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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888



In 1926 the format of the competition was changed to incorporate two new rounds. The round of sixty four, which had been the first round for the last twenty-two years, now became the third round and continued to be played in the first two weeks of January. Teams from the top two divisions of the Football League were exempt from the competition until this round.

Middlesbrough 5-1 Leeds United

Third round: Saturday January 9th 1926

Attendance: 29,000

Scorers: {Middlesbrough}: Jim MCcLelland {1,45 Pen, 55, 66, 77 }, {Leeds}:Jack Armand {50 pen}

Ranked at the time:133

There were no prizes on offer for those who tipped that Middlesbrough, lying fifth in division two, would beat a visiting Leeds side sitting fifth bottom of the first division and just a point off the relegation zone but it was the manner of the victory that made the headlines as Jim MCcLelland bagged all five goals in a comprehensive victory. 'Boro got off to a flyer when MCcLelland scored inside a minute but the rest of the half was spent largely in front of Jack Clough's goal with Leeds pushing hard for the equaliser only for Bill Menzies to gift 'Boro a penalty for hands right on the stroke of half time. Don Ashman repaid Menzies compliment by giving Leeds a penalty back early in the second period but any hope of a fightback were crushed five minutes later when MCcLelland completed his hat-trick, the fourth and fifth goals serving only to add insult to Leeds' injury. Boro's promotion hopes were fading fast by the time they travelled to Clapton Orient in round four where the deadlock was again broken in the first minute. This time though the goal, after fifteen seconds, came against 'Boro. Again Jim MCcLelland came to the rescue with an equaliser early in the second half but it was Clapton who went on to win an exciting tie 4-2 and set up a giant killing act of their own in the fifth round. Middlesbrough had fielded seven players from the team that had been relegated in 1924 and the 1926 season was viewed as a disappointment after 'Boro had topped the table up until a disastrous run of six straight defeats in December. They put it right the following year by introducing George Camsell into the side and regaining their top flight status while Leeds went in the opposite direction. Goal hero MCcLelland moved on to Bolton where he won a cup winner's medal in 1929.

Middlesbrough: 1:Jack Clough, 2:Walter Holmes, 3:Reg Freeman, 4:Billy McAllister, 5:Maurice Webster, 6:Don Ashman, 7:George Jones, 8:Billy Birrell, 9:Jim McClelland, 10:Jackie Carr, 11:Owen Williams

Leeds United:1:Bill Johnson, 2:Jimmy Allen, 3:Bill Menzies, 4:Willis Edwards, 5:Tom Townsley, 6:Josh Atkinson, 7:Bobby Turnbull, 8:Jack Armand, 9:Tommy Jennings, 10:Percy Whipp, 11:Billy Jackson

Fulham 1-0 Everton

Third round replay: Thursday January 14th 1926

Attendance: 20,176

Scorer: Bert White {65}

Ranked at the time: 96

Today: Outside the top 300

{See Fulham vs Notts County - below}

Fulham: 1: Ernie Beecham, 2:Reg Dyer, 3:Alec Chaplin, 4:Len Oliver, 5:Jock McNab, 6:Bert Barrett, 7:Jack Harris, 8:Teddy Craig, 9:Bert White, 10:Eddie Edmonds, 11:Frank Penn

Everton:1:Harry Hardy, 2:David Raitt, 3:Jock McDonald, 4:Joe Peacock, 5:David Bain, 6:Albert Virr, 7:Sam Chedgzoy, 8:Bobby Irvine, 9:Bill 'Dixie' Dean, 10:Jack O'Donnell, 11:Alec Troup

Fulham 3-1 Liverpool

Fourth round: Saturday January 30th 1926

Attendance: 36,381

Scorers: {Fulham}: Page {3}, {56} Penn {43}, {Liverpool}: Forshaw {32}

Ranked at the time: 69

Today: Outside the top 200

{Image: Dick Forshaw {right} turns to celebrate with team mates after equalising for Liverpool}

{see Fulham vs Notts County - below}

Fulham: 1:Ernie Beecham, 2:Reg Dyer, 3:Billy Probert, 4:Len Oliver, 5:Jock McNab, 6:?, 7:Jack Harris, 8:Teddy Craig, 9:Albert Pape, 10:Bert Barrett, 11:Frank Penn

Liverpool: 1:Elisha Scott, 2:Tommy Lucas, 3:Donald McKinlay, 4:Jock McNab, 5:Bill Cockburn, 6:Tom Bromilow, 7:Cyril Oxley, 8:Harry Chambers, 9:Dick Forshaw, 10:Dave McMullen

South Shields 2-1 Birmingham City

Fourth round: Saturday January 30th 1926

Attendance: 17,000

Scorers: {South} Jack Smith {18}, Billy Thirlaway {75}: {Birmingham}: Joe Bradford {40 pen}

