FOR a moment at the weekend, there was a brief reminder of what the FA Cup is all about.

Premier League leaders Chelsea losing 4-2 at home to Bradford (pictured) and Middlesbrough winning 2-0 at Manchester City are the sort of upsets seldom seen in this money-is-everything age.

It was as if the clock had been turned back 20 years to the football days when the FA Cup competition was at the pinnacle of the domestic game.

Not an inconvenience that gets in the way of striving for league position or a mid-season training trip to Abu Dhabi.

It was a reminder to England’s leading clubs that, even if they don’t, those lower down the food chain still care about a competition once held in high esteem around the world.

At this rate, with half of the top-flight teams already out in the last 32, there is a real possibility that May’s final could be Bradford against Blackburn Rovers.

Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

To suggest, as Kelly Cates did on Sunday’s FiveLive phone-in, that a Wembley showpiece without the top clubs might be a damp squib is disrespectful.

Who cares if they’re not in it. If they want to be, they should get their act together, treat games as though they were a Premier League fixture, and get the job done.

Likewise, if the Football Association are worried that a final between two unfashionable clubs harms their global audience television figures, they need to provide those that treat it as an afterthought with an incentive to win it.

Yet, despite the disdain of the top clubs, they often still triumph because the gulf between the haves and have nots is so vast.

Which is why we should embrace what happened at the weekend. Shocks of this kind are becoming increasingly scarce, almost to the point of extinction.

That we continue to hark back to non-league Sutton’s 1989 defeat of Coventry - despite Bradford’s heroics, arguably still the greatest cup upset of all time because of Sutton’s non-league status - shows just how rare these occasions are.

We should enjoy it while it lasts and revel in the unique excitement the FA Cup can bring.