Top-flight duo suffer FA Cup upsets in goal-filled third round ties on Saturday

Saturday 04 Jan 2020
Harry Arter's stunning goal secured victory for second-tier Fulham

Harry Arter’s wonder goal sent top-flight Aston Villa crashing out of the Emirates FA Cup as Fulham sealed their place in the fourth round with a 2-1 win.

Anthony Knockaert had put the hosts ahead with a stunning long-range effort of his own but Anwar El Ghazi equalised just past the hour mark.

And it took a moment of brilliance to win the match as former Bournemouth man Arter sent a 30-yard strike sailing into the top corner to eliminate the Villains.

Villa weren’t the only Premier League team unable to ensure safe passage as Rochdale earned a replay at St James’ Park with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle.

Miguel Almiron had put Newcastle ahead early on but 40-year-old substitute Aaron Wilbraham equalised with ten minutes to go having been set up by a player 23 years younger than him in midfielder Luke Matheson.

Brighton, last year’s semi-finalists, also fell at the first hurdle as they were knocked out of the competition by a well-put-together Adam Reach free-kick routine in a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at the AMEX.

And 2019's beaten finalists, Watford, very nearly joined them having blown a three-goal lead against League One Tranmere Rovers.

Goals from Tom Dele-Bashiru, Nathaniel Chalobah and Roberto Pereyra had given the Hornets a 3-0 first-half lead. But Connor Jennings and Manny Monthe reduced the deficit to one before Paul Mullin made it 3-3 from the spot and Pereyra saw red late on.

Norwich City, on the other hand, were able to book their place in the next round with relative ease after beating Preston North End 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Adam Idah.

The 18-year-old was making his FA Cup debut and scored twice in the first half, including a 40-yard strike, with Onel Hernandez adding another before the break.

Preston picked their heads up and pulled two back in the second half but Idah completed his treble from the spot to see the Canaries through.

Southampton joined them with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield – as did Brentford, who beat Championship rivals Stoke City by 1-0, while Oxford United ended National League Hartlepool United’s dreams with a 4-1 win.

Meanwhile, Cardiff City produced a second-half comeback to spare their blushes in a 2-2 draw with Carlisle United. Reading and Blackpool will need a replay after also drawing 2-2.

Idah wasn’t the only hat-trick scorer on Saturday as Hull City’s Tom Eaves completed one of his own with a last-minute winner, as the Tigers came from behind to beat ten-man Rotherham United.

Eaves opened the scoring but League One Rotherham fought back to lead 2-1 at half time after goals from Michael Smith and Kyle Vassell, despite having Adam Thompson sent off.

But the Tigers striker stole the show in the second half, scoring twice more to ensure the Championship side safe passage into the fourth round.

Elsewhere in the lunch-time kick-offs, top-flight Burnley beat Peterborough United 4-2 and League One Shrewsbury will get another bite at the cherry against Bristol City after a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate.

Millwall avoided any drama by beating Newport County 3-0, although Padraig Amond did miss the opportunity to score for the ninth consecutive game in the competition by a whisker.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero’s love affair with the Emirates FA Cup continued as he moved level with Jermain Defoe as the competition’s fourth-highest all-time scorer with 19 goals each.

The holders swept lower league opponents Port Vale aside with a 4-1 win at the Etihad while fellow Premier League heavyweights Leicester City cruised to a 2-0 win over Wigan.

Dominic Solanke scored his first goal for Bournemouth while Philip Billing grabbed a brace and Callum Wilson scored with his first touch off the bench in the Cherries’ 4-0 win over Luton Town.

Portsmouth earned their place in the next round with a 2-1 win at Fleetwood Town and it was Wolves versus Manchester United that produced the only stalemate of the day as they drew 0-0 at Molineux.

All 20 of the day’s games kicked off a minute later than usual in support of our Heads Up campaign, which aims to use the power of football to generate the biggest-ever conversation about mental health.

By Tom Dean