12 January 2016
2016 FA Cup 3rd Round Catch Up
This weekend saw the famous FA Cup 3rd round in play and what a weekend it lived up to be with many giant killings and some amazing replays earnt by lower league clubs against the somewhat mighty Premier League clubs.
Friday night saw Liverpool travel to League 2 Exeter City in what was sure to be a mouth-watering tie with Klopp resting the majority of his first team side and giving his youngsters a chance. St James Park pitch was under question but it suited Exeter down to the ground. The game was played at a fast pace and it was Exeter that went ahead through a very lively Nicholls slotting home after a great move. Liverpool came back into it minutes later after a defensive mix up let in Sinclair to calmly equalise. Holmes amazingly scored directly from a corner kick after another poor display from the Liverpool keeper Bogdan. With the game approaching the final whistle, Brad Smith came to the rescue and scored Liverpool’s second to earn a hard fought draw and give the Exeter players and club an amazing replay at the famous Anfield stadium.
With so many games being played on Saturday we were sure to be in for some shock results, and yet again, what a day it was for the smaller clubs. Eastleigh, who are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, played out of their skin. The game only got the go ahead at 13:30 due to the waterlogged pitch. They took the lead through an own goal, and with their keeper in inspired form, were looking to pull off one of the best upsets ever until Darren Pratley of Bolton levelled the tie. Even so what an experience for the young players who now get a great chance to play at the Macron Stadium. Premier League outfit Aston Villa travelled to Wycombe in a game which Villa fans would have thought may turn their season around and possibly get them back to winning ways. It started so well for them with Micah Richard back in his right back position looking dangerous and he himself scored the opening goal to surely set them on their way. However, things changed quickly as Westwood gave away a very cheap penalty to gift Wycombe the chance to equalise which they took ruthlessly to set up a replay at Villa Park and earn the club a prestigious sum of money.
Other shocks of the day came as Premier League West Brom scored an equaliser in the 5th minute of added time to earn a replay against Championship strugglers Bristol City with the game ending 2-2. Championship side Ipswich came from behind to draw 2-2 with League 1 Portsmouth. League 1 side Peterborough easily dispatched of Championship side Preston in a 2-0 victory.
Holders Arsenal came from behind to beat Sunderland 3-1 and book their place in the 4th round. Arsenal, who have now won the trophy twice in a row, are looking to win it for a third successive time.
Other results on Saturday were:
Birmingham 1 – 2 Bournemouth
Brentford 0 – 1 Walsall
Bury 0 – 0 Bradford
Colchester 2 – 1 Charlton
Doncaster 1 – 2 Stoke
Everton 2 – 0 Dag & Red
Hartlepool 1 – 2 Derby
Huddersfield 2 – 2 Reading
Hull 1 – 0 Brighton
Leeds 2 – 0 Rotherham
Middlesbrough 1 – 2 Burnley
Northampton 2 – 2 MK Dons
Norwich 0 – 3 Man City
Nottingham Forest 1 – 0 QPR
Sheffield Weds 2 – 1 Fulham
Southampton 1 – 2 Crystal Palace
Watford 1 – 0 Newcastle
West Ham 1 – 0 Wolves
Man Utd 1 – 0 Sheffield Utd
Sunday’s fixtures saw Oxford Utd entertain Swansea City who fielded what was near enough a full strength side. They started off well with Montero giving them the lead. Many people would have expected Swansea to push on and increase their lead to kill the lower league side off but Oxford were awarded a penalty in the 45th minute which Sercombe took full advantage of to send the Oxford fans wild. Roofe had the game of his life by scoring a brace to leave Oxford with one foot in the 4th round and a great 3-1 lead. Gomis got one back for Swansea but it wasn’t enough and they were sent crashing out of the FA Cup. Their season is going from bad to worse.
Shrewsbury also created a little giant killing of their own when they travelled to Championship Cardiff and pulled off a shock 1-0 win the book their place in the 4th round draw.
With an all-Premier League tie between Tottenham & Leicester, it was a game that saw both teams resting players with a total of 15 changes between the two. Harry Kane came off the bench to grab the second goal from the penalty spot in the 89th minute after Spurs were awarded a penalty which many people would think was harsh. Chelsea cruised through with a 2-0 win at home to Scunthorpe with Diego Costa getting on the scoresheet once again. Scunthorpe put up a great fight and could have easily had a penalty with the score at 1-0 but the referee waived the claim.
Other results on Sunday were:
Carlisle 2 – 2 Yeovil
What a great weekend it was for the English game that has left us with some great replays for the lower league clubs.
The 4th round draw was held on Monday 12th January at 7pm and gave the following matchups:
Arsenal v Burnley
Bury or Bradford City v Hull City
Carlisle or Yeovil v Everton
Colchester v Tottenham or Leicester
Crystal Palace v Stoke City
Derby v Manchester United
Eastleigh or Bolton v Leeds United
Exeter City or Liverpool v West Ham
Huddersfield or Reading v Walsall
Ipswich or Portsmouth v Bournemouth
Northampton or MK Dons v Chelsea
Nottingham Forest v Watford
Oxford United v Newport County or Blackburn
Shrewsbury v Sheffield Wednesday
West Bromwich or Bristol City v Peterborough
Wycombe or Aston Villa v Manchester City
These games will be played from Friday 29th January to 1st February so be sure to tune in for another round of great football.