Ranked at the time: 160

Mid table Birmingham were undone in the sunshine on the banks of the Tyne with a goal in either half by promotion chasing South Shields who lay fourth in their division, six points off the top two. The visitors were never able to assert their authority on the game, despite Bradford's late first half penalty knocking the stuffing out of the home side. Perhaps it came at the wrong time for Birmingham as they were put under the cosh after the interval before going down to Billy Thirlaway winner. Shields bowed out to a Bolton side who were on the way to the second of their three appointments with lifting the trophy during the decade while promotion eluded them. Billy Thirlaway had done enough to impress Birmingham that he was good enough to play at the highest level and joined the Midlands club but one of his Shields team mates was establishing quite the opposite reputation. Cyril Hunter seemingly had a quiet day on this particular afternoon but he gained the dubious honour of toughest centre half in English football. Although he never graced the top flight he was well known to all in the game until eventually the Football League took action. The poor unfortunates were Middlesbrough whose dressing room bore more resemblance to a casualty clearing station after a game against Hunter in which he single handedly set out to try and take every red shirt off the field. He managed to put three out of the game before the ref decided enough was enough. Hunter was dismissed and banned for seven months.

South Shields: 1:Lance Richardson, 2:John Ridley, 3:Laurie Crown, 4:Jim Metcalfe, 5:Cyril Hunter, 6:David Hutchison, 7:Billy Thirlaway, 8:Jack Smith, 9:Reginald Parker, 10:Harry Wilson, 11:Sandy Trotter

Birmingham: 1:Dan Tremelling, 2:Elias Ashurst, 3:Jack Jones, 4:George Liddell, 5:?, 6:?, 7:Wallace Harris, 8:Johnny Crosbie, 9:Joe Bradford, 10:George Briggs, 11:?

Millwall 2-0 Bury

Fourth round replay: Thursday February 4th 1926

Attendance: 32,115

Scorers: George Chance {43}, Alf Moule {53}

Ranked at the time: 12

Today: Inside the top 100

Millwall: 1:Joe Lansdale, 2:Horace Tilling, 3:Dick Hill, 4:Alf Amos, 5:Archie Gomm, 6:Len Graham, 7:George Chance, 8:Alf Module, 9:Dick Parker, 10:Andy Lincoln, 11:Sid Gore

Bury: 1:Billy Richardson, 2:Fred Heap, 3:Tom Adamson, 4:Jimmy Porter, 5:Tom 'Tiny' Bradshaw, 6:Bill Turner, 7:Cyril Matthews, 8:Billy Stage, 9:Wally Amos, 10:Jack Ball, 11:Joe Hughes

Clapton Orient 2-0 Newcastle United

Fifth round: Saturday February 20th 1926

Attendance: 31,400 {record attendance}

Scorers: Jack Galbraith {24}, Donald Cock {44}

Ranked at the time: 79

Today: Outside the top 200

{image: all eyes turn goalwards to see Jack Galbraith's (out of picture right) volley break the deadlock}

A record gate turned up to The Millfields Stadium in Homerton to see if relegation haunted second division outfit, Orient could upset the mighty Magpies and they weren't to be disappointed. The first division side were having an unremarkable season on which cup success was pinned and their travelling fans were buoyed by the news that recent signing, Hughie Gallacher had recovered from injury and was fit to play. Indeed the signs were ominous for Orient in the first twenty minutes as Newcastle's crisp passing and speed of movement had them ripping through the home side time and again with only terribly wasteful finishing preventing the deadlock being broken. Orient for their part were happy just to lump the ball as far up-field as they could with no prospect of any end product and there could only be one winner in such a contest. Fortunately for Orient the Newcastle players began to display the impatience that had so often dogged them during the season when supremacy hadn't yielded goals and their game gradually deteriorated into hurried passes and hopeful punts. The tide really turned in the twenty-fourth minute though when Orient managed to force a corner from their first meaningful raid of the game. The corner was only headed as far clear as Peter Gavigan who caught the ball beautifully with a sweetly struck left foot volley from twenty yards that Wilson never saw. Orient's confidence grew as the half progressed and was rewarded when Donald Cock danced through the Newcastle rear guard before doubling the lead right on half time. Newcastle saw plenty of the ball in the second half but were rarely able to regain the composure of the early exchanges especially with the talismanic Gallacher being kept under wraps by Jack Townrow. The Orient centre back had a good half a head in height advantage over the tiny Scot and was ably assisted by Newcastle's insistence in trying to give the ball to Gallacher at height rather than on the ground where he could have been so much more effective. On the call of time it was a toss up for fans on who deserved the more congratulations, the commanding Townrow or keeper, Wood for his heroics in the early stages. Orient's quarter final proved an anti climax as they were outclassed and easily beaten by Manchester City but they did survive their relegation battle by the skin of their teeth. Orient's Millfields Road ground underwent a huge redevelopment the year after this game as a greyhound syndicate moved in under joint tennancy but three years later Orient's financial plight forced them to sell and move out with the ground remaining as a popular dog track until it's demolishion for housing in 1970.

