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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

Giant Killers


1948 - 1950

Brentford 3-2 Middlesbrough

Third Round: Saturday January 8th 1949 {After Extra Time}

Attendance: 30,000

Scorers: {Brentford} Tony Harper, Fred Monk, Peter McKennan {Middlesbrough} Billy Walker, Johnny Spuhler

Ranked at the time: 263

Middlesbrough manager, David Jack was a busy man in the week leading up to his struggling side's trip to London to face equally struggling Second tier outfit, Brentford. Boro's star man, and potential saviour from relegation, Wilf Mannion was being tempted into a move down to Division Two to Grimsby as the Cleethorpes club attempted to use the signing as the platform for a promotion bid. Boro were offered £10,000 while Mannion considered the prospect of the bonus of a day job as the manager of a Cleethorpes holiday camp. Were that the Premier League stars of the 21st Century could be offered such lucrative deals! David Jack's response to facing the loss of his star was to go to Brentford the day before the cup tie and offer £5,000 and a reserve player for their dangerous Scottish inside forward, Peter 'ma ba' {my ball} McKennan. McKennan was all set to take his place in the stands at Griffin Park the following day, as his registration would not have been in time for him to play for Boro' but instead he was advised to report as normal to the home dressing room. The deal had fallen through due to Mannion's uncertainty about his move, which never happened and McKennan donned the number nine shirt, although Mannion didn't travel with his Boro' team mates. Hundreds of Boro' fans did make the journey by train, though most were more interested in getting a bite to eat than any sight seeing after their long trip. There may even have been one or two among their number who had made the same journey forty-two years earlier and would be able to recall that Brentford had put Boro to the sword in a cupset once before. Certainly many of the homes fans remembered, and those that didn't were reminded of their 1907 giant killing act in the match programme. It would be a nerve jangling and bad day for them. Billy Walker struck in the first period for the visitors to match Tony Harper's goal for the home side and at full time both sides had scored again to maintain the stalemate. Extra time settled the tie and David Jack must have smiled and thought to himself that it was sods law that the very man he had tried to lure to Ayresome Park the previous night had sent his team packing from the cup. As fate would have it, Mckennan and Mannion would become team mates before the year was out as the latter stayed at Ayresome Park while the former, eventually, made the journey north. the Scotsman however had unfinished business with this season's cup run for Brentford.

{See Brentford vs Burnley below}

Brentford: 1: Joe Crozier, 2:Malcolm MacDonald, 3:Bill Gorman, 4:Dave Nelson, 5:Jack Chisholm, 6:Tom Manley, 7:Peter Buchanan, 8:Peter McKennan, 9:Fred Monk, 10:Tony Harper, 11:Doug Keene

Middlesbrough:1:Rolando Ugolini, 2:Dicky Robinson, 3:George Hardwick, 4:Harry Bell, 5:Billy Whitaker, 6:Jimmy Gordon, 7:Martin Reagan, 8:Johnny Spuhler, 9:Micky Fenton, 10:Tommy Blenkinsopp, 11;Geoff Walker

Newcastle United 0-2 Bradford {Park Avenue}

Third Round: Saturday January 8th 1949

Attendance: 47,196

Scorers: Johnny Downie {41}, Harry McIlvenny {56}

Ranked at the time: 21

{click match result for detailed report}

United: 1:Jack Fairbrother, 2:Bobby Cowell, 3:Ron Batty, 4:Joe Harvey, 5:Frank Brennan, 6:Norman Dodgin, 7:George Stobbart, 8:Colin Gibson, 9:Jackie Milburn, 10:Ernie Taylor, 11:George Hair

Avenue: 1:Chic Farr, 2:Jimmy Stephen, 3:Arthur Farrell, 4:Ray White, 5:Les Horsman, 6:Billy Elliott, 7:Alec Glover, 8:Gerry Henry, 9:Harry McIlvenny, 10:Johnny Downie, 11:Bill Deplidge

Yeovil Town 3-1 Bury

Third Round: Saturday January 8th 1949

Attendance: 13,315

{Image right - The Bury captain looks on as Yeovil's Alec Stock tosses the coin}

Scorers: {Town} Jack Hargreaves {7}, Ray Wright {44}, Bobby Hamilton {65}: {Bury} Dave Massart {19}

