Magic of the Cup: A Look Back at Some of Cambridge’s Greatest FA Cup Games

As United prepare to kick off this seasons FA Cup Campaign, we take a look at some of our greatest games in the competition.

27 February 1990, Cambridge 5-1 Bristol City (Fifth Round, Second Replay)

The U’s had already despatched Aldershot, Woking, Darlington, and Millwall (courtesy of a replay) by the time Bristol City came out of the hat. United trekked to Ashton Gate for a 0-0 draw, before the replay ended up 1-1 at the Abbey. A second replay at the Abbey was in order, and United made no mistake this time, thumping Bristol City 5-1 with goals from Leadbitter, Taylor, Philpott and a brace from Dion Dublin. In the Quarter Final they would face eventual finalists Crystal Palace, losing 1-0 at the Abbey in front of over 10,000 fans.

16th February 1991, Cambridge 4-0 Sheffield Wednesday (Fifth Round)

Buoyed by last seasons run to the quarters and a successful League season, United saw off Exeter, Fulham, Wolves and Middlesborough before Division Two Sheffield Wednesday turned up at the Abbey. Over nine thousand fans packed in to see one of the U’s greatest victories, with another brace from Dion Dublin and goals from John Taylor and Lee Philpott seeing off the Owls and setting up a second quarter final in as many years.

9th March 1991, Arsenal 2-1 Cambridge (Fifth Round)

It felt like half of Cambridge were packed into Highbury for the U’s next cup game, with just as many locked outside as United took on the might of First Division Arsenal. Kevin Campbell put the Arse 1-0 up, before Dion Dublin scored a deserved equaliser. Tony Adams broke United hearts late on, and Arsenal went on to lose to rivals Spurs in the Semi, but were consoled by winning the First Division title. United ended the season as Third Division champions.

10th December 2000, Cambridge 2-0 Crystal Palace (Third Round)

Revenge for ten years earlier was on the cards as Crystal Palace visited the Abbey, the Division One side hoping for an easy win against a United side who’d only won twice in the league that season. Under the Friday night lights at the Abbey and in front of 5,500 fans United left it late but eventually put the Eagles to the sword with goals from Trevor Benjamin and King of the Abbey Paul Wanless. Wrexham were beaten in the next round before Bolton came to town, with perennial wanker Sam Allardyce in charge. Big Trev gave the U’s the lead, and should have doubled it before cheating bastard Mike Whitlow rugby tackled Benjamin when bearing down on goal. We wrote about it earlier this season if you want to put yourself through it all over again…

23rd January 2015, Cambridge United 0-0 Manchester United (Third Round)

Oh Josh. You were so, so close to scoring the winner here. What a fairytale it would have been eh? United had beat Fleetwood, Mansfield and rivals Luton for a place in the fourth round, and they were drawn at home against Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United. With £180 million worth of talent on the pitch including Angel Di Maria, David De Gea, Falcao and er… Phil Jones, everyone was expecting an easy win for the other United. The real U’s had other ideas though, and from Ryan Donaldson nutmegging Daley Blind in front of a packed Habbin early doors, made sure the pampered Prem stars knew they were in for a tough game. In fairness, we didn’t have many chances except when the ball fell for Josh Coulson and his header went agonisingly over the bar. Still we got a trip to Old Trafford out of it, and a million quid of TV money which went on some nice toilets in the NRE.

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