The Emirates FA Cup is the most special domestic cup competition in world football, with 737 clubs battling it out this year to get to Wembley.
Since it’s inception in 1871, the FA Cup has provided moments that live long in the memory of English football fans.
For Gloucester City, we are no different. The Tigers will enter the FA Cup this year when they welcome Hungerford Town to the Jubilee Stadium on Saturday, with this being the 76th time we have entered the competition.
The first time that the club entered the FA Cup during the 1928/29 season, it was a memorable afternoon, with a 2-1 win the final score against local rivals Cheltenham Town.
Since our first meeting in the Cup, the Tigers and the Robins have faced off nine further times in the competition, but it’s Cheltenham who have had more success, winning eight of the ten ties.
It’s a different story for the Tigers record against Hungerford Town, as the two sides have never met in the FA Cup before this Saturday’s meeting.
Talking of Saturday, midfielder Ross Finnie has been cleared to play by parent club Wolves to play and if he does, it will be his first appearance in the FA Cup at senior level.
This is certainly not the case for his fellow midfielder Tom Webb, who is just four cup appearances from half a century, having turned out 46 times for the Tigers in the FA Cup.
That, unsurprisingly, is yet another appearance record that Webb holds for Gloucester City, and the midfielder is 22 games ahead of the next closest challenger, current Under 18s manager Neil Mustoe.
With City being in the second tier of non-league football, we enter the Cup at the Second Qualifying Round and this Saturday will be the 53rd time that the club has played at this stage.
It can be a long and arduous journey into the ‘Proper’ rounds of the competition when Football League clubs enter, and it’s one that the Tigers were accustomed to in the late 40s/early 50s, having made the First Round proper three years running from 1948/49 to 1950/51.0
Since then, though, City have only made the First Round and beyond three times, most recently in 2012/13 and 2013/14, but our most famous cup run came in the 1989/90 season.
Reaching the Second Round for the first time in the club’s history after a 1-0 win over Dorchester Town in the First Round, City were drawn away at sleeping giants Cardiff City.
Goals from Steve Talboys and Chris Townsend put the Tigers into a 2-0 lead, but the Welsh club’s trainee striker Morrys Scott pulled two goals back in the dying minutes to salvage a draw. He also got on the scoresheet in the replay as City were beaten 0-1.
In terms of goals, the Tigers are actually one of the more successful teams in the competition’s history, having found the net a total of 412 times since first entering in 1928/29, which ranks 185th out of all clubs who have ever entered the competition.
Results such as the 10-0 win vs Sudbury Town in the Second Qualifying Round of 1998/99, a 7-0 defeat of Westbury United in 1987/88 and a 7-2 triumph over Truro City in 2011/12 have all gone some way towards this tally.
Will the Tigers be able to add to the 412 goal tally this Saturday when Hungerford Town visit the Jubilee Stadium? We hope that you can join us and find out!