Ranked at the time: 126

Town: 1:Stan Hall, 2:Arthur Hickman, 3:Ralph Davis, 4:Bob Keeton, 5:Les Blizzard, 6:Nick Collins, 7:Bobby Hamilton, 8:Alec Stock, 9:Eric Bryant, 10:Ray Wright, 11:Jack Hargreaves

Bury: 1:Ken Grieves, 2:George Griffiths, 3:Bill Griffiths, 4:David Jones, 5:Les Hart, 6:Les Bardsley, 7:Harry Whitworth, 8:Andy Dolan, 9:Dave Massart, 10:Fred Worthington, 11:Alf Bellis

Birmingham City 1-2 Leicester City

Third Round second replay: Monday January 17th 1949

Attendance: 31,609

Scorers: {Birmingham} Don Dorman {47}: {Leicester} Jimmy Harrison {38}, Don Revie {53}

Ranked at the time: 142

Birmingham: 1:Bill Robertson, 2:Jack Southam, 3:Ken Green, 4:Fred Harris, 5:Ted Duckhouse, 6:Frank McKee, 7:Johnny Berry, 8:Don Dorman, 9:Cyril Trigg, 10:Hugh Evans, 11:Harold Roberts

Leicester: 1:Ian McGraw, 2:Ted Jelly, 3:Jimmy Harrison, 4:Walter Harrison, 5:Norman Plummer, 6:Johnny King, 7:Mal Griffiths, 8:Don Revie, 9:Jack Lee, 10:Charlie Adam, 11:Sandy Scott

Aston Villa 1-2 Cardiff City

Fourth Round: Saturday January 29th 1949

Attendance: 70,718

Scorers: {Villa} Dickie Dorsett: {City} Billy Rees, Ken Hollyman {half time 1-0}

Ranked at the time: 287

Sometimes a cup exit is the best thing that could happen to a team, such was the case with Villa. They went into this tie languishing one place above relegation but after this defeat they would go on a run of just one defeat in their remaining sixteen games to finish a creditable tenth. All looked well at half time here though as Dickie Dorsett had given them the lead. For Cardiff born and bred Ken Hollyman the day was one of his most cherished as a Footballer. He recalled of his equaliser. "I started the move on the centre circle and George Edwards went clear on the left wing. All I could think of was get to the far post as I ran through the middle. I don't know whether George tried a shot or not, but the ball came over like a bullet. I thought 'bloody hell!' as I jumped and it went like a rocket from my head into the net. What a feeling? What a noise? I went crazy. Billy Rees got another and we won 2-1." Cardiff bowed out narrowly to title contenders, Derby in round five before emulating Villa by going on a great run of their own towards the end of the season, which saw them climb from mid table to fourth. Sadly though it did not close a six point gap that remained to the promoted teams.

Villa: 1:Joe Rutherford, 2:George Cummings, 3:Harry Parkes, 4:Ivor Powell, 5:Con Martin, 6:Frank Moss, 7:George Edwards, 8:Dickie Dorsett, 9:Trevor Ford, 10:Leslie Smith, 11:Billy Goffin

City: 1:Phil Joslin, 2:Arthur lever, 3:Ron Stitfall, 4:Billy Baker, 5:Stan Montgomery, 6:Graham Hogg, 7:Ken Hollyman, 8:Bryn Allen, 9:Billy Rees, 10:Ernie Stevenson, 11:George Edwards

Leicester City 2-0 Preston North End

Fourth Round: Saturday January 29th 1949

Attendance: 37,775

Scorers: Jack Lee {pen}, Mal Griffiths

Ranked at the time: 146

City: 1:Ian McGraw, 2:Ted Jelly, 3:Jimmy Harrison, 4:Walter Harrison, 5:Norman Plummer, 6:Johnny King, 7:Mal Griffiths, 8:Don Revie, 9:Jack Lee, 10:Ken Chisholm, 11:Charlie Adam

North End: 1:Monty Newlands, 2:Willie Brown, 3:Joe Walton, 4:Ken Horton, 5:Paddy Waters, 6:Willie Robertson, 7:Tom Finney, 8:Bobby Beattie, 9:Angus Morrison, 10:Jackie Knight, 11;Bobby Langton

Yeovil Town 2-1 Sunderland

Fourth Round: Saturday January 29th 1949

Attendance: 17,123

Scorers: {Yeovil} Alec Stock {28}, Eric Bryant {105}: {Sunderland} Jackie Robinson {62} {After Extra Time}

Ranked at the time: 17

{Image left-Sunderland captain Fred Hall shakes hands with the Yeovil mascot as Alec Stock and referee look on} 

