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FA Cup memories: Fourth round classics

28 January 2016

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

Millwall 4-4 Owls
23 January 1991

Wednesday travelled to the Den protecting an eight-match unbeaten run when they faced Second Division Millwall, who had won four of their last six.

With home advantage, Bruce Rioch's men went straight onto the attack and took the lead within 50 seconds, as Paul Stevenson pounced on some poor defending to drill home.

Ron Atkinson's men responded quickly, however, and equalised through David Hirst's neatly taken 21st goal of the season, before Trevor Francis' header put the visitors in front after Nigel Pearson's initial effort was well saved.

Alex Rae levelled with a close range volley just before half time but Wednesday regained the lead ten minutes after the break when Pearson stabbed home from a free kick.

Back came the hosts and Teddy Sheringham brought the match all square once again as he slotted in a third equaliser four minutes later.

The Owls thought they had won it when Viv Anderson headed in a corner five minutes from time but Millwall had other ideas, with Rae turning the ball home in the dying seconds to force a replay at Hillsborough.

There were no problems for Atkinson's men on home soil, though, as they progressed to the fifth round with a routine 2-0 win.

Owls 1-0 Sunderland
24 January 1993

A division may have separated the teams but it was a tough tie to call between Premier League Wednesday, who were unbeaten in seven games, and a second tier Sunderland side without defeat in five.

The Owls had the best chances within seconds of each other in the first half. First, Mark Bright saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line by John Kay before goalkeeper Tony Norman showed brilliant reflexes to deny the striker at the second attempt.

But it was Norman who gifted the tie and a place in round five to Francis' men in the dying moments, spilling Nigel Worthington's deep cross straight into the path of Bright, who made no mistake slotting home.

The tie proved Malcolm Crosby's penultimate game in charge of the previous year's finalists as a further defeat four days later saw him leave the Black Cats.

Wolves 1-1 Owls (AET) Wolves won 4-3 on penalties
8 February 1995

Following a goalless stalemate at Hillsborough nine days earlier, this was a tricky replay to call at Molineux.

Division One Wolves had lost just one of their last seven and took the lead in the first half when the late Klas Ingesson unwittingly headed Robbie Dennison's corner out of the grasp of Kevin Pressman, allowing David Kelly to head into an empty net.

Wednesday were protecting a ten-match unbeaten run and got themselves back on level terms after the break. Graham Hyde's effort was blocked on the line by Gordon Cowans following Andy Sinton's corner before Mark Bright finally scrambled in the equaliser.

No more goals were scored and it came down to penalties to determine who would face Leicester in round five.

Francis' Wednesday put themselves on the brink of victory with three successful kicks, including a belter from goalkeeper Pressman, while Graham Taylor's Wolves failed with their first two attempts.

However, Cowans kept the hosts alive and the shootout suddenly turned on its head as Andy Pearce and Chris Bart-Williams wasted opportunities to clinch the tie for the Owls, allowing Kelly and John De Wolf to force sudden death.

Chris Waddle, stepping up for the first time since his infamous miss at Italia 90 for England, saw his effort brilliantly saved by Paul Jones, before Don Goodman fired home the decisive kick to break Wednesday hearts.

Wolves 0-0 Owls (AET) Owls won 4-3 on penalties
18 January 2000

It was a case of déjà vu five years later but this time with good fortune smiling on Wednesday, who enjoyed a welcome distraction from their struggles in the Premier League.

Following a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough ten days previously, there was still nothing to separate the two sides in a goalless 120 minutes at Molineux.

The late Pavel Srnicek was the hero for the Owls as the keeper saved from Paul Simpson, while Michael Branch also missed for Colin Lee's First Division Wolves.

Despite Richard Cresswell missing an opportunity to seal victory, Simon Donnelly made no mistake in sending Danny Wilson's men through to the fifth round.

Owls 4-1 Hereford United
29 January 2011

Wednesday may have been a division higher than their League Two opponents but they were not exactly brimming with confidence following three games without a victory.

By contrast, Jamie Pitman's men were on a five-match winning streak and took a ninth-minute lead at Hillsborough when Stuart Fleetwood pounced on some hesitant defending to fire home.

That gave Alan Irvine's side a wake-up call and they equalised within six minutes, as Darren Potter drilled in Daniel Jones' cutback.

The turning point in the game came on 69 minutes when the visitors were reduced to ten men after Joe Heath hauled down Clinton Morrison in the six-yard box.

Morrison picked himself up to put Wednesday in front and Jermaine Johnson's fine individual effort gave them breathing space eight minutes later, before the former completed his brace and victory with a second penalty after Michael Townsend was penalised for handball.

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