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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

Giant Killers


1977 - 1979

Wrexham 3-0 Bristol City

Third Round Replay: Monday January 9th 1978

Attendance: 15,614

Scorers: Dixie McNeill, Mickey Thomas, Graham Whittle

Ranked at the time:219

Wrexham: 1:Dai Davies, 2:Alan Hill, 3:Alan Dwyer, 4:Gareth Davis, 5:Wayne Cegielski, 6:Mickey Thomas, 7:Bobby Shinton, 8:Mel Sutton, 9:Dixie McNeil {replced by 12:John Lyons}, 10:Graham Whittle, 11:Arfon Griffiths {player-manager}

City: 1:John Shaw, 2:Gerry Sweeney, 3:Don Gillies, 4:Gerry Gow, 5:Gary Collier, 6:Geoff Merrick, 7:Trevor Tainton, 8:Tom Ritchie, 9:Joe Royle, 10:Kevin Mabbutt, 11:Peter Cormack. Manager:Alan Dicks

Norwich City 0-1 Orient

Third Round Replay: Monday January 16th 1978

Attendance: 20,421

Scorer: Peter Kitchen

Ranked at the time:263

Norwich: 1:Kevin Keelan, 2:Kevin Bond, 3:Colin Sullivan, 4:John Ryan, 5:Jim Fleeting, 6:Tony Powell, 7:Jimmy Neighbour, 8:Colin Suggett, 9:Roger Gibbins, 10:Kevin Reeves, 11:Martin Peters. Manager:John Bond

Orient: 1:John Jackson, 2:Bobby Fisher, 3:Bill Roffey, 4:Tony Grealish, 5:Phil Hoadley, 6:Glenn Roeder, 7:John Chiedozie, 8:Nigel Gray, 9:Joe

Walsall 1-0 Leicester City

Fourth Round: Saturday January 28th 1978

Attendance: 17,421

Scorer: Alun Evans

Ranked at the time:246

Walsall: 1:Mick Kearns, 2:Tony Macken {replaced by 12:Alan Birch} 3:Brian Caswell, 4:Colin Harrison, 5:Dave Serella, 6:Alun Evans, 7:Miah Dennehy, 8:Mick Bates, 9:Alf Wood, 10:Alan Buckley, 11:Jeff King. Manager:Dave Mackay

City: 1:Mark Wallington, 2:Tommy Williams, 3:Dennis Rofe, 4:Steve Kember, 5:Steve Sims, 6:Dave Webb, 7:Geoff Salmons, 8:Eddie Kelly, 9:Roger Davies, 10:Keith Weller, 11:Billy Hughes. Manager:Frank McLintock

 Wrexham 4-1 Newcastle United

Fourth Round replay: Monday February 6th 1978

Attendance: 18,676

Scorers: {Wrexham} Dixie McNeil {2, 83 }, Bobby Shinton {42}, Les Cartwright {89} {United} Micky Burns {39}

