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26 January 2014

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Town become first non-league side to knock out a Premier League team of the FA Cup

The Town had already claimed one FA Cup scalp after beating Wolves in the third round, and few of the 4,000 Hatters followers that made the trip to Norwich City a year ago on this day believed they could repeat the feat. However, in one of the Town’s most famous cup performances of all time, they did precisely that.

A man-of-the-match performance from Canaries fan and Hatters number one Mark Tyler, together with the never-say-die displays of his fellow team-mates, kept the Premier League side at bay. When Tyler wasn’t throwing himself around the Carrow Road penalty area, it was Greg Taylor, or Alex Lawless, or Janos Kovacs putting their bodies on the line.

With 10 minutes to go, with the tie still goalless, the Town were already dreaming of a replay. But why bring them back to Kenilworth Road when you could do the job anyway? Manager Paul Buckle introduced Stuart Fleetwood, JJ O’Donnell and Scott Rendell as substitutes. And then the magic happened. Fleetwood, to O’Donnell, to Rendell. Goal. Mayhem in the away end. Aghast, confused Canary faces. Sheer utter unbridled, unexpected joy. Norwich 0-1 Luton.

The Hatters hung on for grim life in the closing stages, and then the whistle went. History was made: the Town had become the first non-league club to knock out a team from the Premier League since its inception in 1992.

The celebrations would continue for hours afterwards. Buckle, Rendell and Tyler’s faces would be all over the newspapers the following day. They even made the whole front page of the Daily Star. What a day, eh?


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