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FA Cup
2003–04
Region England.png England
Flag of Wales.gif Wales
Defending champions Arsenal
Champions Manchester United
(11th title)
Runner-up Millwall
Top goal scorer Garry Barnes
(8 goals)
Previous season
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 ← 2002–03
2004–05 → 

The 2003–04 FA Cup was the 123rd staging of England and the world's oldest football competition, the FA Cup. The competition began on 23 August 2003, with the lowest-ranked of the entrants competing in the Extra Preliminary round. In the Third Round, the clubs from the Premiership and Division One competed in the competition for the first time.

The semi-finals were staged at neutral venues and, like the final, would not be replayed in the event of a draw. The competition culminated with the cup final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff for a fourth year in a row, since Wembley Stadium was still in the rebuilding process. The cup was won by Manchester United for a record 11th time, with a 3–0 victory over Millwall from Division One.

The appearance in the Cup Final by Millwall, a Level 2 team, marked the first time in 12 years that a team outside Level 1 of the English football pyramid appeared in the final game.

Calendar

Round Date (weekend of) Matches Clubs Prize money
Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 23 August 2003 73 661 → 588 £500
Preliminary Round Saturday 30 August 2003 182 588 → 406 £1,000
First Round Qualifying Saturday 20 September 2003 124 406 → 282 £2,250
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 27 September 2003 84 282 → 198 £3,750
Third Round Qualifying Saturday 11 October 2003 42 198 → 156 £5,000
Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 25 October 2003 32 156 → 124 £10,000
First Round Proper Saturday 8 November 2003 40 124 → 84 £16,000
Second Round Proper Saturday 6 December 2003 20 84 → 64 £24,000
Third Round Proper Saturday 3 January 2004 32 64 → 32 £40,000
Fourth Round Proper Saturday 24 January 2004 16 32 → 16 £60,000
Fifth Round Proper Saturday 14 February 2004 8 16 → 8 £120,000
Sixth Round Proper Saturday 6 March 2004 4 8 → 4 £300,000
Semi-finals Saturday 3 April 2004 2 4 → 2 £900,000
Final Saturday 22 May 2004 1 2 → 1 £1,000,000

First round proper

For the qualifying rounds, see 2003–04 FA Cup Qualifying Rounds.

This round is the first in which Football League teams from League One and League Two compete with non-league teams. Luton's Adrian Forbes and Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Proudlock netted hat tricks. Shildon AFC, of the Arngrove Northern League (level 9 on the football league pyramid), were the lowest ranked team left in the competition in the first round.

  • Ties were played over the weekend of 8 November 2003.
Tie no Home team Score Away team
1Lincoln City3 – 1Brighton & Hove Albion
2Peterborough United2 – 0Hereford United
3Oldham Athletic3 – 0Carlisle United
4Cheltenham Town3 – 1Hull City
5Yeovil Town4 – 1Wrexham
6Macclesfield Town3 – 0Boston United
7Grays Athletic1 – 2Aldershot Town
8Scarborough1 – 0Doncaster Rovers
9Barnet2 – 2Stalybridge Celtic
replayStalybridge Celtic0 – 2Barnet
10Blackpool4 – 0Boreham Wood
11Wycombe Wanderers4 – 1Swindon Town
12Lancaster City1 – 2Cambridge United
13Woking3 – 1Histon
14AFC Bournemouth1 – 0Bristol Rovers
15Stevenage Borough2 – 1Stockport County
16Grantham Town1 – 2Leyton Orient
17Thurrock1 – 1Luton Town
replayLuton Town3 – 1Thurrock
18Northampton Town3 – 2Plymouth Argyle
19Tranmere Rovers3 – 2Chesterfield
20Hornchurch2 – 0Darlington
21Scunthorpe United2 – 1Shrewsbury Town
22Torquay United1 – 2Burton Albion
23Accrington Stanley1 – 0Huddersfield Town
24Grimsby Town1 – 0QPR
25Notts County7 – 2Shildon
26Brentford7 – 1Gainsborough Trinity
27Kidderminster Harriers2 – 1Northwich Victoria
28Southend United1 – 1Canvey Island
replayCanvey Island2 – 3Southend United
29York City1 – 2Barnsley
30Port Vale2 – 2Ford United
replayFord United1 – 2Port Vale
31Mansfield Town6 – 0Bishop's Stortford
32Sheffield Wednesday4 – 0Salisbury City
33Farnborough Town0 – 1Weston-super-Mare
34Chester City0 – 1Gravesend & Northfleet
35Telford United3 – 2Crawley Town
36Colchester United1 – 0Oxford United
37Bradford Park Avenue2 – 5Bristol City
38Bury1 – 2Rochdale
39Swansea City3 – 0Rushden & Diamonds
40Hartlepool United4 – 0Whitby Town

Second round proper

Ties were played over the weekend of 6 December 2003. Mansfield's Liam Lawrence showed how interested Championship and premiership clubs were with him by netting a hat trick.

