FA Cup 3rd Round Preview: Swindon vs Wigan Athletic

This Saturday afternoon Swindon Town welcome Premier League opposition to the County Ground in the FA Cup 3rd Round tie with Wigan Athletic.

The last time we entertained a Premier League team at the County Ground in the FA Cup was a visit by Coventry City in a 3rd Round tie in January 2001 – which we lost 2-0.

Speaking of last times… Swindon Town have not beaten top flight opposition in the FA Cup since 1988. After a 0-0 draw with Norwich City at the County Ground in the 3rd Round, we beat the Canaries 2-0 at Carrow Road thanks to a Dave Bamber double.

Form… Town come into the game thanks to double wins against Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon in League Two.

Following a Carling Cup 2nd Round defeat on 30th August, Town have gone five cup ties unbeaten in FA Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Wigan travel to SN1 on the back of a 4-1 reverse at home to a resurgent Sunderland on Tuesday evening, ensuring the Lactics are without a win in five games.

Swindon-Town-FC.co.uk Head-to-Head… The sides have never met in the FA Cup and in the ten Football League matches between the sides, Swindon have won 3 games, drawn 4 and defeated on 3 occasions, scoring 13 and conceding 13.

Wigan have never defeated Swindon at the County Ground in five visits.

The last meeting was a 2-1 victory over top of the Division Two table Wigan at the County Ground for Andy King’s Town in January 2003.

The most memorable games between the two sides came in the Division Three Play-Off Semi Finals in 1987. After a 3-2 victory at Springfield Park in the first leg, Town secured a goalless draw to send us to that epic final with Gillingham. Videos of both games with Wigan are at the bottom of this article.

Swindon Total FA Cup Record… Swindon Town have played 333 matches in the FA Cup, winning 166, drawing 53 and defeated on 114 occasions.

In those 333 matches 653 goals have been scored and 466 conceded.

Four of our biggest ever victories have come in the FA Cup including; 10-1 over Farnham United Breweries in November 1925, 9-0 over Maidenhead United in 1890, 9-0 over Poole in 1903 and another 9-0 against Whiteheads in 1902.

Swindon’s best performance in the FA Cup were semi-final appearances in 1910 and 1912.

In modern times, Town have made the Quarter Final on two occasions in 1923/24 and 1969/70.

Since that Quarter Final in 1969/70, Swindon have been defeated in the 1st Round five times, 2nd Round five times, 3rd Round sixteen times, 4th Round thirteen times and twice in the 5th Round in 1991/92 and 1995/96.

Swindon have not made it past the 3rd Round since a 5th Round tie with Southampton and eventual replay defeat in 1995/96 as a Division Two side.

Since that run to the 5th Round, Town have been knocked out in the 3rd Round by Everton, Stevenage, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Barnet and Fulham, which was our last appearance at this stage back in January 2010.

My prediction… With a busy January schedule the last result we want on Saturday is a draw and a midweek trip to Lancashire to visit one of the Premier League’s less glamorous stadiums. Whether we’ll win will depend on Roberto Martinez’ squad and how seriously the relegation threatened club will be treating the competition, but we’re getting stronger and stronger as the season develops so my rather optimistic prediction is a 3-1 Swindon victory.

Here are some videos of that 1987 Play-Off tie with Wigan….

Second leg at the County Ground

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