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Commercial take a look at past FA Cup meetings with Blues

21 January 2015

Albion travel to St Andrew’s for fourth-round tie on Saturday

WE take a trip down memory lane and recall some of Albion’s greatest derby moments in the FA Cup ahead of our fourth-round trip to Birmingham on Saturday, January 24 (3pm ko).

Interestingly, the last two times the sides have played each other in the FA Cup, the winner has gone on to reach the final. Who is betting against that trend to continue in 2015? (Click here)

In The Beginning - 19th Century

The rivals first locked horns in the world's oldest football competition way back in the 1885/86 season when Albion ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in the semi-final with Birmingham, who were then known as Small Heath Alliance. 

The Baggies went on to draw 0-0 with Blackburn in the final that year and offered Rovers the opportunity to play on into extra time, but they declined and the match went to a replay which Blackburn won 2-0 to record their third successive FA Cup Final victory.

Three seasons later, the sides were drawn against each other again, this time in the first-round proper of the 1888/89 FA Cup.

Albion, the cup holders, were the visitors and came out on top in a cracking encounter which finished 3-2, but the defence of the cup was ended at the semi-final stage, losing 1-0 to Preston at Bramall Lane.

It was revenge for The Lilywhites after The Baggies defeated them in the final the previous year.

The sides met again in the first-round proper of the 1894/95 season where Albion enjoyed another success at Small Heath, winning 2-1.

The Baggies then knocked out Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and The Wednesday on their way to the 1895 FA Cup Final where they lost 1-0 after Aston Villa's Bob Chatt scored what was then the fastest ever goal in an FA Cup Final, after just 30 seconds.

New Beginnings - Early 20th Century

At the turn of the century, Albion moved to The Hawthorns and by the 1907/08 season, Small Heath had become Birmingham City when the sides faced each other once again in the first-round proper on January 11.

A 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns forced the tie to a replay which took place just four days later at St Andrew’s where Albion won 2-1. The Throstles’ cup run didn't last long that year though as they were knocked out in a 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the following round.

There's nothing quite like getting one over on your rivals, but doing it in a cup final makes it even sweeter which is why the 1930/31 FA Cup final is one of the fondest memories for Albion fans.

92,406 squeezed into Wembley Stadium to witness the 2-1 success with goals from William "Ginger" Richardson first giving Albion a first half advantage, then restoring the lead a minute after Joe Bradford had equalised for Birmingham. 

The win saw Albion lift the FA Cup for the third time in their history. The following week, The Baggies sealed promotion to the First Division, becoming the first, and still the only, team to win the FA Cup and promotion in the same season.

The Blues had to wait until 1956 to get their revenge in the FA Cup when 58,213 fans packed The Hawthorns for a fifth-round showdown. Birmingham advanced thanks to a 1-0 victory and made it all the way to the final, but were beaten 3-1 at Wembley by Manchester City.

1967/68 And Jeff Astle

Having found the net against Colchester, Southampton, Portsmouth and Liverpool, Jeff Astle scored along with Tony Brown to record a 2-0 win over Birmingham in the semi-final on April 27, at Villa Park.

The final took place on Saturday, May 18, in front of 100,000 spectators at Wembley and ended in a 1-0 victory over Everton after extra time with Astle getting the decisive goal.

The 1967/68 FA Cup will forever be remembered for the performances of "The King" who scored in every single round of the competition. Such is his popularity with the Albion faithful that, following his death in 2002, commemorative gates dedicated to his memory were erected on the Birmingham Road, close to the Woodman Corner.

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