With local side Tranmere Rovers facing Wycombe Fc in the first round of the FA Cup this Saturday, we take a look back at the top four upsets caused by Tranmere in the tournament.

4. Tranmere Rovers 1 Sunderland 0 – FA Cup fourth round. (January 8, 2000)

A first half goal from Tranmere striker Wayne Allison helped the home side cruise towards a victory and qualify for the fifth round. However, in the final minutes of the game, with Premier League side Sunderland hunting for an equaliser, Tranmere defender Clint Hill was sent off after a second yellow card. Stephen Frail was brought on as a substitute for Andy Parkinson. Parkinson did not leave the pitch, which meant Tranmere still had 11 men on the field. This was due to an official’s mistake who had Hill’s number on the signboard.
Sunderland’s final chance to score was cleared in the final minute of the game. Sunderland later filed a complaint to the F.A, however Tranmere were clear of any wrongdoing, and instead, the referee Rob Harris and his officials were suspended.

3. Tranmere Rovers 2, Coventry 0 – FA Cup fourth-round replay, (February 21, 1968)
A 1-1 draw meant that Tranmere would have to replay their fourth round tie with first division side Coventry. Although the home advantage favoured Tranmere.

They were not expected to defeat Coventry, a team who had just won the Second Division title the season before. Within the first 40 minutes of the game, Tranmere strikers George Hudson and George Yardley made it 2-0. Tranmere held on in the second half to secure their fifth round tie against Everton (lost 2-0 at Goodison Park). Manager Dave Russell was quoted to say that Tranmere “looked like the First Division side, not Coventry.”

2. Tranmere Rovers 4 Southampton 3 – FA Cup fifth round replay, (February 20, 2001)
Tranmere held Premier League side Southampton to a 0-0 draw a few days prior to their replay.
As expected, Glen Hoddle’s team dominated the game with goals from Richards, Kachloul and Tessem. The game finished 3-0 to Southampton after the first half whistle. However, Rideout managed to pull a goal back for the home side, later scoring again 72 minutes into the game. With pressure leaning towards Southampton, fans waited intensely to see if Rovers could equalise.
The equaliser came in the 80th minute, allowing Rideout to complete his hat-trick. A few minutes later, local striker Stuart Barlow grabbed the winner. The fans erupted in celebration, with Hoddle being left puzzled at what had just happened. The F.A. labelled this as the greatest comeback in the competition’s history.

Everton 0 Tranmere Rovers 3 – FA Cup fourth round, (January 27, 2001)

This fourth round tie still resonates in the hearts of many Tranmere fans to this day.
Going into the game, beating Premier League giants Everton at their own backyard would be a tough ask. With Rovers being relegated from the Championship later in the same season, you could see why it would be such a difficult task to beat Everton. Defender Steve Yates headed in two goals for the visitors, and youngster Jason Koumas struck in a third goal to help Tranmere ease their way into the fifth round.
This was Tranmere’s greatest rivalry victory, many Tranmere fans still celebrate the spectacular win to this day by naming 27th January as “St. Yates Day” which is dedicated to defender Steve Yates who broke every Evertonian’s heart that night.

Photo by Tranmere Rovers under Creative Commons