The third round should in my eyes be the neutral’s favourite round of the worlds oldest and most famous knock out competition.
This annual football ritual sees the country’s best teams square up not just against each other but also against clubs from the football league and lower reaches of the football pyramid who have fought there way to the third round.
Today there have been some memorable upsets today with nine teams being knocked out by lower league opposition whilst three teams earned replays against teams playing in a higher division.
Stevenage Stun Newcastle
The fixture schedulers excelled themselves today saving the best until last as League Two Stevenage routed Premiership opposition in the form of Newcastle United.
This victory marked a bleak day in the North East as Middlesbrough and Sunderland were also dumped out of the competition by lower league opposition.
The game itself was defined in the second half as the League Two side scored two goals in five minutes, leaving Newcastle reeling and ultimately unable to recover.
The goals scored on the 50th and 55th minutes of the match came from a Mike Williamson own goal and a fine Michael Bostwick strike, the own goal coming courtesy of a wicked deflection from a Stacy Long strike.
Things got worse for the Magpies as Chiek Tiote was sent off for a challenge on Jon Ashton just twelve minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Late on Newcastle gave themselves some brief hope with a spectacular Joey Barton goal in injury time, but Stevenage responded instantly with a goal of their own from Peter Winn to allow the Stevenage fans to enjoy the final seconds of the game knowing that victory was secure.
The final whistle was met with an old fashioned celebratory pitch invasion, which I always love to see, considering it has been stamped out in the Premier League.
Notts County Defeat Sunderland at Stadium of Light
When I started drafting my thoughts on the games today this was the stand out result as League One Notts County’s defeated Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. The game started perfectly for the visitors as Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mingolet was the villian as his error gifted Craig Westcarr the Magpies opener after just five minutes.
To account this victory just to a goalkeeping error would do a massive injustice to the performance of Nott’s County who excelled themselves continuing to create chances against an understrength Sunderland side.
After the early goal it was seventy minutes until the next goal was scored and it fell to Notts County who extended their lead through veteran Lee Hughes and not who fully deserved their victory and went two goals up courtesy of Lee Hughes in the 75th minute.
There was however late drama as Darren Bent converted a penalty conceded by Ricky Ravenhill in the 81st minute to set up a nervous finish for Paul Ince’s men who survived a few scares to clinch a true FA Cup upset.
Leeds Hold Arsenal At The Emirates
Last season Leeds defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford in the upset of the competition in the fourth round, this year they got another huge draw this year in the third round as they drew Arsenal at the Emirates.
However having acquired a taste for cup upsets last season it was Leeds who nearly won the match as Cesc Fabregas drew the Gunners level in the 90th minute after Robert Snodgrass had put Leeds ahead in the second half in a game where both goals came from the penalty spot.
Despite the late equaliser this was a great result for Leeds and sets up a lucrative replay at Elland Road on the 18th of January.
Crawley Town v Derby County
Just when we thought the FA Cup this year could not get any better for cupsets Crawley went and usurped everyone with a deserved victory of Derby County. I thought this achievement deserved more than a few lines at the end of one article so you can read more here.