Long gone are the bricklayers, giant-killing is a full-time job

 

The last time a top-flight side were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-League opposition, it was a bricklayer who scored the winning goal.

Sutton Town's Matt Hanlon, who despatched Coventry City in 1989, was following a distinguished tradition featuring a geography teacher, Mickey Mahon, who scored Wimbledon's goal against Burnley in 1975, while Ronnie Radford, a Hereford United hero against Newcastle in 1972, was a carpenter.

Those days are long gone. The non-League team which runs out at Goodison Park today includes a former colleague of David Beckham at Los Angeles Galaxy and a one-time England Under-17 team-mate of Jack Wilshere. Tamworth may have little pedigree in the game, but their players are full-time professionals, either winding down from a career in the Football League's lower reaches or hoping to return to the top levels.

The other non-League survivors in this weekend's third round, Fleetwood, Wrexham and Salisbury, are also full-time. Fitness should thus not be the telling factor today, nor, in many respects, technique. Many of these players have been in the academy system. These days the main difference between a Conference player and one in the Football League is the ability to perform consistently, and to cope with the game's pressures and insecurities.

Having lost five times at home this season, Everton's manager David Moyes will therefore be taking nothing for granted, especially with Phil Jagielka joining Leon Osman, Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell on the injured list, with Marouane Fellaini probably out too. Everton have never lost to a non-League side, at least not since 1913 when the Football League only had two divisions and they were defeated by Swindon Town, of the then-powerful Southern League. However, Everton needed a replay to beat Altrincham in 1975 after being held at home and, eight years ago, went out to a Shrewsbury Town side soon to be relegated from the League.

Marcus Law, the Tamworth manager, said: "We will prepare and hope, and if it comes our way hopefully pounce. If we can just go and embrace it, enjoy the occasion and understand what the game can throw up, then we'll let the FA Cup gods look after the fixture."

At Highbury ambitious Fleetwood, the only team at home of the quartet, will be pinning their hopes on much-coveted striker Jamie Vardy as manager Micky Mellon faces his mentor, Ian Holloway.

In-form Wrexham, whose most famous giant-killing was as a struggling Fourth Division club in 1992, when Mickey Thomas's free-kick beat the then-champions Arsenal, will travel with confidence to Brighton. Salisbury, the lowest surviving club, go to Sheffield United with player-manager Darrell Clarke pondering whether to pick himself.

Hopefuls: Non-league survivors

Everton v Tamworth

Premier League / Division / Conference

33,407 / Average attendance this season / 1,084

£15m (Marouane Fellaini, Sep 2008) / Record transfer fee paid / £7,500 (Tony Hemmings, 2000)

DWDWL / Form (all competitions) / LLLLD

Winners, five times / FA Cup best / R3, three times

Everton: Times knocked out by non-League opposition* - 0

Tamworth: Giant-killings: 4

Brighton v Wrexham

Championship / Division / Conference

18,595 / Average attendance this season / 3,791

£2.5m (Craig Mackail-Smith, Jul 2011)/ Record transfer fee paid / £212,000 (Joey Jones, Oct 1978)

LLLLW / Form (all competitions) / WLWWW

Runners-up, 1983 / FA Cup best / Q-final, three times

Brighton: Times knocked out by non-League opposition: 6

Wrexham: Giant-killings: 1

Fleetwood v Blackpool

Conference / Division / Championship

1,781 / Average attendance this season / 12,622

£50,000 (George Donnelly, Jan 2011) / Record transfer fee paid / £1.25m (DJ Campbell, Aug 2010)

WWWDW / Form (all competitions) / DDWLW

3rd round, 2012 / FA Cup best / Winners, 1953

Blackpool: Times knocked out by non-League opposition: 5

Fleetwood: Giant-killings: 2

Sheffield United v Salisbury City

League One / Division / Conference South

18,559 / Average attendance this season / 760

£4m (James Beattie, Aug 2007) / Record transfer fee paid / £15,000 (Craig Davis, 2003)

WWWWL / Form (all competitions) / WWLWL

Winners, four times / FA Cup best / 3rd round, 2012

Sheffield: Times knocked out by non-League opposition: 1

Salisbury City: Giant-killings 0

*Since FA Cup was reorganised in 1925

† Giant-killings are non-League clubs beating League teams – Wrexham became non-League in 2008

Suggested Topics
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing