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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

Giant Killers


1938 - 1947

Blackpool 1-2 Sheffield United

Third round: Saturday January 7th 1939

Attendance: 12,000

Scorers: {Blackpool} Tommy Lewis {20}: {United}: Harry Hooper {26}, Jimmy Hagan {82}

Ranked at the time: 287

Blackpool: 1:Jock Wallace, 2:Malcolm Butler, 3:George Farrow, 4:?, 5:?, 6:?, 7:Alex Munro, 8:Tommy Lewis, 9:Bob Finan, 10:George Eastham, 11:Willie Buchan

United: 1:Jack Smith, 2:Young, 3:Carr, 4:?. 5:Harry Barton, 6:Harold Hampson, 7:Harry Hooper, 8:Jimmy Hagan, 9:?, 10:Jack Pickering, 11:?

For promotion chasing United the cup presented them with a chance to test themselves against a side they hoped to face in the top flight the following year in Blackpool but on a quagmire of a pitch they looked to be on the way out when Tommy Lewis fired the elite club into the lead. United by that time were playing with a passenger on the wing as Harry Hooper had taken the ball full in the face and had returned to the field after treatment in a very dazed state. Yet it was Hooper, gradually beginning to recover, who equalised to send the sides in level at the break. United were the better side in the second period but it was still as the light was fading that the tie was settled by Jimmy Hagan. United put paid to the chances of Second Division promotion rivals, Manchester City in round four before they travelled to their next top flight opponents Grimsby in round five. No goals were scored at Blundell Park on a day when United were by far the better side but were made to pay by Grimsby, who netted the only goal of the replay. By now United had dropped out of the promotion places but had the double joy of securing runners up spot in their last game of the season, at Sheffield Wednesday’s expense.

Brentford 0-2 Newcastle United

Third round: Saturday January 7th 1939

Attendance: 30,000

Scorers: Harry Clifton {44}, Tom Mooney {Half Time 0-1}

Ranked at the time: 255

Newcastle clinched a win at top flight Brentford after a good old case of smash and grab in the first half, which ended with them taking the lead through Harry Clifton after Tom Swinburne had performed heroically to keep the home side out. It was a blow from which a deflated Brentford never recovered as Newcastle took control of the game in the second period. Their victory was sealed by a terrific solo effort from Tom Mooney, fending off challenges from Gorman and James before driving the ball past Crozier. Round four produced a battle of the giant killers as Newcastle faced Charlton’s conquerors, Cardiff, running out comfortable 4-1 winners before a disappointed home crowd watched the Magpies capitulate to Preston by two goals in round five.

Brentford:1:Joe Crozier, 2:Bill Gorman, 3:George Poyser, 8:Gerry McAloon, 9:William Scott, James

United: 1:Tom Swinburne, 2:Joe Richardson, 3:Robert Ancell, 4:Jimmy Gordon, 5:Jesse Carver, 6:Douggie Wright, 7:Ralph Burkitt, 8:Harry Clifton, 9:Willie Scott, 10:Ray Bowden, 11:Tom Mooney

Cardiff City 1-0 Charlton Athletic

Third round: Saturday January 7th 1939

Attendance: 20,000

Scorer: Walton {half time 0-0}

Ranked at the time: 35

The thirties had been a hard decade to take for the faithful of Cardiff who had seen their side slump from top flight to battling to avoid re-election during that time. Another hard season at the wrong end of the Third Division was being played out when they won through to face Charlton in the third round of the cup with victories over Cheltenham and Crewe and the omen seekers saw the letter c as the lucky symbol that would lead to a cupset. On a terrible day for London Football in general, Charlton did their bit by putting in a poor display at Ninian Park, being spared a worse defeat only by the brilliance of their English International keeper, Sam Bartram. City fans were starting to think it wasn’t going to be their day when he pulled off a brilliant save to deny Pugh in the early stages of the second half. Shortly after Walton scored what proved to be the winner, though John Oakes had his keeper to thank for keeping him off the score sheet at the wrong end late on. Newcastle were next to visit Ninian Park in round four but this time the hosts could not find the breakthrough and were forced to travel up to the north east where their opponents triumphed 4-1.

City:1:Bill Fielding, 2:Balsam, 3:Billy Bassett, 4:?, 5:?, 6:?, 7:?, 8:Walton, 9:Collins, 10:Smith, 11:Pugh

Athletic: 1:Sam Bartram, 2:John Oakes, 3:Jack Shreeve, 4:?, 5:?, 6:?, 7:George Tadman, 8:Sailor Brown, 9:Jack Hobbs, 10:Jonathan Wilkinson, 11:?