Clapton: 1:Arthur Wood, 2:, 3:Tom Evans, 4:Tommy Dixon, 5:Jack Townrow, 6:Jack Galbraith, 7:Peter Gavigan, 8:Bill Henderson, 9:Donald Cock, 10:Jack Tonner, 11:Bob McLoughlan

Newcastle: 1:Willie Wilson, 2:Bert Chandler, 3:Frank Hudspeth, 4:Joe Harris, 5:, 6:Willie Gibson, 7:Tommy Urwin, 8:Billy Cowan, 9:Hughie Gallacher, 10:Tommy Mcdonald, 11:?

Fifth round: Saturday February 20th 1926

Attendance: 28,000

Scorer: Bill Prouse {87}

Ranked at the time: 130

{Image: Ernie Beecham is grounded by a County forward but a dark shirted Fulham defender is on hand to clear}

Second division Fulham were the big headline grabbers of the season with three top flight scalps in a run that took them to the quarter finals despite spending most of the season staring relegation in the face. The Cottagers travelled to Goodison Park to face Everton in round three having failed to win any of their eleven road trips in the League, scoring a paltry six goals in the process. They raised their game on Merseyside against a club who seemed to specialise in lowering theirs for the cup, having been victims of upsets in five of the last six seasons. It was still the first division side who took the lead before Teddy Craig's second half equaliser forced an unlikely replay at Craven Cottage. The Thameside ground was carpeted in snow, which continued to fall at regular intervals during a game played in semi darkness as the home side made a positive start, capped by Jock McNab's shot which cannoned back off the Everton crossbar. That let off sparked Everton into life and the visitors dominated the latter stages of the first half in which Chedgzoy hit the bar before Dixie Dean managed to hit the Fulham woodwork from two yards when it would have been easier to score. With the mouth watering prospect of a Merseyside derby awaiting them for victory, Everton came out in the second half meaning business but found Fulham keeper, Ernie Beecham in inspired form as he produced a string of saves to keep the visitors out. Then, midway through the second half, Fulham made a rare sortie into Everton territory, forcing a throw in, which was whipped into the penalty area where Jock McDonald made a complete hash of his attempted clearance. The ball rose high into snowey air and from the stands a series of dark shadows were seen to converge into an untidy heap before the white shirted shadows suddenly wheeled away in delight. Through the dark it had been hard to tell that Bert White had managed to slot into the Everton net. There was no way back for the Toffeemen and the final whistle was met with Fulham keeper, Becham being carried shoulder high from the field.

Liverpool fans were no doubt divided by the Fulham result with those delighting in Everton's demise and regretting the opportunity of a missed derby clash in equal measure. There was also the chance for revenge for the three goal defeat inflicted on them by The Cottagers fourteen years earlier. As for any Fulham fans hoping for a repeat performance they were mindful that this was a poorer Fulham side facing a better vintage from Anfield. In a breathtaking first half, Fulham got off to a flyer when Albert Pape fired them into a third minute lead and The Cottagers were almost gifted a second minutes later when Scott fluffed a Bert Barrett shot but was grateful to see the ball squirm wide. Liverpool's centre forward, Dick Forshaw was proving more difficult to hold down than his Everton predecessor, Dean, although he got great help from Fulham's centre backs, Dyer and Probert whose hesitancy gave him his first chance, which crashed back off Beecham's crossbar. Then, when Forshaw did get the ball in the net his effort was ruled out for a foul on the Fulham custodian before the equaliser finally came after thirty-two minutes. This time the two Fulham backs got in each other's way to leave Forshaw one on one with the keeper, a battle the striker easily won. Any good work from Forshaw was undone by the erratic Reds keeper Scott as the Northern Ireland International completely misjudged a looping cross from Frank Penn two minutes before the interval to gift Fulham the softest of goals. Liverpool played with renewed vigor in the second half but the game was soon lost when a Jack Harris free kick was diverted past Scott by Pape for his second of the afternoon. The fight died out of Liverpool after that and aside from Forshaw, they struggled to get a foothold back in the game. At the final whistle it was again Beecham, whose saves in the first half especially had demoralised Liverpool, who was chaired off the field. Evertonians meanwhile breathed a sign of contentment that Liverpool had fared worse than the Toffeemen had in the previous round.

