John Heyda's FA Cup 3rd round stats

Last updated : 02 January 2004 By Michael Morris
This Saturday Cardiff City will host Sheffield United in an FA Cup match for the first time. The two clubs have met in the cup on three previous occasions. The first meeting came on April 25, 1925, in the competition's final tie, only the third FA Cup final staged at Wembley Stadium. Sheffield United won 1-0 before some 91,000 fans, making the most of their one scoring opportunity when Tunstall netted the lone goal at about the half-hour mark. One account of the match notes that "Sheffield deserved their victory, for they made the most of their one real chance." At the same time, "Cardiff really could not grumble at the result, for in the second half they had a remarkably easy chance to equalise, when any one of three practically unhampered forwards had the United goal at their mercy, but each in turn failed to make history."

The two clubs met a second time in the FA Cup in the third round of the 1971-72 competition, City beating the Blades 3-1 at Bramall Lane on goals by Don Murray, David Carver, and Bobby Woodruff. City got as far as the last 16 that year, taking out Sunderland in a second replay at Maine Road in the fourth round before losing to Leeds 2-0 at Ninian Park in the fifth round. Leeds went on to win their one and only FA Cup that year.

The third meeting came on January 27, 1999, a fourth-round match at Bramall Lane. City came into this match riding high atop Division Three and winners of seven of their previous nine league matches. Sheffield United were a midtable Division One side at the time. A Paul Devlin header in the 13th minute put the Blades in front but Kevin Nugent headed in the equaliser at the 19-minute mark and City managed to stay on level terms through half time. The second half was all Sheffield United, however, with goals by Holdsworth, Morris, and Stuart securing the 4-1 win.

Overall, City and Sheffield United have met 58 times, with the Blades winning 24, City 20, and the other 10 ending up as draws. The two clubs last met on September 20 with Sheffield United winning 5-3 in a league tilt at Bramall Lane, their first meeting in league play in over 14 years. City last defeated the Blades on April 11, 1989. The Bluebirds won 1-0 that day in Sheffield.

Here are some stats comparing Cardiff City's and Sheffield United's records in FA Cup 3rd round play:

Over the Years

* This year marks the seventh season in a row that Cardiff have played in the third round. It marks the 22nd consecutive season that Sheffield have played in the third round.

* Cardiff's all-time record covering 84 3rd round FA Cup matches stands at 28 wins, 19 draws, and 37 losses. Sheffield's all-time 3rd round record covers 99 games and shows 53 wins, 21 draws, and 25 losses.

* Both clubs' 3rd round histories go back a long way. Cardiff made their first appearance in this round during the 1919-20 competition, losing at Bristol City 2-1. Sheffield United's first appearance came all the way back in the nineteenth century, in the 1898-99 competition. That year the Blades recorded a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest. At the time the third round served as the FA Cup quarterfinals.

Home and Away

* In 35 Ninian Park 3rd round games, Cardiff's all-time record shows 13 wins, 12 draws, and 10 losses. Sheffield have hosted 50 contests in this round, winning 28, drawing 13, and losing 9.

* The Bluebirds have played 47 away from home in the 3rd round, showing 15 wins, 5 draws, and 27 losses. (Cardiff have played two third-round replays at neutral sites, losing both.) Sheffield have played 47 times away from home, winning 24, drawing 8, and losing 15. (The Blades have played two third-round replays at neutral sites, winning one and losing the other.)

Best Wins, Worst Losses

* Cardiff's biggest 3rd round win came in the 1921-22 competition, when the Bluebirds whipped Nottingham Forest 4-1 at Ninian Park. City have two 3-0 wins as well, versus Bristol City at Ninian in 1923-24 and at Plymouth in 1958-59.

Sheffield's top 3rd round win came during the 1955-56 tournament when the Blades demolished Barrow 5-0. That match was played at Bramall Lane.

* Cardiff's worst 3rd round defeats: a 6-1 pasting at the hands of Aston Villa at Villa in 1928-29 and a 5-0 loss at Charlton in 1937-38.

Sheffield's worst 3rd round setbacks came in 1977-78, a 5-0 loss at home to Arsenal, and in 1984-85, a 5-0 loss at Watford.

John Heyda