Chelmsford City 4-1 Southampton

Third round: Saturday January 7th 1939

Attendance: 13,000

Scorers: {Chelmsford} Carnaby {own goal}, Coulter {2}, Wright: {Southampton} Holt {Half Time 3-1}

Ranked at the time: 195

Southern League Chelmsford had only turned professional the previous year and were entering into their first F A cup run in that capacity when they were drawn to face a Second Division Southampton side, managed by the captain of Arsenal’s cup winning and title winning sides of 1930 and ’31, Tom Parker. A huge crowd were assembled at the tine New Writtle Street ground but they were greeted by a pitch that was virtually unplayable, with huge puddles all over the field. Surprisingly, and possibly because of the volume of spectators arriving for the game, the referee gave the match his blessing and an unhappy Southampton side kicked off. It was a match the Saints never got to grips with and from the moment Carnaby directed the ball past his own keeper they were doomed. Chelmsford’s most famous player, ex Everton and Northern Ireland International, Jackie Coulter proved the chief tormentor, scoring the second goal and creating several other chances that could have put the tie well beyond the Saints but for the heroics of keeper, Sam Warhurst. Those saves looked crucial when Holt gave the visitors brief hope before Wright restored Chelmsford’s two goal cushion before the interval. The game was sealed by Coulter, completing his brace in the second half and Southampton had been humiliated, albeit on a pitch they continued to state should never have been considered fit for play. Cup fever hit the town when the draw took them to top flight strugglers, Birmingham and a huge travelling support made the journey to St Andrews for a grand day out. The result was a thumping six goal romp for the elite side, which only slightly dampened the party atmosphere for the Chelmsford faithful. The non league side took their cup run as a good platform to launch a bid to get elected to the league at the end of the season but received just a solitary vote.

City: 1:Davison, 2:Wass, 8:Jackie Coulter, Bell, Landells, Wright

Southampton: 1:Sam Warhurst, 6:Carnaby, 8:Arthur Holt

Manchester United 1-5 West Bromwich Albion

Third round replay: Wednesday January 11th 1939

Attendance: 17,641

Scorers: {United}: Hubert Redwood {Albion}:

Ranked at the time: 134

Thrill a minute stuff was how the first clash between these two was described at The Hawthorns and while United may not have been the powerhouse they were to become after the war this was still a bitter pill for them to take from their second tier opponents. Albion travelled to another top flight side, Portsmouth, in high spirits after this display but went down to two goals in a minute to the side who went on to win the cup.

United:1:Norman Tapken, 2:Hubert Redwood, 3:Jack Griffiths, 4:Jack Warner, 5:George Gladwin, 6:Bill McKay, 7:Bill Wrigglesworth, 8:Jackie Wassall, 9:Johnny Hanlon, 10:Johnny Carey, 11:Jack Smith {Manager-Walter Crickmer}


Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Sunderland

Fifth round second replay: Monday February 20th 1939 @ Hillsborough, Sheffield, After Extra Time

Attendance: 30,217


Ranked at the time: 35

Promotion chasing Blackburn had enjoyed a routine cup run to round five at the expense of Swansea and Southend before being handed a trip to Roker Park to face Sunderland. It would be an afternoon that would have Blackburn’s players feeling they had been robbed when they claimed a late Sunderland equaliser did not cross the line. The referee disagreed and the game went to a replay at Ewood Park, which this time was settled in Blackburn’s favour without any controversy. The Second Division leaders were presented with a visit to top flight Huddersfield where a spirited first half display still saw Rovers a goal down at the interval. The tie was drifting away from them when Huddersfield were reduced to ten fit men. Rovers made their advantage count with a late equaliser that gave them a shared ball in the hat for the semi finals. Portsmouth were waiting for the expectant Rovers fans as they greeted Huddersfield for the Ewood Park replay where the visitors won by the odd goal in three. The consolation for Blackburn came at the end of the season when they were crowned Second Division Champions.


Sunderland: 1:Johnny Mapson, 2:Jimmy Gorman, 3:Alex Hall, 4:Arthur Housam, 5:Bert Johnston, 6:Alex Hastings, 7:Len Duns, 8:Raich Carter, 9:Bobby Gurney, 10:John Smeaton, 11:Eddie Burbanks, {Manager-Johnny Cochrane}