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Southampton FA Cup 3rd Round 10/20/30/40/50 Year Flashback
Wednesday, 6th Jan 2021 11:14

With the 3rd round of the FA Cup due to take place this weekend, almost with little fanfare due to the current Covid situation, we take a look back at our 3rd round ties from 10, 20, 30, 40 & 50 years ago, where you at any of them ?

Hard to believe but 1971 is half a century ago, on the 11th January of that year we drew Bristol City in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and there would have been people in the crowd of 24,131 who would have fought in the trenches of World War 1.

The game had originally been scheduled for 2nd January, but the Dell pitch had been frozen and had also had a further postponement, so this was the third attempt at playing the fixture.

The first half saw the second division visitors make a lot of the running and it was even at the break still, Saints rallied in the 2nd half and Cashley in the City goal had to make a string of saves, when he saved a Mike Channon penalty with 20 minutes to go it looked like the game might go to a replay.

But two minutes later Channon atoned for his miss and scored the opener, Bristol City then crumbled and within 10 minutes Ron Davies had netted a second the game was over, Davis with his second header of the night 5 minutes from time merely put the icing on the cake.

Fast forward 10 years and a lot of water has passed under the bridge and in that time we had won the competition and were now seen as one of the top clubs in England after signing Kevin Keegan the then European Footballer of the Year.

The visitors for his first FA Cup tie for Saints were Chelsea, who were languishing in the Second Division, they were in the middle of what would be a 5 year sojourn out of the top flight.

Back then the capacity of the Dell had been reduced to a little over 24,000, therefore the gate of 23,694 including around 5,000 Chelsea fans was a virtual sell out.

Saints started the game as favourites as they showed that from the start, Steve Moran who was had broken into the team earlier in the season scored after only 7 minutes for what would be his 13th goal in only 14 games.

When Kevin Keegan headed home on 40 minutes there was no way back for Chelsea who even after Keegan limped off with 25 minutes to go could find no joy in getting back into the game and when Graham Baker scored with 20 minutes left the game was over, even though the visitors pulled one back a few minutes later the victory was never in doubt, Saints fans were convinced that with Keegan in their ranks, the FA Cup was a realistic target this season.

Another decade on and Saints had settled into being a mid table side albeit one with a host of promising youngsters, therefore the FA Cup was again seen as a real chance of glory.

4th January 1991 saw 2nd division Ipswich the visitors, the 15,101 was a low crowd, only the League cup games and the visit of Luton in the League would attract less fans to the Dell in this season.

But the crowd were stunned when Ipswich took the lead after only 12 minutes and they had chances to double their lead, but the next goal was from Saints, Le Tissier crossing for Alan Shearer to head home.

On 43 minutes Le Tissier scored himself when Shearer nodded the ball down to him and he fired hme to give Saints a half time lead.

The game could have gone any way in the early stages of the 2nd half, but it was Le Tissier who turned it Saints way, Micky Adams overlapped and crossed, Le God's header was well saved by the keeper but Le Tissier lashed home the rebound from close range.

Ipswich pulled one back with 10 minutes to go and it was a difficult last few minutes, but Saints dug in and hung on, this was the way Saints played with this team, it could be dazzling but just as likely to concede as much as score.

Exactly 20 years ago today January 6th 2001 we were starting our last ever FA Cup campaign at the Dell, with St Mary's Stadium growing a mile or so away, the Dell was entering it's final few months of existence.

It was therefore perhaps fitting that the 3rd round opponents would be Sheffield United, the team we had played in the final of 1902 , that game 99 years previously had been a draw and we had lost the replay.

Again Saints hoped were high in the competition, ex England manager Glenn Hoddle had turned us into a competitive outfit , one that was moving up the table and tipped to compete for a European spot and the FA Cup was considered to be an achievable way to give the Dell a great send off.

The Blades were in the 2nd Division and a good crowd of 14,158 turned out 20 years ago today on 6th January.

But it would be no walk over for Saints, Neil Warnock was Sheffield United's manager and his sides knew how to battle, United weren't much of an attacking threat but they never gave in and it would be the 72nd minute before the breakthrough came, James Beattie was brought down by the keeper and a penalty given, the Blades argued so much that they had a player sent off for dissent after Jason Dodd hand banged the ball home from the spot or the only goal of the game.

United tried to get back into the game, but Saints coped well and we were in the 4th round for only the 2nd time in 5 years.

10 years ago saw Saints in League One and the visit of then Premier League Blackpool, unlike all but the previous season in the past half century, this was not our first game in the competition for the season, for the second year running we had to go in at the first round stage where ironically we had beaten this years 3rd round opponents 2-0, both goals coming in the final minute/injury time of the game, David Connolly and Adam Lallana scoring.

Cheltenham had been beaten in the 2nd round and now Ian Holloway's Blackpool were the visitors, Holloway made 9 changes from the side he had put out earlier in the week in the Premier League, but then again Nigel Adkins made 8 changes in his side so only one less.

Ironically the Blackpool side included ex Saints players in Brett Ormerod one of the heroes of the 2003 FA Cup run and one of a select band who can say they have played in an FA Cup final for the club and Jason Euell one of the players whose inflated wages had dragged Saints into financial trouble and administration and who had left the club on a free transfer in our darkest hour in July 2009 to join Blackpool.

So it was that Saints reserves V Blackpool reserves drew 21,464 to St Mary's.

It was clear early on who had the best second string and also clear that of the three survivors of the trip to Dagenham a few days earlier , the Lancashire club had no one of the quality of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert & Dean Hammond.

Bialkowski in the Saints goal had to be sharp to keep the score at 0-0 though as did the Blackpool keeper and that is how it was at the break.

Saints dominated the game though, they had 23 chances to Blackpool's 8 and as the game settled down there was only going to be one winner.

Lee Barnard gave Saints the lead shortly after the break and then Guly Du Prado made sure with 2 minutes to go as the Saints crowd chanted "Premier League you are having a laugh", this incensed Ian Holloway whose post match interviews seemed to be rants about the lack of respect Saints had shown both in terms of putting out a depleted side and the way the crowd had taunted his players.

This game seems more than 10 years ago, so much has happened in the decade since, but all of these five games show how things in football can change so much in just 10 years, during the gap between each so much change happened at Southampton Football Club in between, whether it was winning the cup in the 70's, Kevin Keegan and finishing 2nd in the League in the 80's, the relegation battles of the 90's, and the glory of the move to St Mary's the FA Cup final of 2003 and the subsequent problems of the late 00's through to the last 10 years since this Blackpool game which have been mainly a golden period in the club's history.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 11:58 - Jan 6
The FA Cup rolls up again...My first real experience of an FA Cup run was 1963 when ..(as a bottom-end Championship side) Saints knocked over a couple of top tier (Div.1) sides and went onto a S.F. v. Man Utd . (and many in my generation may recall that well).
Of course 1976 was unforgettable ..and a couple of (losing) semi-finals along the way since, and the sad ending to the 2003 Cup final day v. Wenger's "Super- Arsenal" side ..

So ...it's just to win 5 games ..and we're in the Final. Certainly Shrewsbury shouldn't be a problem (on paper) and then hope we don't draw United or Spurs in the next round.
I expect a few of the regulars to get a start, and a big chance for our budding Academy talents to get some well-deserved minutes, and hopefully get a good result.

It may be a tough call to finish top 5 this season, but an FA Cup win can also lead to Euro football - (covid-permitting) ..and hopefully Ralph will see this as a " Euro" Plan B.


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