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151 Years of the FA Cup And Cheltenham Town Man George Lloyd’s Grimsby Town Quarter Final Absence

On this day in 1872, Wanderers FC beat Royal Engineers AFC in the first ever FA Cup final, a 1-0 win for Wanderers at The Oval.

This weekend sees the quarter finals of the latest iteration with Cheltenham Town Academy Graduate George Lloyd’s Grimsby Town facing Brighton having already beaten Plymouth Argyle, Cambridge, Burton and Southampton. Lloyd, currently on loan at the Mariners, will be unable to feature having led the line for Cheltenham in their first round defeat to Southern League Premier Division side Alvechurch. Lloyd’s 45 minutes in the 2-1 defeat means he will be cup tied and unable to play at the farthest point he has reached in the competition. 

A source of some consolation is the 2020/21 cup run which resulted in Lloyd starting against Manchester City at Whaddon Road. Cheltenham took the lead against the reigning Premier League champions with Alfie May smashing home just before the hour. It looked to be one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history but for Phil Foden’s 81st minute equaliser and subsequent goals from Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres. 

Cheltenham have beaten Grimsby on numerous occasions, including in front of the BT Sport cameras in the 2015/16 National League title winning campaign, and defeated their opponents Brighton in the third division in 2001, winning 3-1, and winning 2-1 in League One in 2008, their only victories over the Seagulls. 

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Man City face Burnley in their tie with current manager Wade Elliott a former Clarets player as well as former manager and club legend Michael Duff who won promotion to the Premier League three times with the Lancashire club. Cheltenham faced Burnley in the FA Cup in 2002, winning 2-1 courtesy of goals from current coach Russell Milton and Julian Alsop, Duff started the game. 

Sheffield United face Blackburn Rovers with Cheltenham having lost to the Blades in January 2003 while former Cheltenham fan favourite Callum Wright, a League Two title winner and key member of last season’s squad, was a youth player at Blackburn from 2016 to 2018. 

The final tie sees Manchester United face Fulham at Old Trafford. Fulham beat Cheltenham 2-1 at Loftus Road in the 2004 FA Cup while United goalkeeper Jack Butland was on loan at Whaddon Road in 2011. United youngster Matej Kovar was supposed to join Cheltenham on loan ahead of this season but the goalkeeper’s move didn’t come to be. 

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