Ranked at the time: 195

Third Division Wrexham had developed something of a reputation as a Giant Killer as the 1970s drew to a close and had been the toast of Newcastle last year for knocking Sunderland out of the cup. This year they were drawn to visit St James' Park in the fourth round and twice came from behind to secure a replay at The Racecourse on a day memorable for a goal of the season contender from Ray Blackhall, which had looked like being the winner until Dixie McNeil fired an excellent last gasp equaliser, hit so hard that a Policeman stationed behind the goal ducked as the ball crashed into the net in front of him. The replay was a complete humiliation for Newcastle but their fans had grown used to such treatment by the cup and it started here early on. McNeil, the scurge of the Geordies with his brace in the first game, continued where he'd left off, controlling a ball into the box before a very neat turn and sharp finish on the volley that gave Mahoney little chance. The game became something of a war of attrition for most of the remainder of the first half before Micky Burns draw the struggling top flight outfit level with the help of a deflected shot. Newcastle's relief was short lived as Bobby Shinton's restored their lead in equally fortuitous fashion as his charged down shot from the edge of the area looped high over mahony before dipping into the net. Newcastle lacked the necessary spark to save themselves in the second half and as they piled forward in search of an equaliser they were caught on a classic, and killer counter attack. Just seven minutes remained when Whittle burst clear and when faced with a one on one with Mahoney, unselfishly slid the ball to McNeil for the easiest of tap ins. Newcastle were dead and buried and their night was summed up by the fourth goal. A Wrexham corner was cleared by the Newcastle defence to Alan Gowling who began to make a run into the Wrexham half but on finding himself without support he lobed the ball back towards those racing to support him. It was a dreadful ball and came gift wrapped to Les Cartwright, still trotting back from the corner. The winger took off unchallenged for the Newcastle goal to finish with a delightful chip over the unfortunate visiting keeper. It was yet another great giant killing act for the Welsh team, even though for once, many had hoped Newcastle would get through to set up a dream tie for non League Blyth Spartans who lay in wait. Wrexham found themselves on the wrong end of a cupset themselves with just a minute to go when the referee controversially awarded them a corner. That was defended for another corner which was whipped striaght into the arms of the keeper whose clearance was set to signal Blyth as the first Non League side since the creation of the Third Division to reach the quarter finals. However the corner flag had fallen over and the referee correctly ordered a retake which McNeil scored to save his side. Wrexham went back to St James' Park for the second time in their cup run and this time proved too strong, winning 2-1 to provide a quarter final with Arsenal. Yet again it was a match shrouded in controversy as Wrexham this time felt the Gods were against them with a goal chalked off in their 2-3 defeat. Fans of the Welsh side would of course get some revenge for that in spectacular style over a decade later but for now they went on to complete what many Wrexham fans still regard as their finest season. That Autumn they took the field for the first time as a Second Division side, having been crowned Third Division Champions. Among the teams they were preparing to meet as equals that year were a newly relegated Newcastle.

{image: Les Cartwright [right] wheels away after netting the fourth goal}

Wrexham: 1:Dai Davies, 2:Alan Hill, 3:Alan Dwyer, 4:Gareth Davis, 5:John Roberts, 6:Mickey Thomas, 7:Bobby Shinton, 8:Mel Sutton, 9:Dixie McNeil, 10:Graham Whittle, 11:Les Cartwright. Manager:Arfon Griffiths

United:1:Mike Mahoney, 2:Ray Blackhall, 3:Mickey Barker, 4:Irving Nattrass, 5: John Bird, 6:John Blackley, {Replaced by 12:Tommy Cassidy} 7:Stewart Barrowclough, 8:Micky Burns,9:Mark McGhee, 10:Alan Gowling, 11:Alan Kennedy. Manager:Bill McGarry

Chelsea 1-2 Orient

Fifth Round Replay: Monday February 27th 1978

Attendance: 36,379

Scorers: {Chelsea} Bill Roffey {o.g.}. {Orient} Peter Kitchen {2}

Ranked at the time:205

Chelsea: 1:Peter Boneti, 2:Gary Locke, 3:Graham Wilkins, 4:Ian Britton, 5:Micky Droy, 6:Ron Harris, 7:Trevor Aylott {replaced by 12:Steve Finnieston}, 8:Ray Wilkins, 9:Tommy Langley, 10:Ray Lewington, 11:Clive Walker. Manager:Ken Shilleto

Orient: 1:John Jackson, 2:Bobby Fisher, 3:Bill Roffey, 4:Tony Grealish, 5:Phil Hoadley, 6:Glenn Roeder, 7:Kevin Godfrey, 8:Nigel Gray, 9:Joe

Mayo, 10:Peter Kitchen, 11:Peter Allen. Manager:Jimmy Bloomfield

Orient 2-1 Middlesbrough

Quarter Final Replay: Tuesday March 14th 1978

Attendance: 18,051

Scorers: {Orient} Peter Kitchen, Joe Mayo, {Middlesbrough} David Armstrong

Ranked at the time:312

Orient: 1:John Jackson, 2:Bobby Fisher, 3:Bill Roffey, 4:Tony Grealish, 5:Phil Hoadley, 6:Glenn Roeder, 7:Kevin Godfrey, 8:Nigel Gray, 9:Joe Mayo, 10:Peter Kitchen, 11:David Payne. Manager:Jimmy Bloomfield

Middlesbrough: 1:Jim Platt, 2:John Craggs, 3:Ian Bailey, 4:John Mahoney, 5:Stuart Boam, 6:Alan Ramage, 7:David Mills, 8:Stan Cummins {replaced by 12:Craig Johnson}, 9:Billy Ashcrost, 10:Tony McAndrew, 11:David Armstrong. Manager:John Neal