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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

Giant Killers


1949 - 1951

Stoke City 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Third Round: Saturday January 7th 1950

Attendance: 47,000

Scorer: Eddie Bailey

Ranked at the time: 305

{See Tottenham vs Sunderland below}

Stoke: 1:Dennis Herod, 2:Cyril Watkin, 3:Harry Meakin, 4:Roy Brown, 5:Neil Franklin, 6:Johnny Sellars, 7:Verdi Goodwin, 8:Frank Bowyer, 9:Don Whiston, 10:Les Johnston, 11:John Malkin {Manager: Bob McGrory}

Tottenham: 1:Ted Ditchburn, 2:Alf Ramsey, 3:Charlie Withers, 4:Bill Nicholson, 5:Harry Clarke, 6:Ron Burgess, 7:Sonny Walters, 8:Billy Rees, 9:Len Duquemin, 10:Eddie Bailey, 11:Les Medley {Manager: Arthur Rowe}

Swansea Town 3-0 Birmingham City

Third Round: Saturday January 7th 1950

Attendance: 18,990

Scorers: Frank Scrine, Frank Burns, Ivor Allchurch

Ranked at the time: 237

The fifties dawned as a decade of promise for Swansea. They were back in the Second Division, having won promotion the previous season. And although there was no major talk of kicking on to try and get into the First Division, the club did have big plans off the pitch to turn the Vetch into a sixty thousand capacity stadium. League results were mixed, yet good enough to keep the club reasonably clear of any relegation worries. The buzz at Swansea was all about a bright new prospect that broke into the first team in December. Ivor Allchurch wasn’t a household name yet but a great many Swansea fans and other players felt sure he soon would be. Birmingham by contrast were having a wretched season, which saw them rock bottom of the table for the last five months. Relegation seemed already to be something of a foregone conclusion and cup hopes were little better as they went to Swansea having failed to win away from St Andrews on all twelve road trips in League so far. Hardly surprising then that few expressed any form of surprise to hear that Frank Scrine, Frank Burns and the exciting Allchurch had all managed to find the net in a comfortable victory for the Second Division side. The Marble Halls of Highbury awaited in the Fourth round where the Swans were two goals down before staging a surging fight back that fell just short of forcing a replay. It earned praise from Arsenal manager Tom Whitaker telling his opposite number “You ran us mighty close” but it was still Arsenal who progressed to win the cup. Swansea finished the season in a respectable eighth place while Roy Paul would go on to one day lift the cup as captain of Manchester City.

Swansea: 1:Jack Parry, 2:Jim Feeney, 3:Rory Keane, 4:Roy Paul, 5:Reg Weston, 6:Frank Burns, 7:Jack O'Driscoll, 8:Billy Lucas, 9:Frank Scrine, 10:Ivor Allchurch, 11:Cryil Beech

Birmingham: 1:Gil Merrick, 2:Jack Badham, 3:Dennis Jennigs, 4:Derek Carr, 5:Ken Green, 6:Don Dorman, 7:Johnny Berry, 8:Bobby Brennan, 9:Jimmy Dailey, 10:Hugh Evans, 11:Harold Roberts

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Cardiff City

Third Round replay: Wednesday January 11th 1950

Attendance: 37,358

Scorer: George Edwards

Ranked at the time: 178

{See Cardiff vs Charlton below}

Albion: 1:Jim Sanders, 2:Jim Pemberton, 3:Len Millard, 4:Joe Kennedy, 5:Jack Vernon, 6:Reg Ryan, 7:Denis Gordon, 8:Cyril Williams, 9:Dave Walsh, 10:Ray Barlow, 11:Gordon Inwood

Cardiff: 1:Phil Joslin, 2:Arthur Lever, 3:Alf Sherwood, 4:Billy Baker, 5:Stan Montgomery, 6:Glyn Williams, 7:Ken Hollyman, 8:Elfed Evans, 9:Ron Stitfall, 10:George Edwards, 11:Doug Blair

Chesterfield 3-2 Middlesbrough

Fourth Round: Saturday January 28th 1950

Attendance: 27,500

Scorers: {Chesterfield} Matt Costello {16}, Gordon Dale, Chris Marrow: {Middlesbrough}: Geoff Walker {14}, Johnny Spuhler

