When we actually went on FA Cup Runs

OTD in 1986. Vale demolished…

6.12.1986. Walsall 5 Port Vale 0. (issawalsall.org)


That spell around that time was the best and most entertaining of the Coakley era. Free flowing, free scoring. Cross, Christie, Kelly - oh my! Only a very poor start and a run out of gas at the end of that season cost us a play-off spot.

The sales of Cross and Childs made us less exciting to watch the season after, a season that ultimately did see us promoted. We became far more pragmatic with Mark Goodwin adding a much needed anchor to the midfield.

But what a cup run that was. Was Kelly sent off in the first round against Chesterfield? After Vale came a 1-0 win against Blues then the epic three-legger against Watford.

Since the 80’s we’ve been pretty poor in both main cups. There was the BFJ season, an FA Cup run under Lee and the Smith/ O’driscoll run of 15/16. But lots of disappointments along the way. I blame John Barnwell. As I do for a lot of things.


You missed the Charlton away win. 1-0 down 2-1 up we knocked Charlton out the cup, Great day, freezing cold, but beating a top division side away was a big thing.

We missed their goal, someone scored as we were going through the turnstiles as we walked in, my Dad asked a copper who scored and he replied laughing “not you” My old man gave him a big grin and a wink on the way out.


Gosh you’re right. I was there for that one too and remember singing that little ditty on that huge terrace at a virtually deserted Selhurst Park. Freezing me nads off that day. Think I had one of those ski hats with the yellow bit. As often happened during those five or six years in the 80’s we went to a top flight team and were better than them at football. No hoofing or over physicality just passing and moving and scoring goals.


We took a decent following that day, but it did look lost in that huge terrace. I said it on the post of this article on Facebook and it is much in agreement with your first post. I am just too young to remember Buckley playing, But in my time following Walsall, I don’t remember us having a better set of attacking players than we did that season.

Funny how some things stick in your mind, As mentioned Kelly couldn’t play v Vale, but Nicky Cross was electric, the pass he played for the 5th goal split the defence like it wasn’t there, just left them all flat-footed and left Christie with a completely clear run on goal to finish it off. Some happy memories from that time.


Apologies if this goes away from the topic but re Barnwell you can add Sibley, SOD, and possibly Ashman to the list of rubbish managers. Surprisingly the second worst on stats alone is Neil Martin without the Buck.

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Sorry third worst if you include Broadhurst!

I remember that game, but had it in my head that we had beaten Vale after a replay, as we had the year before. So I’ve imagined a game against Vale, as if we haven’t played them enough.
Robbie Earle was a decent player.

post 80s the Sorensen season was probably the best for cup runs some great games really enjoyed that season even though we underachieved in the league.

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I reckon in my first 30 years or so following Walsall it was a rarity for us to go out of a Cup to a team from a lower division. It obviously happened sometimes, but the last 10 or 15 years it seems to be a regular thing.
Maybe it’s just rose tinted spectacles again, or perhaps my perception is accurate. If I could be bothered I’d work it out.

This record is ,for some reason , incomplete, but seems to bear that out. It’s certainly the recall I have. Bury, I think were a division lower, but up to Slough, we seem to have gone out to teams at least in our division. Halifax looks a blip, but we were in their division that season. Had an odd record against them that season. I think they also ended our unbeaten run in the league.

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I’m afraid we lost to both Peterborough and Yeovil who were then non-league in our Bill Moore promotion seasons!

5TH December 1959 and 5th November 1960 respectively.Both at home.

Peterborough, Yeovil twice, and Slough are the non league teams I know we’ve lost to. Am I in denial about any others?

I do remember my uncle talking about Yeovil, frequently. I think they were absolutely sure Walsall would win no trouble. Nevertheless it means over 40 years before Slough without the embarrassment of a non- league giant killing.

Sadly not, Yeovil beat us in 91-92, at Bescot in a replay.

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Forgot that!

I don’t blame you!

The Yeovil one on 1960 was amazingly our only home defeat as the league record was won 19 drew 4.

I didn’t go to the first game at Walsall, but went to both replays at the Shay. We lost the 2nd replay 2 nil on Christmas Eve which was a real rubbish start to Christmas… and they went on to knock out Man City in the 3rd Rd.