaps a little harshly booed off the pitch at the end of a game they did everything they could to win. Kidderminster however received a standing ovation from all sides of the ground for dealing out a lesson in how to take your chances when they come. Birmingham continued to waste their chances all the way to relegation at the end of the season.

For Kidderminster came a very winnable fourth round tie at home to fourth tier Preston and a victory that was more comfortable than the solitary goal suggested. The Kiddy players were already getting used to a heavy media presence leading up to the Preston game but they became household names in the build up to their fifth round tie with struggling Premier League side, West Ham. Much of the talk focussed on their attempt to make history as the first non-league team to win a fifth round tie since the cup was reshaped in the 1920s. If Kidderminster’s players weren’t aware enough of the enormity of their task they were constantly reminded of the ghosts of the four previous teams to have made a bid to be the first modern non-league quarter finalists. And the fact all had failed. Kiddy ultimately failed too but only after a hard fought battle with the Hammers whose goal swayed on the fortunate side.

Having shot into the public limelight, Kidderminster concentrated on winning the Conference and gaining a place in the Football League. Controversially, having achieved their objective, the club found the door slammed in their face because the new stand they required to meet League standards wasn’t ready in May. Ironically the stand was opened on the first day of the following season.

Birmingham: 26:Ian Bennett, 2:Scott Hiley, 24:Gary Cooper, 15:Chris Whyte, 5:Richard Dryden, 23:Paul Harding {replaced by 11:Dave Smith-68}, 4:George Parris, 27:Kenny Lowe, 9:Andy Saville, 18:Louie Donowa {Replaced by 21:Roger Willis-62},10:Ted McMinn. Manager:Barry Fry

Kettering: 1:Kevin Rose, 2:Simeon Hodson, 3:Paul Bancroft, 4:Martin Weir, 5:Chris Brindley, 6:Richard Forsyth, 7:Neil Cartwright, 8:Paul Grainger, 9:Delwyn Humphreys, 10:John Deakin, 11:Jon Purdie

 
Liverpool 0-1 Bristol City
 
Third Round replay:Tuesday January 25th 1994

Attendance: 36,720       

Scorer: Brian Tinnion {66}     

Ranked at the time: 241

Second tier City went into this tie in the middle of a poor run of five League games without a victory, which had all but ended any slim hopes of making the promotion play-offs. In Russell Osman they had a manager who not only played for Ipswich at the height of their power but could also claim to be something of a movie star, having been one of the Footballing cast of the movie, Escape to Victory. Liverpool were a side battling to fend off the media vultures, keen to write of the demise of the Red machine. Former Anfield legend, Graeme Souness had taken charge and started well, guiding the Reds to cup glory in 1992. League form however was well below the standards set by the Merseyside club. Two consecutive finishes outside the top five for the first time since the 1960s was in danger of becoming three.The first game at Ashton Gate was an eventful one with Ian Rush and Wayne Allison netting for either side before the lights went out in the second half. They started from scratch again ten days later and by twist of fate the same two men created the same result, this time completing the ninety minutes. In the replay at Anfield City could certainly have won an award for the most vulgar kit ever to feature in a giant killing

 The City fans who were there mostly recalled that the Liverpool fans were excellent in defeat. They stayed and applauded the City players off while those fans who chose to stay in Liverpool that night were largely welcomed into the local pubs and congratulated. Souness was unpopular with the Kop and it was felt this would be the final straw. It was and the Scotsman duly resigned a few days later. Bitterly claiming in his autobiography that he had always been on a hiding to nothing, taking over from the iconic Kenny Dalglish. City walloped Third tier promotion chasers, Stockport in round four but then rather disappointingly failed to see off their divisional rivals Charlton in a very winnable fifth round tie, going down in the replay. 

Liverpool: 1:Bruce Grobelaar, 22:Steve Harkness, 2:Rob Jones, 4:Steve Nichol, 25:Neil Ruddock, 15:Jamie Redknapp {Replaced by 6:Don Hutchison-45}, 17:Steve McManaman, 11:Mark Walters, 10:John Barnes, 7:Nigel Clough, 9:Ian Rush. Manager: Graeme Souness
 
City: 1:Keith Welch, 2:Andy Llewellyn, 3:Martin Scott, 4:Mark Shail, 5:Stuart Munro, 6:Brian Tinnion, 7:Dave Martin, 8:Junior Bent {Replaced by 12:Glenn Pennyfather-81}, 9:Liam Robinson, 10:Wayne Allison, 11:Rob Edwards. Manager: Russell Osman