Well well well. What an exciting competition was served up this year. Oh yes. The season served us up a proper classic. With proper giant killing feats. Giants with a ‘G’ were slain this year, oh yes sir. But as is so often the case one of the Giants went on to win the Cup.
The most romantic element of the competition this year was the journey of Brighton & Hove Albion to the final. Suffering a dismal league season (they were relegated from the 1st Division) in the third round they knocked out Newcastle United. Despite their being in the 2nd division, they must have fancied their chances against Jimmy Melia’s side after a 1-1 draw on the south coast. However, a single goal was enough for Brighton to progress.
In the 4th round they came up against and thumped Man City at the Goldstone Ground. In the 5th round, the biggest fish of all, Liverpool… at Anfield. Brighton pulled of the shock of this, or any other season to run out 2-1 winners against Bob Paisley’s men. This set up a quarter final versus Norwich City in which again a single goal was enough to see Brighton through.
In the semi finals Brighton played Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury and ran out 2-1 winners, whilst Man Utd were pulling of a similar feat against Arsenal at Villa Park. And so it came to pass, that Man Utd were up against Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup Final.
Continuing a recent theme, extra time couldn’t separate the two teams, so despite Gordon Smith’s best effort (‘…and Smith must score…’ – he didn’t!) we had to settle for another replay. This time, the season had caught up with Brighton and after Bryan Robson had set them on their way in the 25th minute United ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
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