The 1886 FA Cup Final was contested by Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at the Kennington Oval. The match finished goalless, Albion wanted to play extra time but Blackburn Rovers declined, meaning a replay was necessary.
The replay was particularly noteworthy in that it took place at Derbyshire County Cricket Club's Racecourse Ground, the first time an FA Cup Final was played outside London. The replay was won 2–0 by Blackburn Rovers, their third successive FA Cup Final victory. The goals came from James Brown and Joe Sowerbutts.
In their third season in the FA Cup, West Bromwich Albion were drawn at home in every round prior to the semi-final. In the first two rounds, they defeated Aston Unity 4–1 and Wednesbury Old Athletic 3–2. The team then received a bye to the fourth round, where they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers by a 3–1 scoreline. Old Carthusians were defeated by a single goal in the fifth round. A hat-trick from Jem Bayliss—the first by an Albion player in the FA Cup—contributed to a 6–0 quarter-final victory over Old Westminsters, putting the club into the FA Cup semi-final for the first time. The semi-final took place at Aston Lower Grounds and was against one of Albion's local rivals, Small Heath Alliance. Albion won 4–0—Arthur Loach and George Woodhall each scoring twice—to become the first Midlands club to reach the FA Cup Final. After the game, Small Heath supporters invaded the pitch and then pelted missiles at vehicles bound for West Bromwich, causing several injuries.