Grimsby Town: Pitting their wits against Michael Owen at Anfield was Cup high for Scott and Hurst
MANY football fans remember the 2001 FA Cup for Michael Owen's stunning, late two-goal burst in the final to snatch victory from Arsenal's grasp.
But for Grimsby Town's joint bosses that season's competition is best remembered for their Third Round encounter with the Liverpool and England striker.
Team-mates at Rotherham at the time, Paul Hurst and Rob Scott tasted the ups and downs of the world's most famous club competition as players.
And more than a decade on, the memories of the cup victories and painful defeats are as vivid as ever.
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"I didn't particularly have any great FA Cup runs as a player, but we did manage to get to the Third Round and play at Anfield one year," said Hurst, pictured below.
"We lost the game 3-0 but it was 0-0 at half-time and we played quite well – Rob actually hit the bar with a header that day.
"Michael Owen and Emile Heskey were the front pair we were trying to thwart.
"But in the second half they got on top and Steven Gerrard came on as a substitute and made it even easier for us!
"It would have been great to cause an upset but we acquitted ourselves quite well that day so no regrets."
The following season saw the Millers record perhaps their biggest cup 'upset' during Scott and Hurst's time at the club – a 2-1 victory over Premier League side Southampton.
The Saints had Wayne Bridge, Kevin Davies and Matt Le Tissier in their squad that day.
"That's the other one that stands out, when we managed to beat Southampton in the Third or Fourth round," added Hurst.
"But then we went out to Crewe the round after, which was really disappointing.
"We were up against a pretty much full-strength Southampton side and we turned them over at home, at Millmoor.
"That was a fantastic result and probably the best I have in my FA Cup career."
He continued: "The downside was one season when we drew Manchester United after drawing at Northampton in the first game.
"We were from the league above them but in the replay we got beaten at home 2-1.
"It was one of the times I managed to score, to put us in front from a free-kick, but the evening went downhill from there and we lost out on the opportunity to play Manchester United.
"That's the other side of the FA Cup and the disappointment it can generate."
Now Hurst and Scott are hoping to create some magical memories as managers – with Saturday's Fourth Qualifying Round clash against Kidderminster Harriers looming.
And after pulling off a surprise victory over League Two Port Vale but then crashing out to Conference South Salisbury City in last season's competition, they know not to take anything for granted in the FA Cup.
"It can create some fantastic memories," Hurst said.
"The aim for us is to win on Saturday and go on to the make the main draw, then to progress to the third round when the very big teams come in.
"It can be a big ask and you need a bit of luck at times.
"Last year we had the opportunity to have a really good game at Sheffield United and we blew that.
"So we'll be trying our utmost this season.
"But we know we have a tough game to kick off with, and thoughts of anything more than that are distant at the moment."