Despite all the bad feelings generated by Dave Kitson’s recent comments, Saturday was a day to feel good about the FA Cup. It was a big day for the lower division clubs as they stepped up to pull off several upsets and make other games very close.
First off, Everton were knocked out of the FA Cup 1-0 by League One side Oldham Athletic in the third round on Saturday, becoming one of four Premier League sides to go out to lower league opposition. Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers were the other upset victims, while Havant & Waterlooville carried the minor league flag into Monday’s fourth-round draw after snatching a late 1-1 draw at third division leaders Swansea. One other upset saw League Two Peterborough produce a dominant display to dump Championship Colchester out by a score of 3-1.
It was not all doom and gloom for the Premier League sides as current FA Cup holders Chelsea beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at home while last year’s runners-up Manchester United went through with a 2-0 success at Aston Villa.
Luckily for me, the ManUtd – Aston Villa game was on FSC Canada today. They also showed the Ipswich – Portsmouth game earlier in the morning and both were decent. Ipswich put up a great fight after going down to 10 men and if not for David James they could have forced a replay or maybe even pulled off an upset.
The ManUtd – Villa game was quick paced but both sides had trouble breaking past the back four. Things turned when Rooney came on and he combined with Ronaldo effectively. Villa will probably be disappointed with their performance as until the 80th minute, the game was there for the taking had they come up with a little more quality play in the final third.
Coventry, 17th in the Championship and in severe financial trouble, won 4-1 at Blackburn with two goals by Michael Mifsud, who is quicky becoming a Cup specialist having scored against Manchester United to knock them out of the Carling Cup. Elliott Ward and Dele Adebola also scored for Coventry while David Bentley scored Blackburn’s only goal.
League One club Huddersfield were also celebrating after a 2-1 home win over Birmingham, while Bolton, having rested Nicolas Anelka and many of their normal starting XI, lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United.
An 87th-minute equaliser by Rocky Baptiste earned Havant, who play in the Blue Square South League (not part of the top-tiers known collectively as the Football League), a home replay against a Swansea side who had scored 20 goals in their previous six games.
The club we are currently following on the Road to Wembley, Bury, drew 1-1 with Norwich City. Bury were denied a shock victory at Norwich as Gary Doherty’s late equaliser sets up a replay at Bury’s home ground.
I’ll check in again after tomorrow’s fixtures and Monday’s 4th Round draw but for now here are the full set of scores from English FA Cup third round results on Saturday.
Aston Villa 0 Manchester United 2
Everton 0 Oldham Athletic 1
Barnsley 2 Blackpool 1
Blackburn Rovers 1 Coventry City 4
Bolton Wanderers 0 Sheffield United 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Mansfield Town 2
Bristol City 1 Middlesbrough 2
Charlton 1 West Brom 1
Chasetown 1 Cardiff 3
Chelsea 1 Queens Park Rangers 0
Colchester United 1 Peterborough United 3
Huddersfield Town 2 Birmingham City 1
Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 1
Norwich City 1 Bury 1
Plymouth Argyle 3 Hull City 2
Preston North End 1 Scunthorpe United 0
Southampton 2 Leicester City 0
Southend United 5 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
Sunderland 0 Wigan Athletic 3
Swansea City 1 Havant & Waterlooville 1
Swindon Town 1 Barnet 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Reading 2
Tranmere Rovers 2 Hereford United 2
Watford 2 Crystal Palace 0
West Ham United 0 Manchester City 0
Walsall 0 Millwall 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Cambridge United 1