Hereford United have reached the fourth round of the FA Cup on six previous occasions. Sir Alex Ferguson has now been at Old Trafford for over twenty years but it might not have been anywhere near as long had Hereford United defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup on January 28th 1990.
The first time was in the 1971/72 season when in the third round there was a very special victory at Edgar Street against Newcastle United. In the fourth round the Bulls were pitched against West Ham United at Edgar Street. The result a 0-0 draw and a replay. However West Ham ran out 3-1 winners.
The second time came in 1973/74. The Bulls were drawn against West Ham in the third round and managed a creditable 1-1 draw. The replay at Edgar Street resulted in a 2-1 win for Hereford. Then in the fourth round the Bulls faced Bristol City at Edgar Street but were defeated 1-0.
The third time was in the 1976/77 season. Hereford were in division two at the time so didn't take part in the Cup until the third round which they got through by defeating Reading 1-0. However a trip to Middleborough in the fourth round didn't go the way of the Bulls as they lost 4-0.
The fourth time was in the 1981/82 season. The Bulls played a third round tie at Scunthorpe which was drawn 1-1. However in the replay the Bulls won 4-1 to set up a fourth round tie against Leicester City. The Foxes won the game at Edgar Street by 1-0.
The fifth time was in the 1989/90 season. Having defeated Farnborough, Merthyr and Walsall in the first three rounds the Bulls were drawn against Manchester United at Edgar Street.
Here's a reminder about that game:
Fergi had to take his team to Edgar Street to face Hereford United in the fourth round of the FA Cup. At the time he was under pressure as his side were sliding down the First Division. Some of his expensive squad were not performing and as ever the buck stops with the manager.
"He takes his side into tomorrow's tie at Hereford knowing that his tenure will probably go the way of the Government's Football Spectators Bill should the League's 88th-placed team prove victorious." wrote Phil Shaw in the Independent.
Team captain Bryan Robson revealed before the game that United were wary of going to Edgar Street. They had defeated Notts Forest in the previous round.
"It's cup final to them and it's sure to be tough," said Robson.
"On paper this looks easier than playing Forest away, but you never know when you go to these lower league clubs."
On the day of the game, Sunday January 28th 1990, the pitch was awful after days of rain and the Bulls held their visitors until the 84th minute of the game when Clayton Blackmore scored the only goal of the game.
"Being drawn against a little club can be a nightmare. When we won the FA Cup in 1990 we played Hereford United on a quagmire of a pitch," Ferguson wrote in a column later that year.
"There was an incredible extravaganza with marching bands and a big bull - the Hereford emblem - out on the pitch.
"There was a sell-out crowd, tickets changing hands on the black market and of course television - they hadn't seen so many cameras since they beat Newcastle in the FA Cup in 1972.
"So our visit made it a big day for them.
"It was so wet that the car park was flooded and some cars were marooned for days.
"We only won with a goal in the final minutes."
13,777 watched the game.
Relive the game with YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyMSCXBKZ0A
The sixth time was two seasons later in 1991/92. The Bulls had a relatively easy journey to reach the fourth round with wins against Atherstone, Aylesbury and Woking. But they had to travel to Nottingham Forest in the fourth round and were defeated 2-0.
Fast forward to 2007/08 and after a space of 16 seasons the Bulls were in the fourth round for the seventh time. Cardiff were the visitors to Edgar Street. However the task was too much for Graham Turner's side who went down 2-1.
And the eighth time will be on Saturday at Sheffield Wednesday.
Sir Alex Ferguson has now been at Old Trafford for over twenty years but it might not have been anywhere near as long had Hereford United defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup on January 28th 1990.