The Giant Killers

Subtitle

 

GIANT KILLERS

 

2012

2011

Swindon Town 2-1 Wigan Athletic

 Third Round: Saturday January 7th 2012

Attendance: 13,238

Scorers: {Swindon} Alan Connell {40}, Paul Benson {76}; {Wigan} Callum McManaman {35}

Ranked at the time:104

 When former F A cup giant killing hero, Micky Thomas was asked to predict the scores of the upcoming third round ties he not only singled this out for a cupset but even correctly predicted the 2-1 scoreline. Swindon started the day in the Play-Off places in League Two against a Wigan side in the top flight relegation zone and they made a promising start to the match, keeping the visitors on the back foot for the first half hour. Chances were squandered however and when Callum McManaman was quickest to react to Ben Watson's failed penalty, which came back off a post, to put Wigan in front, it looked like the Latics were on course to survive a tricky encounter. Swindon reacted positively though and were deservedly level five minutes later when Alan Connell rose to head Matt Ritchie's cross past Al Habsi. It was Matt Ritchie who played a key part in Swindon's winner with fourteen minutes remaining when his goalbound shot was deflected past Al Habsi by second half substitute, Paul Benson. In an effort to salvage the tie, Wigan finished the game with four strikers on the pitch but Wes Foderingham remained relatively untroubled as Swindon booked their place in round four. Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez claimed his side had been hard done by with a winning goal that he felt was offside, though he did acknowledge that Swindon were deserved winners but his opposite number, Paulo Di Cannio couldn't hide his delight. The Italian dedicated the win to his father, who had passed away the previous year and also felt that his players deserved a plaque to be erected in the stadium to mark the occasion. Swindon bowed out at Leicester in round four.  {Image above Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi is powerless to prevent Swindon's equaliser}

Swindon: 35:Wes Foderingham, 3:Callum Kennedy, 4:Aden Flint, 7:Paul Caddis, 8:Simon Ferry, 10:Matt Ritchie, 12:Alan McCormack, 24:Jack Smith, 17:Alan Connell {29:Lukas Magera-sub 66mins}, 23:Raffaele De Vita {27:Alessandro Cibocchi-sub 87 mins}, 34:Ronan Murray {9:Paul Benson-sub 46 mins, Manager-Paulo Di Canio

Wigan: 26:Ali Al Habsi, 5:Gary Caldwell, 17:Emmerson Boyce, 24:Adrian Lopez, 39:Jordan Mustoe, 6:Hendry Thomas {14 Jordi Gomez-sub 56 mins}, 8:Ben Watson, 10:Shaun Moloney {11:Victor Moses-sub 77 mins}, 16:James McArthur, 9:Franco Di Santo, 15:Callum McManaman {18: Connor Sammon-sub 90 mins} Manager-Roberto Martinez 

 

 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-1 Birmingham City

 Third Round replay: Wednesday January 16th 2012

Attendance: 10,153 

Scorer: Wade Elliott {74} 

Ranked at the time: 678

On a night when the delights of Spain's El Classico were on offer it was no surprise that this clash between struggling Wolves and underachieving Birmingham went almost unnoticed. The first match was dire and the second, played in front of a half empty stadium, was worse still. Famous Wolves fan Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin, flew in especially from Los Angeles but even he must have wondered why, as the two sides, both littered with changes from the previous league encounters, did little to warm the crowd on a chilly night. Adam Rooney should have given Birmingham the lead in the first half before Wade Elliott finally settled the tie with a quarter of an hour left. Wolves, who fielded only one player from the League draw at Tottenham a few days earlier, looked disinterested for long periods but almost earned extra time when a late Steven Fletcher effort forced a good save from Doyle. Within a month, Wolves manager, Mick McCarthey lost his job as Wolves' relegation woes continued to build while Birmingham faced the prospect of being the victims of a cupset themselves in the next round when drawn at home to promotion chasing League One side, Sheffield United. A comprehensive four goal victory ensured the Blues earned a trip to giants, Chelsea, who, like Wolves, went into the tie with a manager facing the sack, though in Andreas Villas Boas' case it was because fifth place wasn't going to ensure Champions League Football next season. Birmingham came close to another upset, taking the lead at Stamford Bridge before being held to a draw.     

Wanderers: 31:Dorus De Vries, 3:George Elokobi, 5:Richard Stearman, 16:Christophe Berra, 30:Matt Doherty, {Replaced by 11:Stephen Ward-83}, 12:Stephen Hunt, 19:Adam Hammill, 20:Nenad Milijas, 22:Eggart Jonsson, {Replaced by 34 Adlene Guedioura-67}, 9:Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, 29:Kevin Doyle {Replaced by 10:Steven Fletcher-72} {Manager-Chris Houghton}

City: 13:Colin Doyle, 3:David Murphy, 4:Stephen Caldwell, 23;Jonathan Spector, 24:Curtis Davies, 11:Jean Beausejour, 12:Jordan Mutch, 14:Morgaro Gomis, {Replaced by 18:Keith Fahey-90}, 15:Wade Elliott, 22:Nathan Redmond, {Replaced by 7:Chris Burke-76}, 17:Adam Rooney {Manager-Mick McCarthey}

 

