It was a day of remarkable upsets in the third round proper of the Emirates FA Cup, with non-league Kidderminster Harriers coming from behind to knock out Championship Reading while League One Cambridge United stunned Newcastle.
Harriers, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, trailed to George Puscas’ strike just before half-time, but turned things around in the second half as Sam Austin and then Amari Morgan-Smith sealed a 2-1 win for the side from the sixth tier, despite 14 minutes of added time.
And there was another massive shock at St James’ Park where Cambridge pulled off a massive upset with a 1-0 success.
- Third Round Proper
- Saturday 8th January 2022
Joe Ironside was the hero for the U’s, finishing on the turn in the second half as they got the better of the Premier League side, who had given England full-back Kieran Trippier his debut.
Kidderminster will not be the only non-league side in the fourth-round draw, with Boreham Wood also booking their place at the expense of AFC Wimbledon. Tyrone Marsh gave them the lead after just ten minutes, with Adrian Clifton sealing the win four minutes from time.
Thelo Aasgaard left it very late for Wigan as they upset Championship high-flyers Blackburn Rovers 3-2, Daniel Ayala’s 88th-minute equaliser proving in vain for the visitors.
The upsets had started early on Saturday, Matty Pearson heading home with three minutes remaining for Championship side Huddersfield Town as they beat Premier League Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor.
Josh Koroma had cancelled out Jay Rodriguez’s opener before Pearson headed home for a corner for the visitors.
There was another upset as teenager Joe Grey fired League Two Hartlepool United past Blackpool 2-1 at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Keshi Anderson had put Blackpool in front after just eight minutes as the visitors dominated the first half. But immediately after half-time, former Blackpool skipper David Ferguson saw his shot take a big deflection on its way in to equalise. And just after the hour, 18-year-old substitute Grey held his nerve when put into space to fire home the winner.
Perhaps the game of the day came at Oakwell where Championship side Barnsley eventually got the better of 10-man League Two Barrow, 5-4 after extra-time.
Barrow trailed 2-0 and were down to ten men by half-time, but fought back to level. They then twice conceded in the last ten minutes, equalising for the second time in the 90th minute, before Carlton Morris' second goal sent Barnsley through.
QPR also narrowly avoided a shock exit as they got the better of League One high-flyers Rotherham, coming through 8-7 on penalties, while Brighton needed extra-time to see off 10-man West Brom thanks to Neal Maupay's winner.
There were two further near-upsets in the early games as Mansfield Town came from two goals down against Middlesbrough, only for an own-goal from Elliott Hewitt in the 95th minute to send the Championship side through 3-2.
And in a South London derby, Millwall led early against Crystal Palace through Benik Afobe before Michael Olise scored one and set up another to put Palace into the next round with a 2-1 win.
Fulham needed extra-time to get the better of Bristol City 1-0 in an all-Championship affair, while in another, Coventry City saw off Derby County by the same scoreline in 90 minutes.
Holders Leicester City came out comfortably on top in the only all-Premier League tie of the day, beating Watford 4-1, while Brentford were also 4-1 winners, Bryan Mbuemo scoring a hat-trick against Port Vale.
There was to be no fairytale upset for non-league Chesterfield, beaten 5-1 away to European champions Chelsea, although the travelling support went wild at Akwasi Asante’s strike ten minutes from time against the side currently second in the Premier League.
And it was a similar story for National League Yeovil Town, masters of the upset down the years, but undone by Emiliano Marcondes’ hat-trick in Bournemouth’s 3-1 victory.
Plymouth Argyle were another side to upset opposition from the division above, Ryan Law’s fine strike sealing a 1-0 win away to Birmingham City to secure their place in the next round.
Finally, both Everton and Southampton required extra-time to make it through, the Toffees edging out Hull 3-2, while Saints, who had Yan Valery sent off in the first half, beat Swansea by the same scoreline.
Bali Mumba was the hero for Peterborough United, as they got the better of Bristol Rovers 2-1.