Mon, Jan 26, 2009 - Page 8 News List

THE FA CUP: Portsmouth dumped out of FA Cup

AFP , LONDON

Holders Portsmouth crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday as Manchester United were forced to come from behind to overcome Tottenham and keep their quadruple bid on track.

On a day when non-league interest ended with the exit of Kettering Town and Torquay, the only shock came at Fratton Park, where the holders were beaten 2-0 by Championship side Swansea.

To rub salt into the wounds, it was Nathan Dyer, on loan from Pompey’s bitter rivals Southampton, who scored the Welsh club’s opener.

That was the first goal Pompey had conceded in 651 minutes of FA Cup action. The second followed when Jason Scotland converted from the spot after Jordi Gomez was brought down by Nadir Belhadj in first-half stoppage time.

Swansea boss Roberto Martinez said the win showed his side, promoted from League One to the Championship only last season, could aspire to joining the top flight.

A makeshift United line-up was rattled when Roman Pavlyuchenko headed Spurs into an early lead at Old Trafford.

But a deflected shot from Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov’s 10th goal of the season sent United into yesterday’s fifth-round draw and kept alive the possibility of a clean sweep of every tournament entered for the reigning English, European and World Club champions.

Kettering were left heart-broken after goals in the last two minutes from Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora gave Fulham a barely deserved 4-2 win at Rockingham Road.

The Conference side had dominated after Craig Westcarr had canceled out Simon Davies’ early strike 10 minutes before half-time. Danny Murphy’s 77th-minute goal restored Fulham’s lead, but Kettering equalized again through a Westcarr penalty before finally running out of steam.

Torquay’s exit was equally cruel, with Coventry’s Elliot Ward scoring the only goal of the game in the 87th minute.

A Michael Ballack double helped Chelsea to a 3-1 win over Ipswich at Stamford Bridge. Alex Bruce, son of Wigan manager Steve, canceled out Ballack’s opener before the break but the Germany captain settled the contest with a 59th-minute free-kick and Frank Lampard added a late third.

West Ham’s passage into the last 16 was eased by a blunder from referee Lee Mason, who mistakenly whistled for a penalty after a handball by Hartlepool defender Michael Nelson that was clearly outside the box.

Valon Behrami had just given the Hammers a barely-deserved lead and Mark Noble converted the spot-kick to make it 2-0, which was how it finished.

Aston Villa were taken to a replay they could have done without after a goalless draw at Doncaster and the all-Premier League clash between Sunderland and Blackburn also ended goalless.

Michael Turner’s 15th-minute header and a late strike by Ian Ashby earned Hull a 2-0 win over League One’s Millwall in a contest marred by pre-match crowd trouble.

Goals from Danny Webber and Lee Hendrie earned Sheffield United a 2-1 win over Charlton.

Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace went down to a 4-3 defeat at Watford that may cause the outspoken Palace manager to regret his pre-match boast that his side was capable of reaching Wembley.

Burnley could yet claim a fourth Premier League scalp this season after an 89th-minute goal by Martin Paterson earned them a 2-2 draw at West Brom. The Lancashire club have beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Fulham in the League Cup this year and went desperately close to knocking out Spurs in the semi-final.

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