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Newcastle United

 Fourth Round: Saturday January 28th 2012

Attendance: 21,558 

Scorer: Mike Williamson {o.g. 76} 

Ranked at the time: 498

{Image: Brighton's Adam El-Abd and inventive fan celebrate their victory}

The buzz around Brighton was clear as soon as the draw was made to ensure that Newcastle would be the first Premier League side to ever visit Albion's attractive, newly built, Falmer Stadium for an F A cup tie and rightly so as 2011 had been a great year for both sides. Brighton were crowned League One Champions the previous May and under the Uruguayan former cup winning player, Gus Poyet, they were holding on the fringes of the Championship Play-offs. Against them stood a Newcastle side that were tipped by many to battle relegation in 2012 but instead matched strides with the billionaires at the European qualification end of the Premier League. The two sides were 8th and 6th in their respective divisions at kick off, set for the early evening for television coverage, making it apt that Brighton's most famous fan, former sports presenter, Des Lynam, was among the near sell out crowd. The home fans were determined to have a party, no matter the result, with cup fever ensuring several oddly dressed blue and white spectators while their traveling Newcastle counterparts obliged by bringing colourful characters of their own, including a black and white court jester. On a bitterly cold evening the fans were treated to a tense, if not spectacular cup tie in which Brighton worked hard to try and match their opponents with neither side able to gain an upper hand in the first half. Newcastle however did begin to take a grip of the tie in the second period and began to press Brighton deeper into their own half but still rarely looked like settling the tie as a replay in the north east loomed large. With fourteen minutes remaining Will Buckley rode a half hearted Newcastle challenge to break from his own half on a lung bursting run that went unchecked right up to the visitors penalty area. Buckley's final shot however was a tired one that would have drifted wide of Kruls far post but for a deflection off Mike Williamson that steered the ball into the net. The Newcastle players had little to offer in return until a triple change, seven minutes from time added a fresh impetus to their attack but Brighton stood strong, surviving a late penalty scare to book a trip to Premiership Liverpool in round five.

Albion: 1:Peter Brezovan, 3:Gordon Greer, 5:Lewis Dunk, 6:Adam El Abd, 14:Inigo Calderon, 26:Liam Bridcutt, 10:Matt Sparrow {replaced by 8:Alan Navarro -46 mins}, 30:Will Buckley, 35:Jake Forster-Caskey {replaced by Ryan Harley-65 mins}, 9:Ashley Barnes, 12:Craig Mackail-Smith {replaced by 7:Will Hoskins-90+1mins}  

United: 26:Tim Krul, 3:Davide Santon {replaced by 31:Shane Ferguson-83 mins}, 5:Danny Simpson, 6:Mike Williamson, 14:James Perch, 4:Yohan Cabaye, 8:Danny Guthrie {replaced by 15:Dan Gosling-83 mins}, 10:Hatem Ben Arfa {replaced by 16:Ryan Taylor-83 mins}, 18:Jonas Gutierrez, 20:Leon Best, 23:Shola Ameobi

 

Norwich City 1-2 Leicester City

 Fifth Round: Saturday February 18th 2012

Attendance: 26,658 

Scorers: {Norwich} Wes Hoolahan {23}: {Leicester} Sean St Ledger {5}, David Nugent {71}

Ranked at the time: 498

{image: David Nugent is congratulated by Jermaine Beckford}

A clash between two teams enjoying similar seasons was settled in favour of the visiting Championship side by their former England International, David Nugent's goal nineteen minutes from time. Both clubs had won promotion the previous season, Norwich going up from the Championship and Leicester up into the Championship and both had done well in their respective higher tiers, sitting comfortably in mid table of each. For the Premier League Canaries it meant they could go into the fifth round tie without any fears of a cup run distracting them from a relegation battle while their fans had rarely gone to a tie with greater hope that their club could go all the way and lift the cup for the first time. Their hopes were to be dashed by a Leicester side who started the stronger, took an early lead through Sean St Ledger's header from a corner, and then recovered from the setback of an equaliser to win the tie. Norwich played poorly for the most part but went in at the break on level terms thanks to a fortuitous penalty, which was initially saved by Kasper Schmeichel, only for Wes Hoolahan to lash home the rebound. The home fans also held their breath when Leicester had a huge shout for a second goal waved away by the officials who were vindicated when even the TV replays could not show that the ball had crossed the line. The second half was a more even affair with both defences having to clear goal bound shots off their lines with each keeper beaten before Nugent won it for the Foxes. Norwich battled to try and save the tie but it was Leicester who came closest to another goal when Jermaine Beckford lashed a late effort against a post.  

Norwich: 31:Jed Steer, 2:Russell Martin, 3:Adam Drury, 20:Leon Barnett, 22:Elliott Ward, 12:Anthony Pilkington, 14:Wes Hoolahan, 15:David Fox {replaced by 4:Bradley Johnson-78}, 17:Elliott Bennett, 5:Steve Morrison {replaced by 21:Aaron Wilbraham-62}, 10:Simeon Jackson {replaced by 8:James Vaughan-62}

Leicester: 1:Kasper Schmeichel, 2:Lee Peltier, 12:Sean St Ledger, 26:Wes Morgan, 30:Tom Kennedy {replaced by 3:Paul Konchesky-66}, 11:Lloyd Dyer,19:Richie Wellans, 23:Neil Danns, 20:Jermaine Beckford, 22:Ben Marshall {replaced by Nathan Delfouneso-66}, 35:David Nugent 

 

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