The six most iconic FA Cup replay moments: The giant killings and unforgettable winning goals

Ryan Giggs – The six most iconic FA Cup replay moments: the giant killings and unforgettable winning goals

The Football Association’s sudden plan to introduce radical reform to the FA Cup threatens to rob fans of any repeat of the iconic moments that have made the famous tournament what it is today.

The plan to remove all replays from the first round onwards next season not only costs lower league sides their potential cash-cow ties against top flight opposition, but will also prevent the type of cut-throat moments of glory we have come to expect from the Cup.

Here, Telegraph Sport recounts the six most iconic moments in FA Cup history, the memory of which will only fuel the backlash to the sudden shake-up.

6. Jan 22, 1979: Sheffield Wednesday 0-2 Arsenal

Nowadays, top-flight teams can lift the FA Cup after five matches of football. But in January 1979, it took Arsenal that many games to get past Sheffield Wednesday in the third round. After four draws in 12 days at three different venues, Arsenal finally advanced past Sheffield in their fifth match-up.

The tie produced 16 goals through ten different scorers with an overall combined attendance of more than 140,000 fans across the five games. Multiple replays would eventually be abolished in 1990, but legendary ties such as this one will not be easily forgotten.

5. Dec 7, 2010: Leyton Orient 8-2 Droylsden (after extra-time)

In a second-round replay, non-league Droylsden were hoping to upset League One side Leyton Orient. An unlikely victory looked within reach, as Droylsden led most of the game 2-0.

But two late goals from the home side took the game to extra time, before Orient scored six goals in the additional period. The match, which also featured four red cards, remains one of the most bizarre in the history of the FA Cup.

4. Feb 25, 1998: Barnsley 3-2 Manchester United

Barnsley, playing in the top division for the first time in their 102-year history, faced up against Sir Alex Ferguson’s star-studded Manchester United in a fifth-round replay.

Two mistakes by Schmeichel allowed the hosts to take a 2-0 lead before Teddy Sheringham pulled one back for United. But second-string defender Scott Jones – only playing due to a series of injuries at the back – scored his second of the game to take Barnsley 3-1 up. Andy Cole’s late goal proved irrelevant. Barnsley had pulled off the unthinkable.

3. Feb 19, 2001: Tranmere 4-3 Southampton

Second-tier Tranmere trailed Premier League side Southampton by 3-0 at half-time in a fifth-round replay, with the visitors spurning several more big chances that could have put them even further ahead.

Following a hattrick from Paul Rideout and an 83rd minute goal from substitute Stuart Barlow, Tranmere – who would finish dead last in England’s second division that season – completed an incredible comeback.

2. Feb 5, 1972: Hereford 2-1 Newcastle United

In a third-round replay with Newcastle United, Hereford became the lowest-ranked non-league team ever to beat a top-flight opponent in English football. Down 1-0 in the 85th minute on a pitch that was more mud than grass, Ronnie Radford scored a screamer from distance to equalise, taking the game to extra time.

The eventual 103rd minute winner by Ricky George caused mass pitch invasions, with Hereford then clinging on to complete perhaps the biggest upset in FA Cup history.

1. April 14, 1999: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

“It’s a wonderful run from Giggs!” The last ever FA Cup semi-final to go to a replay and possibly one of English football’s greatest games. Not much is remembered about the initial goalless draw, but the replay at Villa Park had everything: goals from David Beckham and Dennis Bergkamp, a red card for Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel saving a Bergkamp penalty before Giggs’ slaloming winner in extra time.

Just as memorable was the celebration, with Giggs waving his shirt above his head to reveal his unwaxed chest.