F.A. Cup 3rd Round sees derby drama and minnows prevail


A weekend of thrills, 1-0’s and goalkeeper spills saw the Premier League leaders progress, while other top flight teams were eliminated. There was no place in the 4th Round for Aston Villa, Everton, Brighton & Hove Albion or Crystal Palace, all beaten across the first two days of action.

f-a-cup-3rd-round-sees-derby-drama-and-minnows-prevail-minOther teams made it through with flying colours. Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and Derby were all Championship teams who bridged the gap to take out Premier League opposition. AFC Fylde were only beaten 2-1 by the Premier League’s Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Elsewhere two minnows made it to a replay before a young Merseyside team won the derby in style.

Rochdale 1-1 Newcastle United

League One’s Rochdale made it into the hat after they grabbed a late draw against Newcastle at Spotland. A goal down to Miguel Almiron’s latest strike for the Toon Army in the 17th minute, Rochdale rallied and threw on 40-year-old substitute Aaron Wilbraham.

It came late, but in the 79th minute, Wilbraham span onto a neat from 17-year-old attacker Luke Matheson and slammed home to spark wild celebrations in the North West. Rochdale may have to do it the hard way, now needing to travel to St. James Park to beat Newcastle on their own ground, but after their late show, anything is possible.

Watford 3-3 Tranmere Rovers

A compelling draw took place at Vicarage Road as The Hornets’ nest had a sting in its tail. Watford, the Premier League side, surged into a 3-0 lead through Tom Dele-Bashiru, Nathaniel Chalobah and Roberto Pereyra, with the half-time break seeing a 3-0 lead looking impossible to return from.

Tranmere Rovers showed that not only Liverpool are capable of the kind of Merseyside comeback upon which legends are based as they came back from the dead. Connor Jennings headed the away side back into contention, before just a few minutes later, Manny Mothe netted to give Tranmere the opportunity to push for a late equalizer.

When Corey Blackett-Taylor was fouled in the box by Watford’s Mason Barrett, Paul Mullin slotted home from the spot to give Rovers a famous draw and force a replay back at Prenton Park. On the evidence of the original game, it should be unmissable stuff.

Liverpool 1-0 Everton

The Reds produced a thrilling win when they won through in an entertaining derby game at Anfield. Curtis Jones’ winner was the kind of strike that will inspire a nation of schoolchildren in tomorrow’s lunchtime playground. Taking the ball at the far left corner of the penalty area, Jones cut in a curled in a stunning strike that nestled in the top corner, glancing in off the crossbar as it did so, the only part of the goal England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford couldn’t reach.

With that goal, Jones settled the tie, and saw Jurgen Klopp’s seemingly unbeatable side march on in yet another competition, also prolonging Everton’s woeful record at Anfield, where they have been winless since the last Millennium.

While Carlo Ancelotti’s side were wasteful in the first half, Liverpool held firm and earned their late chance to win it. When Jones bent that superb shot into the top corner to see the world-famous Kop erupt, it was the stuff of schoolboy dreams, some of them in the side alongside the 18-year-old. Truly, Klopp has helped Liverpool continue to live their dream.

F.A. Cup 3rd Round results:

Saturday 4th January

Birmingham City 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Bristol City 1-1 Shrewsbury Town

Burnley 4-2 Peterborough United

Millwall 3-0 Newport County

Rochdale 1-1 Newcastle United

Rotherham United 2-3 Hull City

Brentford 1-0 Stoke City

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Cardiff City 2-2 Carlisle United

Fulham 2-1 Aston Villa

Oxford United 4-1 Hartlepool United

Preston 2-4 Norwich City

Reading 2-2 Blackpool

Southampton 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Watford 3-3 Tranmere Rovers

Bournemouth  4-0 Luton Town

Fleetwood Town 1-2 Portsmouth

Leicester City 2-0 Wigan Athletic

Manchester City 4-1 Port Vale

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Manchester United

Sunday 5th January

Bristol Rovers  2-2 Coventry City

Burton Albion 2-4 Northampton Town

Charlton Athletic 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Crewe 1-3 Barnsley

Crystal Palace 0-1 Derby County

Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Q.P.R. 5-1 Swansea City

Sheffield United 2-1 AFC Fylde

Liverpool 1-0 Everton

Gillingham 0-2 West Ham United