Return to Greatest Games

FA Cup fifth round replay, 20th February 2001

Tranmere Rovers produced one of the most dramatic comebacks in FA Cup history beating Southampton 4-3. John Aldridge's men were trailing 3-0 at half-time, but battled through and will now face Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the quarter-finals. Veteran Paul Rideout was Rovers' hero after scoring a second-half hat-trick to cancel out the Saints' three first-half goals. Glenn Hoddle's men dominated the first 45 minutes only to be torn apart by the Division One strugglers in the second half. Moroccan international Hassan Kachloul, who had not scored since the opening day of the season, capped an outstanding first half performance by scoring the first and laying on the second for Jo Tessem. The 28-year-old curled a 26-yard right foot shot into the top left hand corner leaving Tranmere keeper John Achterberg with no chance after just 11 minutes. Saints in control Kachloul turned from goal-scorer to goal provider in the 25th minute when he crossed across the face of goal to leave Jo Tessem with the simplest of tap-ins. The Moroccan could have doubled his tally for the evening, seeing his deflected shot hit the top of the crossbar. Saints striker James Beattie spurned a great chance after beating the keeper. His shot-come-cross was off target and evaded Kachloul, blazing in down the left-hand side. Tranmere's backline looked decidely shaky throughout the entire first half with Dave Challinor and Des Hamilton - both eventually substituted - unable to contain the Saints' attacks. Not to be outdone by the excellent Kachloul, defender Dean Richards was a rock at the heart of Southampton's defence and made a superb clearing header to deny Paul Rideout a free header on goal. Richards then showed bravery and determination to bundle in the third just before half time. Second-half turnaround Rovers brought on Stuart Barlow in the second half to bolster a flagging forward line and the substitution proved to be an inspired one. Tranmere's amazing recovery came with 58 minutes on the clock. Liverpool-born Andy Parkinson fired in a shot from 25 yards and Rideout got the final touch to send the ball beyond the outstretched Paul Jones. Rideout then headed in his second of the match after 71 minutes to really put Rovers back in the tie. He completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes to silence the travelling Saints fans. It was then the turn of another former Toffees man to send the Rovers fans into a frenzy. Stuart Barlow scored the fourth to complete an amazing evening on Merseyside and show that the fourth round victory over Walter Smith's men was no fluke. At the final whistle Tranmere fans, no doubt in footballing heaven, invaded the pitch to congratulate their heroes. And Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, watching from the stands, must now be wondering if Tranmere will prove to be the stumbling block to his own team's Cup ambitions.

Tranmere: Achterberg, Yates, Challinor, Jobson, Hinds, Allen, Koumas, Flynn, Hamilton, Parkinson, Rideout. Subs: Murphy, Allison, Henry, Barlow, Roberts.

Southampton: Jones, Marsden, Lundekvam, Richards, Gibbens, Draper, Bridge, Kachloul, Tessem, Beattie, Pahars. Subs: Moss, Rosler, Bleidelis, Ashford, Warner.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

Attendance: 12,910

Paul Rideout  



MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.