Albion Nostalgia: Remembering the classic FA Cup ties with Liverpool
We will see a welcome relief from the quest for Premier League survival this week, when Coventry City come to The Amex for a fifth round tie.
A win will put us in the quarter-finals, just one win away from a Wembley semi-final.
Albion have enjoyed some memorable FA Cup days over the years, none more so than in 1983. Our unforgettable run to the final included a trip to Liverpool in the fifth round, with Jimmy Case striking a superb long-range winner. We were again paired with the Merseysiders the following season, winning 2-0 at The Goldstone.
Seven years later in 1991, we were pulled out of the hat with Liverpool once again, this time in the fourth round. The Reds were coming to the end of their period of dominance but were still a big force to be reckoned with. We were enjoying a good season in Division Two, but not too many people gave us a chance.
Around 5,000 made the trip up north, a sizeable contingent in the crowd of just over 32,500. The first half was a tense affair and although Liverpool had the better chances, we went in at the break level at 0-0.
Liverpool came out all guns blazing and looked to have wrapped the game up when Ian Rush scored twice in quick succession early in the second half.
The Albion support (then as now!) came into play and roared the team on in the hope of a consolation. We got that when Mike Small pulled one back from the penalty spot, although Bruce Grobbelaar got a hand to the shot. We were not done and in the 77th minute, the ball was launched into the Liverpool box. Small nodded the ball back across goal, where John Byrne was on hand to send a diving header into the net, sending the fans behind the goal absolutely crazy!
Despite some strong Albion pressure in the last few minutes, it was back to The Goldstone the following Wednesday for a replay.
The club made the game ‘members-only’ and the crowd of 14,400 saw a brilliant game. Small equalised an early Liverpool goal and after a second-half stalemate, the game went to extra-time.
That man Byrne gave Albion the lead in the 99th minute but Rush and Steve McMahon won the match for the Anfield men in the final period of extra-time.