Tranmere Rovers kick off their FA Cup main draw campaign this weekend with a lucrative away tie against Peterborough United, and in this article we’ll look at how they’ve faired in the main draw since the turn of the century.
Tranmere Rovers 1 Sunderland 0 – FA Cup fourth round – 1999/2000
A solitary goal from Wayne Allison sent the then-Championship side into the FA Cup 5th round, knocking out Premier League Sunderland in a 1-0 win.
The game was marred in controversy after Clint Hill was sent off in the final moments. The fourth official raised his board to signal a change for Rovers, but it had Hill’s number on it, and so Tranmere were able to keep 11 men on the field for the remainder of the game to see out the victory.
After an official investigation into the incident, Rovers were cleared of any wrongdoing and were able to progress to the next round. They would eventually lose 3-2 to Newcastle in the quarter-final after beating Fulham 2-1 in the 5th round.
Everton 0 Tranmere Rovers 3 – FA Cup fourth round – 2000/2001
Just a year later, Rovers pulled off one of their biggest FA Cup wins in their history, convincingly beating local rivals Everton.
Goals from Steve Yates (2) and Jason Koumas (1) gave Tranmere an easy 3-0 win, and many fans now dub January 27th ‘St Yates’ Day’ after the defender’s brace broke Evertonian hearts.
Tranmere Rovers 4 Southampton 3 – FA Cup fifth round replay – 2000/2001
After drawing 0-0 in the original tie, Tranmere were able to bring Southampton back to Prenton Park for the replay, with both sides knowing a win would put them in the quarter final, but it was the Saints who started stronger – goals from Hassan Kachloul, Joe Tessem and Dean Richards gave them a seemingly unassailable lead.
An amazing second half comeback from Rovers gave the side an unlikely 4-3 win, with Paul Rideout (3) and Stuart Barlow (1) scoring the goals in a game that many agree is one of, if not THE, greatest resurgence in FA Cup history.
Tranmere Rovers 1 Millwall 2 – FA Cup Quarter-Final replay – 2003/04
A 0-0 draw in the original fixture gave Tranmere the opportunity to upset Millwall at home, but a goal each from Tim Cahill and Neil Harris gave Millwall the victory by the skin of their teeth. Gary Jones was able to pull one back for Rovers, but they couldn’t find the equaliser despite a late push at the end.
Regardless, a quarter-final replay is, to date, the furthest this side has ever been in the competition, and that in itself is worthy of finding a place on this list.
Peterborough United are the visitors this weekend, but they’ve been somewhat of an FA Cup bogey team for Tranmere since the turn of the century, with Posh knocking Rovers out of the competition four times since the 2004/05 season.
They won 2-1 in the 1st round in 2004/05, 2-1 in the 2nd round in 2006/07, 2-1 in a 2nd round replay in 2008/09 and a whopping 5-0 in the 2nd round in 2013/14.
Despite the presumptive hoodoo against the Cambridgeshire side, Rovers will be looking to break the curse this weekend at London Road.
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