The unexpected is what makes football special. Although there’s a clear correlation between the size of a club’s budget and their standing in the league, on any given day, the biggest underdogs can still spring a huge surprise, just as Stevenage did in 2011.
There were three divisions and league 73 places separating Stevenage from Newcastle United when they faced each other in the FA Cup third round.
The previous season, Graham Westley’s side had won promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history but were still getting to grips with life at a higher level.
In contrast, Newcastle had just thrashed West Ham United 5-0 to move into the top half of the Premier League table and were overwhelming favourites to progress. Yet the Stevenage players were unfazed by the gulf in quality.
Read the full article on Stevenage’s brilliant cup upset here.
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