It was only last month that millions of people were glued to their TV screens as Coventry City and Mark Robins masterminded a miraculous comeback against Manchester United.

The Championship club managed to comeback from 3-0 down to take the Premier League giants to extra time and came within literal centimetres of winning the game in the dying moments.

Alas someone’s toe nail may have been offside ruining an all time historic moment. 

However, there was a time when Coventry were the giants and had to endure an upset of their own.

Into the time machine we go, and the year is 1989 and fifth tier Sutton United have been drawn against Sky Blues in the third round of the FA Cup.

As a non league club, not only did Sutton need to win the previous two rounds, but also a preliminary qualifying round to have the right to play in the competition’s latter stage.

Already at a disadvantage due to the volume of games, as well as the obvious gap in quality, The U’s were heavy underdogs in the game. However, on a winter’s afternoon at Gander Green Lane, the home of the conference side, the FA Cup worked its magic once more. 

Sutton decided to rewrite the script on the day, refusing to go behind at any point, and it was them that did all the front running, going ahead right before half time through club captain Tony Rains, who truly was leading from the front. A perfect time to score from the underdogs, who went into the dressing room at the break full of confidence. 

A natural reaction was always to be expected from the top flight side, and seven minutes into the second half they equalised through Wales international David Phillips.

As we have seen many times before, it could be thought that the rest of the game would be one way traffic, with the higher placed team overpowering the part-time team and dispatching them to advance in the competition. But not today, the U’s certainly had other ideas. 

In truth, the response from Sutton was nothing short of phenomenal, and it took them only seven minutes to respond to the equaliser when then bricklayer, Matthew Hanlan, put them back in front. The giant killing was back on once more. 

There was still 30 minutes of the game to go, but this didn’t phase the non league team, and they held on to beat Coventry, who won the entire tournament just 18 months before this fixture was played, and to this day can only be described as one of the greatest moments the historic competition has thrown up. 

Back to the present day and there has been a clear and consistent effort by bigger clubs to water down the FA Cup, it started by moving later round ties to mid week and has now moved on to scrapping the competition’s replay system.

Fans on social media are voicing their support towards protecting the FA Cup, after Replays for next season were scrapped earlier this year.

This cup is the oldest in the land and one of the most famous in the world. It allows for stories like the one that unfolded at Gander Green Lane in 1989 and it simply must be protected. After all, there is nothing more thrilling than a famous giant killing.