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FC United of Manchester cite Brighton ties in FA Cup replay statement

Clubs and fans have been angered by a decision to do away with replays from the first round.

FC United of Manchester are among those to have issued statements and have looked back to their games with the Seagulls in 2010-11.

They forced a 1-1 draw with the squad who would go on to win League One by drawing 1-1 at Withdean.

A crowd of 6,731 saw Elliott Bennett shine in a 4-0 win for Albion in the replay, which was played on a freezing night at Gigg Lane.

FC United’s statement read: “In recent years, we think of the likes of Chasetown, Havant & Waterlooville and Sutton United whose famous Cup runs all saw them progress after a replay.

“Perhaps the biggest giant killing in the history of the competition, and the one which is still mentioned when the media talk of ‘the magic of the Cup’, was Hereford United’s victory over Newcastle United in a third round replay more than 50 years ago.

“Is it likely that our ten men who had given it their all that day would have managed to hang on in extra time against Brighton and Hove Albion back in 2010?

“The replay of that fixture, despite the result, was an incredible moment in the club’s history and remains our record home attendance.

“For all the talk of bringing the game together, this stands out as yet another example of rich clubs throwing money around to get exactly what they want, whilst the game’s governing body stands on the sidelines allowing traditions to be thrown out of the window.”

Sam Ashton saved a penalty from Bennett in the sixth minute of added time as FC United forced their draw at Withdean, cheered on by packed and noisy away end.

Scott McManus had earlier been sent off for violent conduct for the visitors and Fran Sandaza’s goal put Albion back on level terms.

Albion also survived a replay at Woking in that season, winning on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Withdean and a 2-2 at the Kingfield Stadium.

Crawley were among EFL clubs condemning the move.

he FA said: “We have been discussing the calendar for the 2024-25 season with the Premier League and EFL for well over a year.

“Removing Emirates FA Cup replays was discussed in the early meetings and all parties accepted that they could not continue. The discussions then focused on how to make all of our competitions stronger, despite having fewer dates available and wanting to maintain player welfare.

“The changes to the Emirates FA Cup achieve this by returning it to a weekend competition on every round, and ensuring that we have exclusive broadcast slots in an increasingly congested calendar.

 



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