Town: 1:Dickie Dyke, 2:Arthur Hickman, 3:Ralph Davis, 4:Bob Keeton, 5:Les Blizzard, 6:Nick Collins, 7:Bobby Hamilton, 8:Alec Stock, 9:Eric Bryant, 10:Ray Wright, 11:Jack Hargreaves {Player-Manager-Alec Stock}

Sunderland: 1:Johnny Mapson, 2:Jack Stelling, 3:Barney Ramsden, 4:Willie Watson, 5:Fred Hall, 6:Arthur Wright, 7:Len Duns, 8:Jackie Robinson, 9:Ronnie Turnbull, 10:Len Shackleton, 11:Tommy Reynolds {Manager-Bill Murray}

Huddersfield Town 1-3 Newport County

Fourth Round replay: Saturday February 5th 1949

Attendance: 34,183

Scorers: {Huddersfield} Vic Metcalfe : {Newport} Eddie Carr {2}, Reg Parker

Ranked at the time: 42

Struggling Newport was battling to steer clear of the Third Division South re-election zone when they pulled off a minor sup shock against Second Division Leeds in round three to earn a home tie against Huddersfield. The top flight side were rock bottom of the First Division, although a thumping 5-0 cup win over QPR in the last round had lifted a little of the gloom around Leeds Road.

Their fans were starting to think of a cup run when they came from a goal down at Somerton Park to lead 3-1 deep into this tie but Newport dug deep and forced extra time. The Newport fans left the ground half an hour later delighted with their team’s performance but fully expecting the same fate that befell Huddersfield’s last cup opponents. After all, this was the same County side humiliated 1-11 at Notts County just a few weeks earlier.

Things looked bleak in the early exchanges of the replay as Huddersfield started the game showing signs of a confidence they had been dearly lacking all season. Then Newport scored with their first meaningful attack. A cross into the box was dealt with easily enough by Wheeler but Eddie Carr stole in to bundle keeper and ball into the net. These were still the days when a full back’s job was to prevent such action and a referee would deem it perfectly fair.

Carr himself was the star of the Newport side. A former Huddersfield player himself, he went on to be part of the 1938 Arsenal title winning side before a serious knee injury all but ended his career. This was his swan song and he bagged a second goal as the confidence ebbed out of the Huddersfield players. Town did pull a goal back but the game was settled midway through the second half when Parker scored a third and booked a trip to Champions elect, Portsmouth.

There Newport definitely had no chance against a side unbeaten at home all season but it was a tie that would live long in the memory of those who were there and so nearly produced a mammoth cupset. Despite falling behind in the opening minutes, Newport fought back and Eddie Carr gave them a lead, which they held until twenty minutes from time when a move worthy of Champions finished with a goal that forced extra time. Alick Grant even saved a Pompey penalty before the Welsh resistance was finally broken.With the cup no longer a distraction, both Huddersfield and Newport avoid losing their Divisional status come season's end.

Town: 1:Jack Wheeler, 2:Bill Hayes, 3:Tom Briggs, 4:Bill Whittaker, 5:George Hepplewhite, 6;Eddie Boot, 7:Johnny McKenna, 8:Albert Nightingale, 9:Jimmy Glazzard, 10:Peter Doherty, 11:Vic Metcalfe

County: 1:Alick Grant, 2:Lew Bradford, 3;Dougie Hayward, 4;George Roffi, 5:Ray Wilcox, 6:Danny Newall, 7:Harold Williams, 8:Len Comley, 9:Reg Parker, 10:Eddie Carr, 11:Bobby Harper

Brentford 4-2 Burnley

Fifth Round: Saturday February 12th 1949


Scorers: {Brentford}: Peter McKennan {1, 82}, Jackie Gibbons (58), Fred Monk (74): {Burnley} George Bray (57), Reg Attwell (63}

Ranked at the time: 175

Back in round Three Brentford had made headlines in the transfer news as their Scottish forward, Peter McKennan was almost lured to cup opponents, Middlesbrough in what may have been a ploy to upset the Bees. As [report above] history shows, that tactic backfired spectacularly when ‘Ma Ba’ popped up to score the extra time winner. A tense 1-0 victory over Third Division Torquay followed in round four before being paired with Burnley in round five. The Clarets had replaced Brentford when the Bees were relegated from the top flight two years earlier and then very nearly won the title at the first time of asking. They had also reached the cup final in their promotion year.

