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Gloucestershire’s best FA Cup moments: Manchester City, Derby County and Leyton Orient

The FA Cup first round is underway this weekend, with Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers joining Yate Town in representing Gloucestershire in the competition.

Cheltenham are away to Gillingham and Rovers are facing National League South side St Albans, and you can read more about it from Park Life Sport here.

Meanwhile, Yate Town are playing in the FA Cup first round for the second time, playing against Yeovil Town in the first match between two clubs beginning with “Y” in the competition’s 150 year history.

Ahead of this, we have decided to look back at five of the Gloucestershire’s finest FA Cup moments over the years, from Cheltenham’s fairy tale tie against Manchester City, to Rovers knocking out high flying Rochdale.

Cheltenham Town, 2020-21

The most recent match on this list, and one that will live long in the memory of the Cheltenham faithful. The Robins entered the fourth round for the third time in their history, by knocking out non-league South Shields as well as Crewe and Mansfield Town. The most memorable game in this run however saw high flying Manchester City travel down to the Jonny-Rocks, with many expecting a clear win for the Citizens, but it didn’t end up that way.

Without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game saw Alfie May’s finish ensure Cheltenham lead in the 59th minute, and continued to lead until the 81st minute, and while three quickfire City goals ensured it wouldn’t be a fairy tale ending, those 22 minutes will be sure to live long in Cheltenham folklore.

Cheltenham Town, 1997-98

Cheltenham Town first reached the FA Cup third round for the first time in the 1997 season, twice getting taken for a replay, in a campaign which saw The Robins take out Tiverton Town, Boreham Wood before facing off against Championship side Reading.

Jason Eaton’s goal at Whaddon Road ensured Cheltenham would visit Reading at the Madjeski Stadium, with another close fought match between the two sides leaving Reading to win 2-1 and progress into the next round.

Forest Green Rovers 2008-09

Cheltenham aren’t the only Gloucestershire side to have an FA Cup run however, with Forest Green Rovers reaching the Third Round on two occasions. The pick of the two however would have to be the 2008-09 campaign, which saw a narrow victory against Team Bath, before an impressive win against Rochdale.

In the third round they faced against recently relegated Premier League side Derby and were more than a match for their opposition, unlucky going into half time only drawing 2-2, before taking the lead early in the second half. Their fortune would change however in cruel circumstances, with Darren Jones being sent off and conceding a last minute penalty ensuring Forest Green would exit the tournament after a gutting 4-3 defeat.

Gloucester City 2012-13

Not to be outdone by their EFL neighbours, Gloucester have twice reached the FA Cup first round, with the first of these two consecutive in particular potentially the highlight for The Tigers.

Entering the competition at the second qualifying round, they edged out Thatcham Town, before impressive wins against higher league opposition in Eastleigh and Chippenham Town. They came unstuck in the first round however against Leyton Orient, who would go onto finish in the League 1 playoffs. Gloucester competed with Orient for much of the game, before eventually falling to a 2-0 defeat.

Shortwood United 2013/14

The then Southern League side, step seven of English football, impressed the footballing world with their FA Cup heroics, starting in the prelimenary qualifying round and going all the way to the FA Cup first round.

Shortwood started their run with a victory over Egham, before wins at Aylesbury, Dorchester and Didcot was the interlude to an impressive win against Aldershot Town to set up a tie with League 1 side Port Vale.

While they fell to an emphatic 4-0 defeat to Vale, the result was harsh for Shortwood, as they impressed many in the footballing world against a side 125 places above them in the league pyramid.

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