Five of the best from the fifth round

By SFC Media Wed 14 Feb West Brom v Saints
Photo by Getty Images | Anders Svensson

With Southampton set to travel to West Brom in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, we took a trip down memory lane to revisit some famous fifth-round ties from days gone by...

Southampton 1-0 Sheffield United

A first fifth-round appearance for ten years saw Second Division Southampton play host to Sheffield United of the top flight. Saints had already booked their place in the last 16 before the Blades had even played their third-round tie, due to winter postponements, but it was worth the wait. George Kirby’s first-half header from a Terry Paine cross secured Saints’ place in the quarter-finals, after Tony Knapp’s heroic goal-line clearance prevented them from falling behind. Derek Pace headed against the crossbar late on, but Saints prevailed and The Dell rejoiced.

George Kilby heads home against Sheffield United to send Saints into the last eight

Road to Wembley? 
Victory over Nottingham Forest after two replays, including a 3-3 draw in which Saints recovered from 3-0 down, secured a first semi-final since 1927. The dream would end there, however, as Denis Law struck the only goal of the game for Manchester United at Villa Park.

Southampton 4-0 West Brom (Replay)

After two failed assaults on the fifth round in the early ‘70s, Lawrie McMenemy led Saints to The Hawthorns to face fellow Second Division opponents. Some 10,000 travelling fans made the journey from the south coast, only to see their team fall behind. The yellow-shirted Saints hit back through Bobby Stokes, but it was back at The Dell where they made their superiority count. Late arrivals were still flooding in to a packed house by the time Mike Channon opened the scoring, before Paul Gilchrist brilliantly volleyed home to double the lead. Channon effectively put the tie to bed with his second before the interval, completing his hat-trick in the 74th minute.

Paul Gilchrist's acrobatic volley helps oust West Brom en route to Wembley glory

Road to Wembley? 
You bet. Jim McCalliog’s winner at Bradford set up a semi-final meeting with Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Attacking the Shed End in the second half, Saints made the breakthrough when Gilchrist’s low shot found the bottom corner, before David Peach’s penalty made the game safe. With seven minutes to go at Wembley, Bobby Stokes latched on to McCalliog’s ball over the top to score the most famous goal in Saints history and avenge the semi-final defeat of ’63.

Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Southampton

The Saints vintage of 1983/84 is among those most fondly remembered by fans of a certain age, and McMenemy’s side booked their place in the fifth round by virtue of an iconic goal from Steve Moran in the dying seconds at Fratton Park. With Liverpool surprisingly beaten by Brighton, Saints were favourites to win the FA Cup, but faced a tricky tie at Second Division Blackburn, themselves unbeaten in 16 games. Saints needed a fine save from Peter Shilton and a goal-line clearance from Mick Mills to keep their clean sheet intact, but by the time David Armstrong nipped in at the near post to convert Moran’s cross, were worthy winners.

David Armstrong celebrates with Steve Williams and Frank Worthington at Ewood Park

Road to Wembley?
For the first time in the club’s history, Saints were drawn away from home in the first four rounds, with another trip to Second Division opponents, Sheffield Wednesday, in the quarter-finals. A goalless draw at Hillsborough paved the way for a five-star display at The Dell in the replay. A 5-1 rout set up a Highbury semi-final and Saints fancied their chances, but Neville Southall proved unbeatable in the Everton goal before Adrian Heath headed a cruel winner three minutes from the end of extra time.

Southampton 3-2 Bolton Wanderers (Replay)

Victory on penalties at Old Trafford meant a trip to Third Division Bolton, where Saints were backed by 4,000 fans, who were buoyant at half time after Richard Hall headed home a pair of Matt Le Tissier corners. With 13 minutes left, Bolton mounted an unlikely comeback, as Andy Walker pulled one back before Scott Green headed a dramatic equaliser. Surely home advantage would work in Saints favour? The replay was even less comfortable. Bolton quickly cancelled out Alan Shearer’s opener, and then snatched what looked a certain winner in the 90th minute. Enter Barry Horne, whose spectacular 35-yard shot sent the tie into extra time, before the Welshman won the game via a deflection.

Bolton's David Felgate is powerless to prevent Barry Horne's last-gasp scorcher

Road to Wembley?
For the third successive round, Saints were taken to extra time in the quarter-finals. This time, however, their luck was out. After a goalless draw with Norwich at The Dell, Saints allowed a one-goal lead to slip in East Anglia when Le Tissier saw red for kicking out at Robert Fleck. The ten men held on until the last five minutes, before Norwich drew level. Saints then lost Horne to another sending-off, leaving them with nine, and Chris Sutton inflicted the knockout punch with an instinctive header.

Southampton 2-0 Norwich City

Matt Oakley’s extra-time winner set up another cup meeting with the Canaries 11 years later. This time, Saints kept their full complement on the pitch and reaped the rewards against a Norwich side by now in the second tier. The underdogs were inches away from making the breakthrough midway through the second half when Paul McVeigh’s curler beat Antti Niemi and struck the far post. Seconds later, Brett Ormerod nodded down Chris Marsden's cross to Anders Svensson, who swept home the opener. Substitute Jo Tessem made the game safe, lashing in the rebound after Robert Green failed to hold a rasping drive from Marsden.

The Southampton class of 2003 celebrate Anders Svensson's opener against Norwich

Road to Wembley?
Yes. Well, Cardiff, as Saints reached their first FA Cup final since 1976 without facing a top-flight rival after the third round. The quarter-final draw set up a home tie with Wolves, who were dispatched with the help of an overhead kick from Marsden and a Paul Butler own goal, before Ormerod headed home in the semi-final against Watford, for whom Paul Robinson also put through his own net. Back in yellow for the final, just as in ’76, this time the only goal of the game was scored at Saints’ expense, as Robert Pires struck the winner shortly before half time.


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