This season their League form was sketchy as they sat mid table with the cup their main focus. Brentford were at a pivotal moment in their history. The side still contained keeper, Joe Crozier as well as Bill Gorman, Tom Manley, Peter Buchanan and Jackie Curtis from their top flight days but just as on the eve of round three, they made the news for different reasons on the eve of round five. {image above - Jimmy Strong misses a cross under pressure from Fred Monk Courtesy Brentford memorabilia} This time it was long standing, and highly respected manager, Harry Curtis who was the subject when he announced that, after over two decades in charge, he would be retiring at the end of the season. The news was a hammer blow to the thousands of Bee’s fans heading to the ground that would dearly miss the man who brought them top flight Football a decade earlier. Peter McKennan had to make the news too of course; this time with Curtis stating that it was unlikely he would play, suffering from a heavy cold. So it may have been with a little concern that he emerged, wearing the number 9 shirt to face Burnley. That concern didn’t last long as McKennan wrong footed two defenders with his first touch of the ball before slamming it past Strong to give the Bees an early lead in a first half that they largely dominated but couldn’t capitalise on. The second half was a cracker in which the pendulum swung back and forward and ended with one very relieved keeper and another left to blame himself. First came Crozier’s mad moment as Burnley piled on the pressure with Brentford players flinging themselves in the way for the cause. Two shots had been blocked when the keeper raced from his goal, got caught in two minds whether to pick it up or not, collided with Fred Monk and then watched in horror George Bray very single mindedly smashed the ball into the net. Brentford responded instantly with Jackie Gibbons restoring their lead with their next attack and Crozier was off the hook. Not for long though as Burnley began to take a grip on the game and levelled again soon after through Reg Attwell. This time there was no instant response from Brentford and it appeared their chance had gone as Burnley were in the ascendant. Lady luck presents timely gifts in the cup and so it was when Fred Monk swung in a cross which Strong rose to catch but then inexplicably allowed to sail over his head, gripping the crossbar instead. The ball dipped just inside his far post and Brentford had a very unlikely third goal while Burnley had a keeper who, for a moment must have wished he could be anywhere but staring at the faces of his bemused team mates. A fourth goal in the closing minutes put the seal on a day when Burnley’s neat passing game was undone by Brentford’s direct approach and two keepers both had cause to reflect on their performance. The quarter final draw was kind to the Bee’s as they were paired with a Leicester side sitting below them in the Second Division but in front of a record crowd, which still stands for Griffin Park, in glorious sunshine they choked and contrived to lose 0-2. Brentford’s greatest chance of getting to a cup final had gone and no better opportunity has ever followed. Lowly Leicester meanwhile, pulled off a major cupset of their own to have their day at Wembley.

Brentford: 1: Joe Crozier, 2:Malky McDonald, 3:Bill Gorman, 4:Dave Nelson, 5:Jack Chisholm, 6:Tom Manley, 7:Peter Buchanan, 8:Peter McKennan, 9:Fred Monk, Jackie Gibbons, 11:Dickie Girling

Burnley: 1:Jimmy Strong, 2:Joe Loughran, 3:Reg Kirkham, 4:Reg Attwell, 5:Tommy Cummings, 6:George Bray, 7:Jackie Chew, 8:Jack Spencer, 9:Alf Clarke, 10:Harry Potts, 11:Jack Hays

Stoke City 0-2 Hull City

Fifth Round: Saturday February 12th 1949

Attendance: 46,738

Scorers:Norman Moore, Jimmy Greenhalgh

Ranked at the time: 74

It’s only in recent years, when Hull made it to the top flight for the first time and then reached their First F A cup final, that the tails of the great side of 1948/49 season have begun to fade. The Tigers were in the old Third Division North in those days, with a useful side under the guidance of Major Frank Buckley, the man who took charge of the great Wolves side of the late 1930s. Curiously though, when Hull made the not inconsiderable coup of signing Raich Carter in the close season, Buckley resigned.

Carter had been the focal point of the Sunderland side that won both League and cup before the war and the Derby County side that lifted the cup in 1946. Now his career was winding down and he arrived at Boothferry Park in the belief that he could learn from Buckley and eventually replace him. The latter happened instantly but Carter had little difficulty with that. Still a player himself, he studied his new charges and felt he could improve the side by switching the positions of a few of the players.

The results were startling right from the beginning of the season as The Tigers blew everyone placed before them away. Come cup fifth round day they were second in their division only by virtue of their cup run giving Rotherham the opportunity to go top with extra games.