Ranked at the time: 245

They had to close the gates early at Saltergate for the visit of Middlesbrough, though it’s likely many of those who turned up were disappointed when they were told ‘Boro’s star man, Wilf Mannion would not be in the visiting line up. No such disappointment would have been felt in a talented home dressing room. Chesterfield had shown the look of a side capable of making it into the First Division just after the war and even their bullish chairman declared that “The only way we will leave Division Two is upwards.” They remained a club that struggled at the turnstiles though, even in these boom times for the game and by 1950 they were finding it increasingly difficult to satisfy the desires of a group of players, many of whom felt were good enough to step up a grade. This then was their last hurrah but the day started badly when Peter McKennan laid on the chance for Geoff Walker to strike a stunning opener. The Spirites were level within two minutes later through Matt Costello but a whirlwind first half continued Johnny Spuhler restored the visitor’s lead. Star man on the day was Gordon Dale and he restored parity before the break and came agonisingly close to giving Chesterfield the lead. A second half Reg Halton free kick settled the tie when it fell to Hugh McJarrow to head into the path of Chris Marrow to score the winner. ‘Boro lacked Chesterfield’s powers of recovery and the Spirites were into the fifth round. And another visit from a First Division side, Chelsea. Another good performance from the home side this time earned a replay where the Londoners proved too strong.

Chesterfield: 1:Ray Middleton, 2:Stan Milburn, 3:Fred Capel, 4:Robert Southall, 5:Ken Booker, 6:Reg Halton, 7:Matt Costello, 8:Jack Thompson, 9:Chris Marrow, 10:Hugh McJarrow, 11:Gordon Dale

Middlesbrough: 1:Rolando Ugolini, 2:Ronnie Dicks, 3:George Hardwick, 4:Harry Bell, 5:Bill Whitaker, 6:Jimmy Gordon, 7:Billy Linacre, 8:Peter McKennan, 9:Johnny Spuhler, 10:Alex MacRae, 11;Geoff Walker

Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland

Fourth Round: Saturday January 28th 1950

Attendance: 66,246

Scorers: {Hotspur} Sonny Walters {17, 69 }, Les Bennett {31, 89}, Les Medley {76}: {Sunderland}: Dickie Davis {11}

Ranked at the time: 173

It would be slightly cruel to overly criticise Stoke and Sunderland too much for falling foul of Arthur Rowe’s great push and run Tottenham team in 1950. They were marching imperiously towards the Second Division title and promotion but nobody would have guessed how brilliantly they would then blow away the top flight the following season to bring the League title to White Hart Lane for the first time. These were the two warning shots they laid down for the top flight to expect a few months later. The first game was an attritional one at a boggy Victoria Ground, which made Spur's newly devised and impressive give and go game difficult. It was finally settled by Eddie Bailey’s header deep into the second half. The visit of Sunderland in round four however gave a truer measure of what Spurs were capable of. While Stoke were a struggling side, Sunderland were a decent outfit, lying seventh in a keenly contested title race and just five points off the pace. However, senior Sunderland fans warned that fifty-one years ago a very good Sunderland team took on the then Non-League Spurs and came off second best. Sunderland’s only abject performance of the season had come in a drubbing at Highbury a few weeks earlier so perhaps it was the London air but more likely the brilliance and speed of Tottenham’s play that destroyed them here. Spurs quickly equalised after going behind in the eleventh minute and from that moment to the final whistle Sunderland were on the back foot. If 5-1 was suggested as an unfair reflection of the game it was only in the fact that Spurs should have had more against a side whose players never got to grips with the new style of their opponents and found themselves regularly being passed out of the game. A modest Everton side ended Tottenham’s cup ambitions in round five but the marker was set. Spurs coasted to the Second tier crown, affording themselves the enjoyment of failing to win any of their last five games when the crown was secured. And with only minor tinkering, Rowe took his team to the best in the land. Stoke were this time hammered, Everton avenged and Tottenham became one of the most exciting champions for years, albeit Sunderland got some consolation in holding the new champions to drawn games home and away.

Tottenham:1:Ted Ditchburn, 2:Alf Ramsey, 3:Charlie Withers, 4:Bill Nicholson, 5:Harry Clarke, 6:Ron Burgess, 7:Sonny Walters, 8:Les Bennett, 9:Billy Rees, 10:Eddie Bailey, 11:Les Medley {Manager: Arthur Rowe}

Sunderland: 1:Johnny Mapson, 2:Jack Stelling, 3:Arthur Hudgell,. 4:Wiilie Watson, 5:Bill Walsh, 6:Tommy McLain, 7:Tommy Wright, 8:Ivor Broadis, 9:Dickie Davis, 10:Len Shackleton, 11;Tommy Reynolds{Manager:Bill Murray}

