Saints' best FA Cup third round matches

By SFC Media time Wed 06 Jan Club

Ahead of Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace, we look back at five classic Southampton FA Cup third round matches.

2003: Southampton 4-0 Tottenham

Saints began their path to the 2003 FA Cup final with a spectacular third-round performance at St Mary's.

Gordon Strachan’s men had beaten a Tottenham team managed by former boss Glenn Hoddle 1-0 at St Mary’s a few days previously in the league, but this tie was to be nowhere near as closely contested.

Saints led early on when a James Beattie free-kick wasn’t held by Kasey Keller in the Spurs goal and Michael Svensson slid in to bundle the ball home. The hosts then doubled their advantage shortly after the break, as Jo Tessem’s low, first-time shot across goal from a Beattie pass crept inside the post.

Shortly afterwards, Anders Svensson scored one of the goals of the season in the competition, racing forward from halfway, bursting through the Tottenham defence and forcing a low shot under Keller, before Beattie added extra emphasis to the scoreline when he netted the fourth, firing home with his left foot after Keller had saved his initial header.

1996: Southampton 3-0 Portsmouth

Ninety years after their previous meeting at The Dell in the FA Cup, Saints and Portsmouth once again clashed in the famous competition in the city of Southampton.

Both teams might have been struggling in their respective divisions at this point – Saints in the Premiership and Pompey in Division One – but there was only one side that would toil on this day.

Saints led after 12 minutes, as Gordon Watson’s delivery from the right picked out Neil Heaney. His close-range header was scrambled away, but the ball fell to Jim Magilton to prod home.

The visitors then held firm until half-time, but their resistance was broken within a minute of the restart, as Magilton struck again, this time finishing into an unguarded net after Alan Knight had saved a Matt Le Tissier shot.

With ten minutes remaining, Saints added the third, as Le Tissier sauntered past a couple of defenders before squaring for Neil Shipperley to tap home.

1976: Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton (a.e.t.)

Southampton’s 1976 FA Cup run is remembered largely for its last game – the shock 1-0 win over Manchester United in the final – but it took another huge effort for them just to get past the third round.

The sides had drawn 1-1 at The Dell in the first edition of this tie, with Hugh Fisher’s 89th-minute goal salvaging a replay for Lawrie McMenemy’s Second Division team.

At Villa Park, they took a 31st-minute lead against their top-flight opponents, as Jim McCalliog headed in a Mick Channon cross, but Ray Graydon quickly brought the hosts level.

Neither side could find a winner after the break, and so the game went to extra-time. Saints were on the ropes for a while, but they held firm and earned their reward when, in the 103rd minute, McCalliog’s deflected effort from a David Peach corner sent them into the fourth round.

1961: Southampton 7-1 Ipswich

Saints produced a blistering performance to crush fellow Second Division side Ipswich Town at The Dell.

Town, who were managed by ex-Southampton player Alf Ramsey, would win the league in this season, but they suffered a humiliating afternoon at the hands of Ted Bates’s team here, with the hosts leading 6-0 by half-time.

George O’Brien opened the scoring after being played in by Tommy Mulgrew, before Mulgrew himself fired in from a Terry Paine corner. O’Brien then struck twice more to complete his hat-trick, first from the penalty spot after Paine was fouled and then with an angled effort.

Harry Penk then made it 5-0, while Paine ran through to add the sixth. Ipswich did pull one back in the second half, but Mulgrew ensured Saints had the last word when he headed in Reeves’s 78th-minute cross.

1960: Manchester City 1-5 Southampton

It is doubtful anyone would have predicted what was about to happen when Third Division Saints travelled to top-flight Manchester City in January 1960, as Ted Bates’s side went on to make a mockery of the gap that existed between the teams by demolishing their opponents at Maine Road.

The players prepared for the match with a four-day trip to Blackpool, including a Saturday morning training session on the beach, and the final result suggested that it worked wonders.

But the game had not started well for the visitors, who fell behind on 18 minutes to a Colin Barlow goal. Undaunted, though, Saints responded five minutes later as Derek Reeves fired a Terry Paine cross past legendary City keeper Bert Trautmann, and they led shortly afterwards when Paine again set up Reeves.

Paine’s devastating performance continued when he delivered a cross for George O’Brien to head home in the 64th minute, and his fourth assist arrived soon after, as he floated the ball over Trautmann for Reeves, who headed in for his hat-trick. With four minutes left, Reeves then scored his fourth, and Southampton's fifth, with a thunderous strike.

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