Their cup run was supposed to end at Stoke City’s Victoria Ground but Stoke were a club with great off the field difficulties. Manager, Bob McGrory built a side many felt would have won the title in 1947, had he not upset star man Stan Matthews so much that the wizard of dribble promptly upped sticks and moved to Blackpool and ultimate glory.

Now McGrory’s discipline was getting too much for a great many of the first team and it seemed that barely a weekend passed when a Stoke victory wasn’t followed by a transfer request from any given player deemed to have put in a good display.

Such disharmony in the dressing room led to inconsistency on the pitch and made them ripe for a slaying when faced with a team as confident as Hull and on a bog of a pitch in the harshest of winters, the duly obliged. Hull dominated and deservedly led through Norman Moore before Jimmy Greenhalgh made the game safe.

They were queuing for hours to get into Boothferry Park on quarter final day as title chasing Manchester United were the visitors. By kick off every inch of the ground was packed and the record crowd set that day would stand until the ground was demolished almost sixty years later.

Carter’s team gave everything to pull off a huge upset, with keeper Billy Bly knocked unconscious and Willie Buchan seeing his goal bound effort cleared off the line. They left it late but United put the tie to rest with the only goal to progress to the semi-finals. Hull turned their attention back to the Third Division and quickly went back to the top to be crowned Champions.

Stoke: 1:Dennis Herod, 2:Cyril Watkin, 3:Jock Kirton, 4:Frank Mountford, 5:Neil Franklin, 6:Johnny Sellars, 7:George Mountford, 8:Frank Bowyer, 9:Freddie Steele, 10:Syd Peppitt, 11:Alec Ormston

Hull: 1:Billy Bly, 2:Jack Taylor, 3:Tom Berry, 4:Jimmy Greenhalgh, 5:Harold Meens, 6:Allan Mellor, 7:Ken Harrison, 8:Viggo Jenson, 9:Norman Moore, 10:Willie Buchan, 11:Raich Carter

West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Chelsea

Fifth Round: Saturday February 12th 1949

Attendance: 57,843

Scorers: Dave Walsh {3} {Half time 0-0}

Ranked at the time: 258

Albions first post war hero was Irishman, Dave Walsh who destroyed First Division Chelsea with a second half blitz in this tie. The Baggies were going well in Division Two heading into this fifth round tie and looked poised to regain the top flight status they lost in 1939. The tie was poised at 0-0 at the interval before Walsh perhaps the best forty-five minutes of Football he produced in a Baggie’s shirt, scoring a rapid hat-trick and having another goal ruled out for an infringement on the keeper. Albion lost their quarter final to bitter rivals Wolves but went on to win promotion to the top flight and next entertained Chelsea seven months later with the Baggies sitting higher up the table. That match ended

Albion: 1:Jim Sanders, 2:Jim Pemberton, 3:Len Millard, 4:Ray Barlow, 5:Jack Vernon, 6:Glyn Hood, 7:Billy Elliott, 8:Cyril Williams, 9:Dave Walsh, 10:Jack Haines, 11:Arthur Smith

Chelsea: 1:Peter Pickering, 2:Danny Winter, 3:Fred Lewis, 4:Ken Armstrong, 5:John Harris, 6:Jimmy Macauley, 7:Bobby Campbell, 8:Jimmy Bowie, 9:Roy Bentley, 10:Reg Williams, 11:Benny Jones

Leicester City 3-1 Portsmouth

Semi Final: Saturday March 26th 1949

Attendance: 62,000 {Highbury, London}

Scorers: {City} Don Revie {8, 78}, Ken Chisholm {47}: {Portsmouth} Sandy Scott [o.g. 28}

Ranked at the time: 10

City: 1:Ian McGraw, 2:Ted Jelly, 3:Sandy Scott, 4:Walter Harrison, 5:Norman Plummer, 6:Johnny King, 7:Mal Griffiths, 8:Jack Lee, 9:Don Revie, 10:Ken Chisholm, 11:Charlie Adam {Manager-Johnny Duncan}

Portsmouth: 1:Ernest Butler, 2:Jasper Yeuell, 3:Harry Ferrier, 4:Jimmy Scoular, 5:Reg Flewin, 6:Jimmy Dickenson, 7:Peter Harris, 8:Bert Barlow, 9:Ike Clarke, 10:Len Phillips, 11:Jack Froggatt