This week’s top story is that for the first time since the present format was introduced in 1925, two non-league clubs have reached the 5th round of the FA Cup.
Lincoln City of the National League became only the eighth non-league club to reach 5th round since the Second World War. The Imps last reached the last 16 in 1902 when they lost 1-3 against Derby County in front of a record crowd at Sincil Bank of 16,435. They also reached the last 16 in 1887 and 1890 but have yet to progress to the quarter-finals.
Their gain was Brighton & Hove Albion’s loss as the Championship Seagulls were knocked out by non-league opposition for the first time since 1997-98 when they went out in the 1st round at Hereford United.
Hot on the Imps heels, Sutton United were appearing in the 4th round for the third time. The boys from Gander Green Lane lost 0-6 to Leeds United in 1970 and 0-8 at Norwich City in 1989.
Revenge was sought and history made as Leeds United lost to non-league opposition for only the second time (also at Histon in the 2nd round in 2008-09).
Arsenal’s 5-0 win at St Mary’s was Southampton’s heaviest home defeat in the FA Cup since they lost 0-5 to Manchester City on 5 February 1910. It was the Gunners’ biggest away win since they won 6-1 at Everton in the Premier League on 15 August 2009. Theo Walcott scored his fifth hat-trick for Arsenal and was the first Gunner to score a FA Cup hat-trick since Nicklas Bendtner against Leyton Orient in March 2011.
Liverpool have now lost three consecutive games at Anfield in all competitions for the first time since October 2012 as Wolverhampton Wanderers’ second win in a row against Premier League opposition in the FA Cup saw them reach the 5th round for the first time since 2008.
33 year-old Paul Hayes scored twice in an FA Cup game for the first time since December 2005 (for Barnsley against Bradford City) as League Two Wycombe Wanderers came so close to pulling off a major shock at Tottenham Hotspur. The veteran striker has now scored in three of his last four FA Cup appearances against Premier League opposition. He scored for Scunthorpe United against Chelsea in 2005 and Manchester City in 2010.
Following their 0-3 defeat at Oxford United of League One, Newcastle United have not progressed beyond the 4th round since 2006 – the same year current manager Rafael Benitez led Liverpool to their Final success against West Ham United.
Huddersfield Town’s 4-0 win at Rochdale was their biggest FA Cup away victory since January 1960. 57 years ago, the Terriers won a 3rd round replay 5-1 against West Ham United at a snowbound Upton Park thanks to an exceptional performance by a young Denis Law.
Hull City suffered a second cup elimination in the space of four days as Fulham knocked out a Premier League club from the FA Cup as a lower division side for the first time since January 2000 when they beat Wimbledon in the 4th round.
Millwall eliminated Watford, following on their success against AFC Bournemouth. The last time they eliminated two Premier League clubs in one FA Cup season was in 1994-95 (versus Arsenal and Chelsea). This was the first time as a top tier side that the Hornets have been knocked out of the FA Cup by a team outside of the top two divisions.
So, at the end of a weekend of mixed fortunes, it is the first time that only one 4th round tie will go to a replay since all 16 ties were settled at the first attempt in 2008.