Fulham were given another cupset chance in round five when drawn to travel to a Notts County side lying rock bottom of the first division. To make matters worse for County they took the field missing both of their first choice full backs, which added weight to the opinions of many of the pundits that Fulham, despite their own lowly position, could take County to a replay. That looked the likely outcome of a gripping tie in which both sides enjoyed great spells of pressure without either creating anyting greater then half chances until deep into the last act of the game when Fulham sensationally booked a quarter final spot. As the game moved into its closing stages County had been pressing forward in ever greater numbers hoping to avoid a trip to Craven Cottage but the gaps left at the back had seen the visitors squander two great chances to win the tie before Bill Prouse won the game, latching on to a perfectly weighted through ball from Harris before shooting across Iremonger into the net. County had little time to respond and their season effectively ended three minutes later and prepared for the fact that they would be meeting Fulham again next year as second division equals. Fulham were handed their toughest task when drawing Manchester United in the quarter finals at Craven Cottage, for which admission was set at two shillings. It was a sensational match in which United scored from the kick off and Fulham equalised two minutes later. The Cottager's cup dreams died early in the second half when United took advantage of Dyer being off the field for treatment to take a 2-1 lead that they held to the end.

Notts: 1:Albert Iremonger, 2:George Smith, 3:William Smith, 4:?, 5:Norman Dinsdale, 6:Fred Hilton, 7:George Taylor, 8:Neil Harris, 9:?, 10:Arthur Davis, 11:Len Barry

Fulham: 1:Ernie Beecham, 2:Reg Dyer, 3:?, 4:Len Olliver, 5:Jock McNab, 6:?, 7:Jack Harris, 8:Teddy Craig, 9:Bill Prouse, 10:Albert Pape, 11:?

Swansea Town 2-1 Arsenal

Quarter final: Saturday March 6th 1926

Attendance: 25,100

Scorers: {Swansea}:Len Thompson {44}, Jack Fowler, {Arsenal} Alex Mackie

Ranked at the time: 49

Today: Outside the top hundred

{Image: Thompson opens the scoring}

Swansea completed the second division duo of quarter finalists but unlike Fulham they were enjoying a good season, lying fifth in the second tier, albeit with any hope of promotion gone. Unlike Fulham though, The Swans had made it to the last eight by avoiding top flight opposition, knocking out another giant killer, Millwall, on the way to a clash with cup favourites, Arsenal. The Gunners were in a similar position in the top flight to Swansea's, having a great season, sitting in the top five but with all hope of final League reward gone as leaders, Huddersfield drifted out of site. from the moment the draw was made The Gunners expressed an opinion that suggested they really didn't fancy it, describing the tiny Vetch Field as a cock pit and that their players were not used to being within kissing distance of the fans. One Welsh pressman quickly responded that grounds and fans don't beat teams, other teams do.

Fans began queuing outside the Vetch field from 11am on matchday and by kick off it was packed to capacity. Swansea came out all guns blazing. Arsenal by contrast never got into their stride and failed to take notice of a scare when Fowler hit the bar early on. Swansea were happy to throw caution to the wind and were rewarded right on half time when Len Thompson the end of a pin ball situation to finally break Arsenal's stubborn resistance. The Gunner's were captained by the inspirational Charlie Buchan but even his best efforts failed to get the Gunners playing to their usual standard and they were again made to pay when Jack Fowler crashed a second goal high to Harper's left into the net. Not surprisingly Swansea began to wilt in the closing stages and Denoon did well to keep a Patterson effort out while Buchan also missed a good chance before Mackie converted a rather fortunate late goal back. The Gunners poured everything they had into the final moments with everyone bar the Arsenal keeper in the Swansea half over half a century later Swansea's Billy Hole could recall the enormity of the pressure on the whole team. Hole remembered getting the ball and just hitting it as hard and far as he could and the relief when the referee decided there was no time for the ball to come back up the park. Swansea were in the semi finals of the cup where the draw paired them with Bolton.

Despite Bolton's status among the elite, the Swansea fans left for the game convinced that, having beaten Arsenal, a trip to Wembley, as Cardiff had done the previous year, was a given. The occasion got the better of them and a highly experienced Trotters team cruised to a comfortable three goal victory.

Swansea: 1:Jock Denoon, 2:Sandy Langford, 3:Wilf Milne, 4;Jimmy Collins, 5:Joe Sykes, 6:Lacky McPherson, 7:Billy Hole, 8:Harry Deacon, 9:Jack Fowler, 10:Len Thompson, 11:Dai Nicholas

Arsenal: 1:Bill Harper, 2:Alex Mackie, 3:Bob John, 4:Alf Baker, 5:Jack Butler, 6:Billy Blyth, 7:Bert Lawson, 8:Charlie Buchan, 9:Jimmy Brain, 10:Jimmy Ramsey, 11:Jimmy Patterson