Shrewsbury vs Liverpool: Why the Shrews can take inspiration from Havant and Waterlooville ahead of FA Cup tie
Jan. 28, 2020
What do we love about the FA Cup the most? The giant killings of course.
It’s what the oldest national football competition in the world is all about and although there haven’t been any of note this year, that could all change this weekend.
The remaining 32 teams take part in the fourth round this weekend with seven-time winners Liverpool facing a potential banana skin.
They come up against League One Shrewsbury Town on Sunday at New Meadow on Sunday.
Liverpool may be top of the Premier League but Jurgen Klopp is likely to rest a number of his key players as he will prioritise getting more points in the league.
Klopp played a number of youngsters in the third round, which saw them beat local rivals Everton 1-0 at Anfield.
You can listen to full commentary of Shrewsbury vs Liverpool LIVE on talkSPORT , kick-off 5pm.
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Shrewsbury will be a different proposition as it’s an away tie for Liverpool and there is a huge opportunity for a ‘cupset’.
One match the League One side can take inspiration from is an FA Cup fourth round tie in 2008 where non-league Havant and Waterlooville led Liverpool at Anfield – TWICE!
Havant were in the equivalent of the National League South, which is the sixth tier of English football, and came within a whisker of leading Liverpool at half-time and who knows what could have happened after that?
Richard Pacquette, who played as a forward for Havant in that cup tie, recalls the classy reception he and his teammates received as they arrived at the famous ground.
Danny Murphy slams Everton's 'embarrassing' performance against Liverpool in the FA Cup
He exclusively told talkSPORT.com : “Coming in on the coach, all the fans were clapping us in. The amount of people standing outside the players’ entrance and clapping was immense.
“We had a lot of supporters there and it just got me more pumped up. It made me want to make a good impression.”
Reds boss at the time Rafael Benitez unsurprisingly opted to not field his strongest team but the likes of Sami Hyypia, John Arne Riise, Javier Mascherano and Yossi Benayoun all started so there was plenty of experience out there.
But it was Havant who started better and they, amazingly, took the lead when a corner from the left found an unmarked Pacquette, who headed the ball in from six yards out.
Lucas Leiva equalised with a lovely curling effort but the visitors were back in front AGAIN. A mix-up at the back put youngster Alfie Potter through on goal and his deflected shot bounced into the Kop End net to stun Anfield.
Pacquette added: “When we went 2-1 up I was thinking ‘hello’, they may score again but we were getting sniffs throughout the game. We knew we’d get some kind of chances and it happened again.
“I thought ‘if we can get to half time 2-1 up, we know the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Fernando Torres are going to come on. This will be the test.'”
However, Liverpool’s blushes were somewhat spared with Benayoun getting an equaliser seconds before the break.
Two more strikes from Benayoun and a late goal from Peter Crouch sealed a 5-2 win but of course Havant were the toast of Merseyside that night – Pacquette saying Liverpool fans were buying him drinks all night when he and his teammates went out on the town later that evening.
But if Shrewsbury can actually knock Liverpool out of the Cup then they’ll be the toast of England as every other club will be determined to prove that Klopp’s men are indeed mortal this season.