It’s time for another break from league action, as we’re down to the last eight clubs in the 1980/81 FA Cup with seven clubs from the First Division and one from the Third Division plaing for a place in the semi-finals of the competition. First up, a quick mention of the match that is missing from the selection that we have. Nottingham Forest drew three-all at The City Ground against Ipswich Town and, although the replay was probably just about the last thing that an Ipswich team that was still competing on three fronts – in the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup and for the First Division Championship – needed, Bobby Robson’s team won the replay by a single goal at Portman Road the following week.
Our first FA Cup final, then, is the match between Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ayresome Park. Wolves had earned a bit of a reputation as a cup team under manager John Barnwell, whilst Middlesbrough at that point had still never played in a major cup final. Second up is the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Exeter City, the Third Division club who had already knocked out Leicester City and Newcastle United in their most surprising of cup runs. Last up are the two matches played between Everton and Manchester City, which went to a replay at Maine Road after the two teams had drawn the first match at Goodison Park.
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