Cardiff City 2-0 Charlton Athletic

Fourth Round replay: Wednesday February 1st 1950

Attendance: 37,000

Scorers: Elfed Evans {2}

Ranked at the time: 223

Cardiff had already set themselves up as a lower division club to fear when beating Aston Villa in the 1949 competition. This time they faced Villa’s midlands rivals, mid table West Bromwich Albion. It was felt that the Bluebird would have to make home advantage count as their away form, just one win on the road all season, was poor. So when Albion left Wales with a 2-2 draw and a replay that looked to be that. George Edwards ensured Cardiff’s collection of second city scalps continued with the only goal at the Hawthornes. It was probably a goal of particular enjoyment for Edwards as a former Birmingham player who would later use his University education to become a long standing director of Cardiff and a justice of the peace. City were again paired with top flight opposition in round four in a chance to repeat their 1939 cup upset of Charlton. The Addicks were on a very poor run of nine defeats in ten games and showed little sign of gaining revenge as Elfed Evans scored both goals in a relatively comfortable victory. He would later sign for West Brom where he watched from the side-lines as their great 1954 team narrowly missed a League and cup double. After all this good work from Cardiff, they lost in round five at fellow giant killers, Leeds.

Cardiff: 1:Phil Joslin, 2:Arthur Lever, 3:Ald Sherwood, 4:Billy Baker, 5:Stan Montgomery, 6:Glyn Williams, 7:Ken Hollyman, 8:Elfed Evans, 9:Ron Stitfall, 10:George Edwards, 11:Doug Blair

Charlton: 1:Sam Bartram, 2:Peter Crocker, 3:Jack Shreeve, 4:Dudley Forbes, 5:Jimmy Walls, 6:Derek Hufton, 7:Gordon Hurst, 8:Sid O'Lynn, 9:Charlie Vaughan, 10:Charlie Purves, 11:Billy Kiernan

Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Leeds United

Fourth Round replay: Wednesday February 1st 1950

Attendance: 29,440

Scorers: {Wanderers} Harry McShane {53}, Nat Lofthouse {70}: {United} Frank Dudley {2, 95}, Len Browning {48} {After Extra Time}

Ranked at the time: 263

Few teams went into the New Year in better form than Leeds. The Second Division club had recovered from what would ultimately prove a very costly start of just one win in their first eleven games to then lose just twice in their next nineteen.

{image above: Harold Searson under pressure from Nat Lofthouse {Yorkshire Post} Having easily negotiated their third round tie they were drawn at home to a Bolton side struggling in the First Division and not relishing a trip to a team on a run of five straight wins. A buoyant Leeds should have had the belief to win the tie but it was Bolton who left a frozen Elland Road feeling disappointed not to have won the tie at the first attempt. The replay was a classic, played out in bottomless mud at Burnden Park that left the players exhausted at the end. It also gave the Bolton fans a chance to see a rematch of a clash between two players that had been a talking point of the first game. Bolton’s young centre forward, Nat Lofthouse was just starting to emerge as a great player but he would be well marshalled here by the teenager, John Charles. Leeds got off to a flyer when Frank Dudley headed home within two minutes and it looked good for the visitors when they started the second half in equally blistering fashion. This time there were barely three minutes gone when Len Browning headed in from barely a yard out. Bolton were in need of a quick response and they got it through Harry McShane before Nat Lofthouse levelled the game with twenty minutes remaining. As in the first tie, Bolton pressed hard for a winner but were unable to find one as Leeds clung on for extra time. Bolton hadn’t learned and were yet again caught cold at the start of the extra period when Dudley met Len Browning’s header to fire in off the bar to regain the lead. This time Bolton couldn’t find a way back and Leeds were able to celebrate a home tie against fellow giant killers, Cardiff in round five. Frank Buckley was gushing in his praise of his team. “I’ve seen some wonderful displays of Cup fighting on bad pitches in my long connection with football, including many epic struggles when I was Manager of Wolves, but United’s display was the best I have ever seen. Every man more than pulled his weight.” The Cardiff tie was another cracker on another gluepot with Leeds racing into a quick-fire two goal lead but being made to work hard to eventually win 3-1. That earned them a place in the quarter finals of the cup for the first time in history and a trip to Arsenal where Leeds gave a great account of themselves before they went down to a solitary goal. Leeds ended the season just five points off promotion and bitterly regretting that poor start to the season.

Bolton: 1:Stan Hansen, 2:Jackie Roberts, 3:Ralph Banks, 4:Malcolm Barrass, 5:Matt Gillies, 6:Don Howe, 7:Harry McShane, 8:Billy Moir, 9:Nat Lofthouse, 10:Jack Bradley, 11:Bobby Langton

Leeds: 1:Harold Searson, 2:Jimmy Dunn, 3:Jim Milburn, 4:Jim McCabe, 5:John Charles, 6:Tom Burden, 7:David Cochrane, 8:Ray Iggledon, 9:Len Browning, 10:Frank Dudley, 11:Harold Williams