FA Cup third round day hasn’t been exactly kind to Norwich City

Elliott Bennett was one of the goalscorers in Norwich City's last third round victory - at Peterboro

Elliott Bennett was one of the goalscorers in Norwich City's last third round victory - at Peterborough five years ago. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Question: What have Norwich City managed to do 15 times in the last two decades which Chelsea have not done?

Answer: Get knocked out of the FA Cup at the third round stage.

There is a slight trick in the question given that City were in the hat in the first round in 2009-10 as they plied their trade in League One – and after beating Paulton Rovers 7-0, were beaten 3-1 at Carlisle in round two.

But the point remains: City's FA Cup record in recent times is pretty abysmal.

Chelsea's 5-3 loss to Manchester United in January 1998 has been followed by win after win in the third round - according to Chelsea statisticians that's 22 matches (including three replays), 73 goals scored and 10 conceded. Oh, and they won the thing five times in that period as well.

In the same period City have played 33 games in all rounds – 23, including five replays, in the third round. They've scored 25 third round goals and conceded 40. And they're still trying to win it.

The last time City won a third round game was five years ago, 3-0 at Peterborough thanks to goals from Elliott Bennett, Simeon Jackson and Robert Snodgrass.

Most Read

The previous season it had been a cup run, certainly in a Norwich sense, when the Canaries made it to the fifth round, disposing of Burnley and West Brom before losing to Leicester at Carrow Road.

But the fifth round is rarefied atmopshere indeed: they got there in 2007, only to be thumped 4-0 by today's visitors, and in 1995, coming to a sticky end at Everton, thrashed 5-0.

You have to go back to 1991-92 for a proper run – Barnsley, Millwall, Notts County and Southampton were beaten as City strode to the semi-finals, only to be beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at Hillsborough. Three years earlier City lost 1-0 to Everton in a semi-final at Villa Park – the day Hillsbrough witnessed some of the most distressing and terrible scenes ever seen at an English football ground during the other semi between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The romantics will say the 1958-59 Cup run which ended in a semi-final replay defeat to Luton is the best in City's history - and they will be right. Every year has its own magic, even if the likes of Bury and Leyton Orient like to spoil it.