This season’s FA Cup third round could produce 21st century shocks record

This season’s FA Cup third round could set a new 21st-century record for upsets after a shock-laden weekend.

League Two Newport’s 2-1 victory over Leicester on Sunday afternoon took the total number of upsets – any tie where a team beats an opponent from a higher league – to eight.

As things stand, that is the same number as the third round of last season’s competition but, with four games involving possible upsets to be decided by a replay, this could be the most upset-laden third round since the turn of the century.

Here, Football Paradise looks at this season’s shocks and at the numbers from third round history.

How does this year compare to previous seasons?

FA Cup third round upset numbers (PA)

This season comes in as the joint third-highest number of upsets since the turn of the century, with the record 11 upsets in that time coming in 2007-08.

That season included a third-round defeat for Fulham, who were beaten after a replay by Bristol Rovers, while Everton were humbled at home by another League One side Oldham.

Oldham’s Gary McDonald (right) scored the goal to knock out Everton
Oldham’s Gary McDonald (right) scored the goal to knock out Everton (Peter Byrne/PA)

The eight upsets from this year take the average number per season since 2000 to 6.6.

During those seasons, the lowest number of upsets – three – came in back-to-back seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

In the last four seasons there have been at least six upsets in the third round.

The record could yet be broken

There was relief for Newcastle after Matt Ritchie's late penalty kept them in the competition against Blackburn
There was relief for Newcastle after Matt Ritchie’s late penalty kept them in the competition against Blackburn (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The record tally of 11 upsets could yet be beaten as four matches in this year’s third round where an upset is possible have gone to a replay.

Newcastle narrowly avoided being knocked out at home to Blackburn as Matt Ritchie scored a late penalty to keep Rafael Benitez’s side in the cup.

Southampton will have to attempt to get past Derby at St Mary’s after letting slip a two-goal lead at Pride Park to draw 2-2.

Championship side Sheffield Wednesday face a replay at Luton, while Stoke battled to a goalless draw at Shrewsbury.

If all four of those matches were to go the way of the lower-league side, 2018-19 could be the most upset-laden FA Cup third round this century.

What were the biggest upsets this year?

Unlike last season, this year there will be non-league representation in the fourth round, courtesy of National League side Barnet’s superb win at Championship high-flyers Sheffield United.

Shaquile Coulthirst’s first-half penalty was enough to take Barnet into the fourth round against Chris Wilder’s much-changed Blades.

Barnet’s remarkable win ought be have been the headline-grabber but Newport’s humbling of Leicester, and the manner of it, means the League Two outfit took that accolade.

Having been in the lead since the 10th minute, Leicester’s 82nd-minute equaliser threatened to be a killer blow, but Newport rallied to snatch a remarkable winner from the penalty spot three minutes later – Padraig Amond doing the honours.

Premier League victims

Gillingham’s Elliott List (on ground) knocked out Premier League Cardiff
Gillingham’s Elliott List, on the ground, knocked out Premier League Cardiff (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Leicester became the fourth Premier League side to lose to lower-league opposition in round three.

Huddersfield’s Premier League struggles were compounded by being knocked out by Bristol City, while Neil Warnock’s Cardiff were beaten by League One side Gillingham.

Elliott List’s late winner sent the Gills through and Warnock claimed his side would not have scored “in a million years”.

There was also a dramatic exit for Claudio Ranieri’s Premier League strugglers Fulham at the hands of League Two Oldham.

Fulham missed a golden chance to surely progress as Aleksandar Mitrovic missed an 84th-minute penalty.

Callum Lang then struck four minutes later to nod Oldham through and give caretaker boss Pete Wild a remarkable win.

League One sides get the better of the Championship

The total of eight upsets was completed by Championship teams losing out to League One opponents.

Norwich were beaten 1-0 at home by third-tier leaders Portsmouth, Preston lost 3-1 against Doncaster at Deepdale and Accrington ensured Ipswich still have not won an FA Cup match since 2010 with a 1-0 win at the Wham stadium.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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