Replays are something of a speciality for City in the FA Cup
PUBLISHED: 11:45 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:01 17 January 2018
Ahead of tonight's FA Cup third round tie at Stamford Bridge, David Freezer looks back on Norwich City's lengthy history of replays in the famous competition.
FA Cup replays are events Norwich City have experienced rather a lot of during their history – but they are not always particularly memorable.
Remember those lost third round replays at Southampton and Fulham in the past four years? Thought not.
Ahead of the 61st replay City have contested in the world’s oldest club cup competition, against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight, we thought we’d take a look back at some of those rematches.
• Played – 60
• Won – 29
• Drawn – 7
• Lost – 24
The Canaries have actually lost their last four replays, all in the third round, the latest of which was a 1-0 defeat at Southampton last January.
Alex Neil’s team were struggling for form and fit players following a creditable 2-2 draw with their Premier League opponents at Carrow Road.
It meant Russell Martin had to play at left-back and Robbie Brady – shortly before his £13m sale to Burnley – was deployed in central midfield alongside 19-year-old Ben Godfrey, with even the forgotten man Kyle Lafferty getting a start.
Added to that was a late professional debut for Ray Grant, 20, and two fellow academy graduates, right-back Louis Ramsay, 19, and winger Glenn Middleton, 17, on the bench.
Shane Long scored a winner in the 90th minute in front of just 13,517 at St Mary’s, saving all involved the pain of another 30 minutes that no one wanted.
While the League Cup ditched replays in 1997 and then its two-legged format in 2001, so that matches would be settled on the day through until the two-legged semi-finals, the FA Cup persists with replays.
The most famous of City’s cup runs, all the way to the semi-finals as a Third Division side back in 1958-59, featured no less than four replays.
After drawing 1-1 at Swindon in the second round both teams learned that they would host the ‘Busby Babes’ of Manchester united in the next round with a win, earned at Carrow Road thanks to an Errol Crossan strike in the 59th minute.
With United and Cardiff beaten in the third and fourth rounds the giant-killers continued their run by holding Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
Around 20,000 Canaries fans reportedly travelled to north London for the tie, in a total crowd of over 67,000, and were poised to celebrate Terry Allcock’s goal earning a famous win, only for Cliff Jones to equalise for Spurs in the last minute.
Terry Bly’s goal finished the job in the replay in front of 38,000 at Carrow Road four days later, his fifth of seven goals during the fairytale story securing a 1-0 win.
By this point Archie Macauley’s side were becoming replay experts, drawing 1-1 at Sheffield United in the sixth round as well, thanks to Bobby Brennan’s 75th-minute equaliser and Ken Nethercott playing on heroically in goal despite a dislocated shoulder, in front of 57,000 at Bramall Lane.
Back to Carrow Road it was and a Bly brace either side of another Brennan goal were enough to send Norwich to the semi-finals.
They went finished yet though. Yet another 1-1 followed, against Luton Town at White Hart Lane, Brennan again equalising midway through the second half and Sandy Kennon playing a blinder.
The replay proved one too many though, as Luton won 1-0 at St Andrew’s to stop the Canaries becoming the first third-tier team to reach the FA Cup final.
A gruelling 11 games is bettered only by Fulham, who played 12 when reaching the final in 1975, and some ties took as many as six attempts to settle until further replays were abolished in 1991.
City’s most was three, in the third round in 1984-85, drawing 0-0 at Birmingham, 1-1 at home, 1-1 at St Andrew’s and finally winning it 1-0 at Carrow Road.
Back to the present and prior to last year’s replay at Southampton it was a third round tie against Fulham in 2014 for the Canaries, drawing 1-1 at home, before a 3-0 loss to their top-flight rivals at Craven Cottage.
Before that it was a 1-0 home replay loss to Charlton in 2009 during the latter days of Glenn Roeder’s reign, following on from a 2-1 shock at lower-level Bury the previous season, both coming in the third round.
The last replay won by City was in the fourth round in 2007, when Chris Martin scored his first goal for the club, a winner in the 22nd minute of extra-time.
Following that? A 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – let’s hope that’s a score-line the class of 2018 won’t be reminding us of tonight.