FA Cup Winning Numbers

The recent articles on league records seems to have attracted a lot of attention so I’ve put together some basic FA Cup statistics which I may develop depending on progress in the competition.

Saturday’s game at Gainsborough Trinity will be the first time that Chester have appeared in the Second Qualifying Round of the competition since they were beaten by Bangor City in 1927. The last time they won at this stage was 1925 when Witton Albion were beaten 4-2 after a replay.

I’ve put together a table showing the rounds that Chester have reached since they first entered the competition in 1886. It doesn’t completely reflect the progress that has been made as the round numbering has changed over the years. For instance Chester has reached the last 16 on three occasions. In 1890/91 this meant an exit in the Second Round but in 1976/77 and 1979/80 this meant elimination at the Fifth Round stage.

This is the 107th year in which Chester have competed in the FA Cup since they were formed in 1885. There have been eleven seasons when they didn’t enter and ten wartime seasons

The following list shows the round in which Chester were knocked out of the competition:

Fifth Round (2) – 1979/80, 1976/77

Fourth Round (7) – 1986/87, 1969/70, 1947/48, 1946/47, 1938/39, 1936/37, 1932/33

Third Round (16) – 2006/07, 2005/06, 2004/05, 2000/01, 1999/2000, 1996/97, 1993/94, 1990/91, 1973/74, 1970/71, 1965/66, 1964/65, 1951/52, 1945/46, 1937/38, 1934/35

Second Round (22) – 2002/03, 1997/98, 1994/95, 1991/92, 1989/90, 1988/89, 1978/79, 1977/78, 1975/76, 1968/69, 1967/68, 1963/64, 1961/62, 1959/60, 1958/59, 1957/58, 1949/50, 1948/49, 1935/36, 1933/34, 1931/32, 1890/91

First Round (28) – 2008/09, 2007/08, 2003/04, 1998/99, 1995/96, 1992/93, 1987/88, 1985/86, 1984/85, 1983/84, 1982/83, 1981/82, 1980/81, 1974/75, 1972/73, 1971/72, 1966/67, 1962/63, 1960/61, 1956/57, 1955/56, 1954/55, 1953/54, 1952/53, 1950/51, 1889/90, 1887/88, 1886/87

Fourth Qualifying Round (6) – 2009/10, 2001/02, 1921/22, 1911/12, 1910/11, 1888/89

Third Qualifying Round (3) – 1925/26, 1908/09, 1892/93

Second Qualifying Round (8) – 1927/28, 1923/24, 1914/15, 1913/14, 1905/06, 1895/96, 1893/94, 1891/92

First Qualifying Round (7)  – 1912/13, 1907/08, 1901/02, 1898/99, 1897/98, 1896/97, 1894/95

Preliminary Round (6) – 1928/29, 1926/27, 1924/25, 1922/23, 1919/20, 1909/10

Extra Preliminary round (1) – 1930/31

Didn’t enter (11) – 2011/12, 2010/11, 1929/30, 1920/21, 1906/07, 1904/05, 1903/04, 1902/03, 1900/01, 1899/1900, 1885/86

The most rounds the club has played in a season is six in both 1890/91 and 1921/22 although they received a bye in the Fourth Qualifying Round in 1890 when Irish side Cliftonville scratched from the competition. In 1921 they played in eight games which is the highest number of games in a season.

The biggest victory came in 1892 when Liverpool side Stanley were beaten 11-0. Chester also hit double figures in 1927 when Lostock Gralam were hammered 10-1.

The worst defeat came in 1890/91 when eventual cup winners Blackburn Rovers won 7-0.

and finally

Chester’s FA Cup record is not as impressive as the League Cup. They have never beaten a team from the top tier in the FA Cup and there have been only three occasions when they have beaten a team playing at least two divisions above them.

While playing in the Fourth Division, in 1969/70, Chester beat Second Division Bristol City 2-1 with goals from Keith Webber and Billy Dearden. More recently, in 2000, Graham Barrow’s Blues came from 2-0 down to beat Oxford United 3-2 in one of the most exciting games seen at the Deva Stadium. At the time Chester were in the Conference while Oxford were struggling at the bottom of the third tier of league football. Two years later the Blues were still in the Conference when they won by a single Chris Tate goal at Colchester United.

On this basis I would put forward the Bristol City game as, at least statistically, Chester’s finest ever FA Cup victory. It is a game that is rarely mentioned and perhaps should be elevated above the 5-0 win against Fulham in 1932/33 and the 2-0 Third Round win at Newcastle in 1979/80 when the opponents were only one division higher.

Best ever FA Cup victory?

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2 thoughts on “FA Cup Winning Numbers

  1. That Bristol City tie was the first Chester game I ever attended, indeed, the first ever professional game I’d seen. Yes, it was on 3rd January 1970 that I became hooked! And I still have that match programme.

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