As a bit of fun in the build to the FA Cup tie at Ipswich, over the next five days we will have a look back at some stories and facts from our previous ties in the world’s oldest cup competition.We may never have come close to winning it but we do have a long history of competing for it with this season being our 122nd entry.
F is for...
The game on Saturday will be City’s 300th match in the FA Cup including a game that was ordered to be replayed by the FA and a game abandoned in extra time due to bad light but excluding a game abandoned after only 66 minutes again due to bad light.
Of the previous 299 games we have played 137 at home, 155 away and seven on a neutral ground. Of course that doesn’t mean we have been drawn at home/away that many times as the figures are higher as a result of replays.
On several occasions we have originally been drawn away but have switched the tie to a home game for either a guarantee of money eg Sheffield FC in 1893 or on police advice as was the case with Brigg in 1987 and Gainsborough in 1997 and whilst in 1902 the City directors refused an offer of £450 from Derby County to switch a tie from Sincil Bank the temptation to switch proved too great in 1920 and supporters were angered when a guarantee of just under £1,000 from Middlesbrough to switch from Sincil Bank to Ayresome Park was accepted.
How much money the Club actually made isn’t known but having travelled on the Friday the match was called off on the Saturday morning and the players remained in the north east at Redcar until the Wednesday when the match was played and resulted in a 4-1 defeat.
Of the 137 home games we have won 69 drawn 30 and lost 38 scoring 273 goals and conceding 167 whilst away we have won 38, drawn 33 and lost 84 with 215 goals scored and 308 conceded. On neutral grounds five wins have been recorded with just two defeats and goals of 14 for and 9 against. Away from home one win is as a result of a penalty shoot out against Bury whilst one of the defeats on a neutral ground is for the penalty shoot out loss to Emley.
With this, as mentioned previously, our 122nd entry into the competition and never having won it you would expect our number of defeats to equal 122 but we have actually lost 124 times. This is due to the fact that in 1945/46 from the First Round proper until the semi finals ties were played over two legs and we managed to lose one leg of the First Round game with Yorkshire Amateurs and both legs of the Second Round game with Rotherham United.
Our first dismissal in the FA Cup was in November 1901 when Wally Smith kicked Doncaster’s Jack Price who retaliated, both men came to blows and were dismissed by the referee, Mr Black. At the subsequent disciplinary hearing both Smith and Price admitted to kicking each other but both denied striking each other with their fists as reported by Mr Black. As the referee wasn’t present at the initial hearing it was rearranged for later so he could give his version of events and after due consideration Smith was suspended for seven days whilst Price received a 14 day ban.
Since Smith’s dismissal another 14 City players have been sent for an early bath namely: Harry Sillito at Chesterfield in 1922, Dennis Leigh at Port Vale in 1974, George Shipley at Hartlepool in 1982, Trevor Matthewson at Mansfield in 1987, Grant Brown at Stockport in 1991, Graham Bressington at Stafford in 1992, Matt Carbon at home to Huddersfield in 1994, Terry Fleming at Burnley in 1996, Mark Hone at home to Gainsborough in 1997, Dean Keates at home to MK Dons in 2005, Clark Keltie at home to Nuneaton in 2010, Joe Anyon at Alfreton in 2011, David Morgan at home to FC Halifax Town in 2012 and Alan Power at Whitehawk last season.
... Fifth Round
The current numbering of rounds was introduced in 1925/26 with the last 16 being the Fifth Round and that equivalent is the furthest City have ever progressed in the competition.
The first occasion came in 1886/87 when we got a bye in Round 1, defeated Middlesbrough and Gainsborough Trinity both after replays in the next two rounds then received another bye in Round 4 before we lost 3-0 at Glasgow Rangers in ironically what was the Fifth Round.
Three years later we entered the competition at the Second Qualifying Round stage and after defeating Notts Olympic, Notts Rangers and Gainsborough we then beat Chester in the First Round Proper before losing 4-0 at holders Preston North End in Round 2.
Our most recent appearance in the last 16 came in 1901/02 when we again entered in the qualifying rounds beating Worksop Town, Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley to enter the short lived Intermediate Round where we beat Newton Heath (nowadays better known as Manchester United) and then Oxford City in the First Round Proper before losing 3-1 at home to Derby County despite leading at half-time.
... Fourth Round
Since 1925/26 we have only managed to reach the Fourth Round three times despite on 12 occasions entering the competition at the Third Round stage!
The 1953/54 season saw us lose 2-0 at Sincil Bank against Preston, 1960/61 saw a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United whilst our most recent appearance saw defeat at West Bromwich Albion 3-2 in 1975/76.