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1Northampton Town4 – 1Weston-super-Mare
2Rochdale0 – 2Luton Town
3Colchester United1 – 0Aldershot Town
4Macclesfield Town1 – 1Cambridge United
replayCambridge United2 – 2Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town won 4-2 on penalties
5Peterborough United3 – 2Grimsby Town
6Bristol City0 – 0Barnsley
replayBarnsley2 – 1Bristol City
7Oldham Athletic2 – 5Blackpool
8Burton Albion0 – 1Hartlepool United
9Gravesend & Northfleet1 – 2Notts County
10Telford United3 – 0Brentford
11Woking0 – 3Kidderminster Harriers
12Hornchurch0 – 1Tranmere Rovers
13Yeovil Town5 – 1Barnet
14A F C Bournemouth1 – 1Accrington Stanley
replayAccrington Stanley0 – 0A F C Bournemouth
Accrington Stanley won 5-3 on penalties
15Cheltenham Town3 – 1Leyton Orient
16Port Vale0 – 1Scarborough
17Wycombe Wanderers1 – 1Mansfield Town
replayMansfield Town3 – 2Wycombe Wanderers
18Southend United3 – 0Lincoln City
19Scunthorpe United2 – 2Sheffield Wednesday
replaySheffield Wednesday0 – 0Scunthorpe United
Scunthorpe United won 3-1 on penalties
20Swansea City2 – 1Stevenage Borough

Third round proper

This round marks the first time Championship and Premier League (top-flight) teams play. Matches were played on the weekend of Saturday, 3 January 2004, with replays on 13 January and 14 January.

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1Preston North End3 – 3Reading
replayReading1 – 2Preston North End
2Southampton0 – 3Newcastle United
3Watford2 – 2Chelsea
replayChelsea4 – 0Watford
4Yeovil Town0 – 2Liverpool
5Gillingham3 – 2Charlton Athletic
6Nottingham Forest1 – 0West Bromwich Albion
7Aston Villa1 – 2Manchester United
8Crewe Alexandra0 – 1Telford United
9Middlesbrough2 – 1Notts County
10Sunderland1 – 0Hartlepool United
11Everton3 – 1Norwich City
12Ipswich Town3 – 0Derby County
13Tranmere Rovers1 – 1Bolton Wanderers
replayBolton Wanderers1 – 2Tranmere Rovers
14Tottenham Hotspur3 – 0Crystal Palace
15Manchester City2 – 2Leicester City
replayLeicester City1 – 3Manchester City
16Kidderminster Harriers1–1Wolverhampton Wanderers
replayWolverhampton Wanderers2–0Kidderminster Harriers
17Fulham2–1Cheltenham Town
18Barnsley0–0Scunthorpe United
replayScunthorpe United2–0Barnsley
19Northampton Town1–1Rotherham United
replayRotherham United1 – 2Northampton Town
20Coventry City2–1Peterborough United
21Portsmouth2–1Blackpool
22Bradford City1–2Luton Town
23Millwall2–1Walsall
24Wimbledon1–1Stoke City
replayStoke City0–1Wimbledon
25Southend United1–1Scarborough
replayScarborough1–0Southend United
26Mansfield Town0–2Burnley
27Cardiff City0–1Sheffield United
28Leeds United1–4Arsenal
29Wigan Athletic1–2West Ham United
30Birmingham City4–0Blackburn Rovers
31Swansea City2–1Macclesfield Town
32Accrington Stanley0–0Colchester United
replayColchester United2–1Accrington Stanley

Fourth round proper

Ties played during the weekend of 24 January 2004, with replays on 3 February and 4 February.

