Thu, Jan 15, 2009 - Page 18 News List

THE FA CUP: Portsmouth avoid upset in Cup

EXTRA-TIME WINNER In other FA Cup third round ties, Wolves won a Midlands derby, Charlton beat Norwich and Burnley left it late to down QPR at Turf Moor


FA Cup holders Portsmouth ensured they avoided the embarrassment of a third round exit as goals from Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar secured a 2-0 replay win away to Bristol City on Tuesday.

Pompey’s fellow Premier League side West Brom also made it through with a 1-0 replay win away to Peterborough United.

But non-league Histon, who’d already knocked out third-tier Swindon and fallen giants Leeds on their way to the third round, saw their Cup campaign end with a 2-1 third round loss to second-tier Championship side Swansea.

The Welsh side will travel to Portsmouth in the fourth round.

Championship side Sheffield United, who fell behind to a Leyton Orient team 41 places below them in the league standings, won their third round clash 4-1.

In the other third round ties held over because of frozen pitches, Wolves won 2-0 away to Midlands rivals Birmingham to set up a clash with Premier League Middlesbrough.

But Cheltenham and Doncaster’s goalless draw left Premier League Aston Villa still waiting to discover the identity of their fourth round opponents.

Tuesday’s other third round replays saw Millwall beat Crewe 3-2. The Lions’ reward was a tie against the winners of yesterday’s all Premier League replay between Hull and Newcastle.

Elsewhere Charlton Athletic booked themselves a tie against Sheffield United after scraping past fellow second-tier strugglers Norwich 1-0.

Meanwhile Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez scored in the last minute of extra-time as the Clarets beat Championship rivals QPR 2-1. Burnley now face West Brom.

Portsmouth, with just one win in their previous eight matches, were certainly candidates to be on the wrong end of an upset. However, Tony Adams’ team went ahead seven minutes before half-time.

City thought they had a penalty when Crouch appeared to handle inside his own box.

But as play continued Crouch released Nadir Belhadj, whose crossfield pass was collected by Armand Traore. He in turn cut the ball back for Crouch, who finished the move he’d started.

With two minutes left, Kranjcar scored on the counter-attack and City were then denied a goal when David James saved a penalty.

Jay Simpson put West Brom, bottom of the Premier League, ahead in the 18th minute with a low shot from outside the box at London Road.

Paul Robinson headed in their second goal in the 37th minute.

Histon fell behind to Gorka Pintado’s 25m shot and they were 2-0 down before the break when Guillem Bauza scored from close range.

But Josh Simpson ensured a nervous finish for Swansea by pulling a goal back for Histon six minutes from time.

Andy Keogh put Championship leaders Wolves ahead at St Andrews after beating the offside trap and lashing the ball past Maik Taylor in the 38th minute.

Sam Vokes made it 2-0 for Wolves in the 51st minute from close range.

Sheffield United, pushing for promotion back to the Premier League, fell behind to third-tier strugglers Leyton Orient when John Melligan scored from the penalty spot after a handball in the box.

But the Blades hit back after the break with two goals in three minutes from Greg Halford and Billy Sharp before further goals from Kyle Naughton and Halford sealed an ultimately convincing win.

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