In my 20 or so years of watching Bolton Wanderers the FA Cup has seen a schizophrenic combination of emotions - from disbelief and excitement, to happiness and misery.
This weekend Wanderers face a potential banana skin with a trip to Conference National side Eastleigh. Given Wanderers are likely to face relegation this season, third round fixtures could be at a premium in the future so I'm taking a look at my key memories of Wanderers playing at this stage of the world's greatest cup competition.
Unsurprisingly Bolton didn't enjoy the greatest of fortunes in my early years, suffering defeat in the first round in the first season of my lifetime (Hull 2-1) and the following 1985/86 season (Wrexham 3-1). We then lost in the third round 2-0 to Coventry in 1986/87 and to Barnsley 3-1 in 1987/88, and again didn't make the third round for two years losing to Port Vale in round two in 1988/89 and to Blackpool in round one in 1989/90.
Liverpool 0-2 Bolton
My first real memory of Bolton in the FA Cup third round was our famous victory over Liverpool. Following a 2-2 home draw, thanks to goals from Mark Seagraves and John McGinlay, we achieved the impossible by winning the replay 2-0 at Anfield with goals from our super strikeforce McGinlay and Andy Walker. I remember staying up late as an 8-year-old and watching in amazement as Wanderers shocked the footballing world.
Everton 2-3 Bolton
The following season was another of my positive, albeit vague, early memories of Bolton's FA Cup exploits. We again earned a replay against Merseyside opponents with a 1-1 draw at home to Everton, then went and repeated the feat of a year before by fighting back from 2-0 down to win the replay 3-2 after extra time at Goodison Park, thanks to goals from McGinlay (again), Alan Stubbs and Owen Coyle. We then beat two further Premier League sides in the next two rounds, knocking out both Arsenal and Aston Villa before losing to Oldham Athletic. This was also the year we beat Gretna in the first round, to reminisce further on that game read Chris' article here.
Bolton 6-2 Luton Town
In 1996/97 I remember us handing out a hammering to Luton Town with a 6-2 home victory in a third round replay. We drew the first game 1-1 at Luton and were then 2-1 down in the replay. But Wanderers took control with five second half goals, including a Nathan Blake brace and a brilliant Alan Thompson free-kick for Bolton's third goal. The goals from that game are below, including some comical defending for Luton's second goal and Bolton's fourth.
Bolton 2-1 Yeovil
Another memory of taking on minnows in the cup was when Bolton hosted then non-league side Yeovil Town back in January 2001. We went a goal down to Warren Patmore's opener, but got back on level terms just before half-time through a controversial John O'Kane equaliser (blast from the past for you all there). A nervy second half followed but Wanderers sealed a fourth round tie thanks to super Michael Ricketts' last minute winner.
Bolton 1-0 Wigan Athletic
FA Cup exploits have been particularly positive of late. We haven't exited in the third round since we lost at Sunderland in 2009 having also exited at this stage to Sheffield United the previous campaign.
Possibly my favourite memory in this six-year streak of reaching the fourth round was last season's 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, thanks to Zach Clough's debut winner. Wanderers had been frustrated by the returning Ali Al-Habsi, but Clough latched onto Liam Trotter's through ball and chipped over the goalkeeper to delight the home fans. Higlights from this win are below.
Do you have any favourite memories of the FA Cup third round that I've foolishly overlooked? Let us know in the comments section below.