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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888



1904 - 1906

Small Heath 0-2 Portsmouth

First round: 4th February 1905

Attendance: 23,000

Scorers: Lee 12, Steve Smith 87

Ranked at the time: 8

The biggest cup shock of the year came at the dreaded Muntz Street ground in Birmingham where Southern League Portsmouth performed a typical cup tie smash and grab, which had all the elements necessary. The ground was awful, but then Muntz Street was widely regarded as the worst playing surface in the league with players often complaining of broken glass and bricks on the field of play. That normally worked in the Heathen's favour in the top flight against sides used to playing on the bowling greens of Villa Park, Goodison and Bramall Lane but Pompey were well used to poor pitches in their league. Next came the crucial early goal to defend, followed by the game of his life from goalkeeper, Harris who made a string of excellent saves, especially in the second half before Steve Smith made the result certain on the counter attack.

Bristol City 1-0 Woolwich Arsenal

First round replay: Wednesday 8th February 1905

Scorers: Dean

Ranked at the time: 44

30,000 fans had watched a dour first meeting at Plumstead in which Arsenal's Young missed an open net late on. The replay was little better but when Dean was presented with City's best chance of the tie he made no mistake.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Middlesbrough

First round replay: Thursday 9th February 1905

Attendance: 18,000

Scorers: Charlie O'Hagan

Ranked at the time: 27

It's perhaps a little unfair for poor old relegation threatened 'Boro's defeat at Tottenham to be listed as Spurs were easily capable of not only mixing it with top flight clubs but, given the chance, would be title contenders, a statement borne out by this being their third consecutive cup run with top flight victims. Boro's top flight status was saved by two points while Tottenham's reward was pitting themselves against a Newcastle side who were the best in the land and easily too good for the Londoners.

Manchester City 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

Second round: 18th February 1905

Scorers: {Manchester} Billy Gillespie 1: {Bolton} Walter White 44, Albert Shepherd {second half}

Ranked at the time: 14

Ten months earlier City travelled to the Crystal Palace having missed out on the title and were taken the whole way by a gallant Bolton side before finally gaining their consolation prize in the shape of the cup through Billy Meredith's goal. City were again chasing the title this year but this time faced a much better Bolton side who would ultimately gain promotion back to the big time after a two year absence. Both sides fielded many of the players who had faced each other at the Palace with both goals in the first half coming from cup finalists as City got off to a flyer only to be pegged back on the stroke of half time. The title chasers were poor in the second period and Bolton took a deserved lead through Albert Shepherd, a player who had not been part of their final team the previous year. City again missed the title, finishing third while Bolton were no match for end of seaon champions Newcastle in the quarter finals.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3


Second round: 18th February 1905

Attenance: 25,000

Scorers: {Wolverhampton} Beven 20, J Smith 74 {Southampton} Edgar Bluff 15, Fred Harrison 52, 63

Ranked at the time: 27

A classic played out in spring sunshine but ultimately a bad day for the homesters as a missed first half penalty by Billy Woolridge, that could have given the top flight club a vital first half lead, proved costly. The Saints took the gam by the scruff of the neck in the second period and hung on, despite a late rally by the home side. Wolves went on to survive the drop by just two points while the Saints were heavily beaten in their quarter final at Everton.

Fulham 1-0 Nottingham Forest

Second round: 18th February 1905

Scorers: Willie Wardrope

Ranked at the time: 33

The west London club's first appearance on these pages comes with their first ever cup tie against a top flight side. Forest in truth were a side struggling for any kind of form and against any decent Southern League tea would have been in trouble. Willie Wardrope, by now a veteran of cup upsets netted the all important goal that took Fulham to their first ever cup quater final where the dream woul die in emphatic fashion with a drubbing at eventual cup winners Aston Villa.