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FA Cup memories – third round classics

7 January 2016

Ahead of Saturday’s cup clash with Fulham, Jonathan Davies reflects on five of Wednesday's memorable third round ties in the recent history of the FA Cup.

Owls 7-1 Grimsby Town
4 January 1997

Wednesday had become draw specialists under David Pleat ahead of their showdown with Grimsby at Hillsborough.

Despite being unbeaten in 11 games since October, they had won just two of those and drawn their last four.

The Owls were truly ruthless against the First Division side, however, as Richie Humphreys gave them a 15th-minute lead, before a further strike from Andy Booth and Ashley Fickling own goal made it 3-0 at half time.

Humphreys grabbed his second after the break and Graham Hyde also netted on 54 minutes, before John Oster scored a mere consolation for the visitors.

There was no stopping the hosts, though, as Booth completed his brace with number six and Mark Pembridge sealed the rout seven minutes from time.

Owls 4-1 Norwich City
3 January 1999

Danny Wilson's men needed lifting at the start of the New Year, having lost each of their previous three matches in the Premier League before they entertained Norwich.

The First Division side would have expected to provide their opponents with a stern test after losing just one of their last six, but Wednesday took just 18 minutes to stamp their authority as Richie Humphreys raced onto a Benito Carbone pass before neatly finishing through the legs of Michael Watt.

The same two players combined again on 33 minutes with Carbone's cross being met by Humphreys, who finished at the third attempt after Watt made two smart saves to initially deny the Italian.

It was 3-0 just seven minutes later. The goalscorer turned provider this time - glancing on a long Andy Hinchcliffe pass for Petter Rudi to race away and round the keeper before sliding home.

Iwan Roberts' header pulled a goal back for Norwich right on half time, but the hosts put the result beyond any doubt with 17 minutes remaining.

Watt had a moment to forget as he failed to connect with his attempted punch from Hinchcliffe's corner, allowing Dejan Stefanovic to nod number four into the empty net.

Owls 1-0 West Ham United
8 January 2012

League One Wednesday may have lost just one of their last 11 games but will have been wary when they welcomed Championship side West Ham, who were looking strong in their bid for an instant return to the Premier League and had gone 30 years in the FA Cup without tasting defeat at the hands of a team outside the top two divisions.

Both sides sat second in their respective divisions, but it looked as though the game would be decided on merit when Sam Allardyce's men were awarded a penalty early in the second half after Reda Johnson brought down Winston Reid.

Nicky Weaver performed heroics, however, springing to his right and making a fantastic save to deny Sam Baldock.

The Owls’ keeper did well to deny Baldock again later in the half when he tipped his effort on to the post.

And that proved decisive as Dave Jones' men went on to snatch the tie two minutes from time, as a quickfire counter attack saw Chris O'Grady race onto a through ball and brilliantly drill the ball past Ruud Boffin from a tight angle.

Owls 4-1 Macclesfield Town
14 January 2014

Stuart Gray's Wednesday will have been confident of getting the job done against Macclesfield, despite been held to a 1-1 draw by the non-league side ten days earlier in the original tie.

They came into this clash off the back of a 6-0 demolition of local rivals Leeds in the league and came flying out of the blocks, taking the lead after three minutes thanks to a wonderful individual effort from Chris Maguire.

Former Sheffield United player Scott Boden ensured a nervy spells for the hosts with his 65th-minute penalty, but three goals in the last 12 minutes finally saw the Owls over the line.

Jacques Maghoma's drilled finish was followed by Jermaine Johnson's vicious drive five minutes from time, before Miguel Llera wrapped up the tie with a deflected header in the dying seconds.

Manchester City 2-1 Owls
4 January 2015

Wednesday knew they had their work cut out when they travelled to the home of the reigning Premier League champions 12 months ago.

Nevertheless, Gray's men produced a pleasing performance at the Etihad and took the lead after 14 minutes. A swift breakaway led to Stevie May squaring the ball for Atdhe Nuhiu, who expertly finished first time past Willy Caballero.

City's run of ten wins and two draws from their last 12 games appeared to be in serious doubt and, having named a relatively under-strength side, Pellegrini was forced to introduce influential playmaker David Silva just after the hour.

The Spaniard was involved almost immediately, as he provided a perfect lay-off following a neat move for James Milner to slide past Chris Kirkland.

Wednesday withstood huge pressure from their opponents, but finally succumbed and came undone in the dying moments.

Silva played a key part again by flicking on Jesus Navas' cross for Milner to ghost in unmarked and stab the ball home to finally see off the brave Owls.

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