Tie no Home team Score Away team
1Burnley3–1Gillingham
2Liverpool2–1Newcastle United
3Nottingham Forest0–3Sheffield United
4Wolverhampton Wanderers1–3West Ham United
5Luton Town0–1Tranmere Rovers
6Everton1–1Fulham
replayFulham2–1Everton
7Scarborough0–1Chelsea
8Ipswich Town1–2Sunderland
9Manchester City1–1Tottenham Hotspur
replayTottenham Hotspur3–4Manchester City
10Northampton Town0–3Manchester United
11Coventry City1–1Colchester United
replayColchester United3–1Coventry City
12Portsmouth2–1Scunthorpe United
13Arsenal4–1Middlesbrough
14Birmingham City1–0Wimbledon
15Telford United0–2Millwall
16Swansea City2–1Preston North End

The match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City was particularly notable. Tottenham led the match 3–0 at half-time but Manchester City turned the match around in the second half to win 4–3, with Jon Macken scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute. This was despite Manchester City having one less player on the pitch during the second half after Joey Barton was red carded during the half-time interval.

Fifth round proper

  • Matches played weekend of 14 and 15 February 2004
  • Three replays played week commencing 22 and 25 February 2004.
  • Four non-Premiership sides (including a Division Two side) progressed to the quarter-finals.
Tie no Home team Score Away team Attendance
1Liverpool1–1Portsmouth34,669
replayPortsmouth1–0Liverpool19,529
2Sunderland1–1Birmingham City24,966
replayBirmingham City0–2Sunderland25,645
3Sheffield United1–0Colchester United17,074
4Tranmere Rovers2–1Swansea City12,215
5Fulham0–0West Ham United14,705
replayWest Ham United0–3Fulham27,934
6Manchester United4–2Manchester City67,228
7Millwall1–0Burnley10,420
8Arsenal2–1Chelsea38,136

Quarter-finals

  • Matches played on the weekend of Saturday, 6 March 2004.
  • There was one replay between Tranmere and Millwall, played on Tuesday 16 March.
  • Two Division One sides progressed to the semi-finals, while another was eliminated at this stage. In addition, a Division Two side reached the quarter-finals and were only eliminated after a replay.
2004-03-06
12:30
Manchester United 2 – 1 Fulham Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 67,614
Referee: Rob Styles
van Nistelrooy Soccerball 25'62' Report Malbranque Soccerball 23' (pen.)

2004-03-06
18:00
Portsmouth 1 – 5 Arsenal Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Attendance: 20,137
Referee: Jeff Winter
Sheringham Soccerball 90' Report Henry Soccerball 25'50'
Ljungberg Soccerball 43'57'
Touré Soccerball 45'

2004-03-07
13:00
Millwall 0 – 0 Tranmere The Den, Bermondsey, London
Attendance: 16,404
Referee: Neale Barry
Report

2004-03-07
16:05
Sunderland 1 – 0 Sheffield United Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 37,115
Referee: Steve Dunn
Tommy Smith Soccerball 15' Report

Replay

2004-03-16
19:45
Tranmere 1 – 2 Millwall Prenton Park, Tranmere, Birkenhead
Attendance: 15,510
Referee: Uriah Rennie
Gary Jones Soccerball 41' Report Cahill Soccerball 11'
Harris Soccerball 15'

Semi-finals

  • Matches played on the weekend of Saturday, 3 April 2004.
  • Two teams from Division 1 featured in the semi-finals (Millwall and Sunderland) who faced each other. The other tie was an all-Premiership affair between Manchester United and Arsenal, held at Villa Park.
  • Both games were played at neutral venues.
2004-04-03
12:00
Arsenal 0 – 1 Manchester United Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 39,939
Referee: Graham Barber
Report Scholes Soccerball 32'

2004-04-04
13:00
Sunderland 0 – 1 Millwall Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 56,112
Referee: Paul Durkin
Report Cahill Soccerball 26'

Final

Main article: 2004 FA Cup Final

Manchester United won the game and lifted the trophy for the 11th time in their history (a competition record) with a 3-0 victory over a Millwall side who were the first team from outside the top flight to reach the FA Cup final in 12 years.

22 May 2004
15:00 BST
Manchester United 3 – 0 Millwall Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 71,350
Referee: Jeff Winter (County Durham)
Ronaldo Soccerball 43'
van Nistelrooy Soccerball 65' (pen.)81'
(Report)

Media coverage

In the United Kingdom, the BBC were the free to air broadcasters for the third consecutive season while Sky Sports were the subscription broadcasters for the sixteenth consecutive season.

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