FA Cup: 4th round results at a glance

THE weekend saw teams involved in the fourth round of the FA Cup, with one or two giant-killing acts adding to the competition’s age-old narrative of romance and upsets.

Many of the big teams remain in the competition, but it is non-league Maidstone who will receive most of the plaudits as a result of the weekend. FocusM  provides a round-up of the cup ties played over the week.

Ipswich Town 1 v Maidstone United 2

Maidstone is the only non-league side left in this season’s FA Cup. The National League South (or effectively division six in other words) team was comprehensively outplayed by their championship host for large parts of the game.

But they managed two shots on goal, both of which went in, thus earning them a place in the draw for the fifth round. Who says romance is dead?

Sheffield United 2 v Brighton & Hove Albion 5

The home side were two down but fought back valiantly to level the score at halftime. Alas, the Seagulls stepped up their game after the break to ease past the hapless Blades. Although the FA Cup may not be high on Sheffield United’s priorities as they seek to escape relegation, a bruising home defeat will have further sapped morale.

Leeds United 1 v Plymouth Argyle 1

A loud, noisy Elland Road witnessed an entertaining and hard-fought draw between the two championship sides. Little to separate the two and a replay will be needed to see which team progresses. Jaidon Anthony scored for the home side, while the equaliser came courtesy of Adam Randell.

Leicester 3 v Birmingham City 0

The Foxes are on track for a swift return to the Premiership as they sit at the top of the championship. They highlighted their title credentials by slotting three past Birmingham. Talisman striker Jamie Vardy shows he has still got it with a neatly taken finish to open the scoring. He will be relishing having one final chance to play at the top level before hanging up his boots.

A Wembley appearance would also be an incentive for Vardy and Co to right the wrongs of last season.

Everton 1 v Luton Town 2

Two sides are in need of pick-me-ups as they battle relegation from the Premiership, with both hoping the FA Cup would be a welcome distraction. The Hatters snatched this with a late winner deep into injury time, courtesy of Cauley Woodrow as both sides threw caution to the wind in a bid to avoid an unwanted replay.

Luton supporters will be hoping this dramatic FA Cup win will give them impetus in their bid to avoid the drop.

Fulham 0 v Newcastle 2

A second-cup exit within a week will have greatly deflated Marco Silva and his team. Just like the midweek League Cup tie against Liverpool, the Cottagers lacked the necessary finishing touch in the final third to trouble their opponents.

The form that saw Fulham put five past premiership opponents in consecutive games a few weeks ago seems to have deserted them, reducing the remainder of the season as an exercise in pursuing an outside chance of a European place.

Tottenham Hotspurs 0 v Manchester City 1

Amazingly, Pep Guardoila’s serial winners have not scored, nevermind won, at the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium in six previous attempts. Nathan Ake finally broke the jinx in the FA Cup tie played on Friday evening (UK time) as City booked their place in the fifth round. Spurs dearly missed their captain and talisman striker Son Heing-min and will be eagerly awaiting his return from Asian Cup duties.

Bristol City 0 v Nottingham Forest 0

Forest looked to have lost their way. Having dispensed with the hugely popular Gary Cooper, ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santos has been given the responsibility to turn things around. But this limp and toothless display highlights the mammoth task at hand as the Forest front line continues to splutter.

Forest will get the chance to put things right in a replay in front of a home crowd. A defat could, however, really derail their fast-unravelling season.

Chelsea 0 v Aston Villa 0

Given the hectic fixture schedule, especially for teams involved in European competition, a draw was the last thing Aston Villa needed. Similarly, having reached the final of the League Cup, Chelsea would have wanted to avoid adding to the fixture pile-up.

But this intriguing cup tie will go to a replay at Villa Park after both sides failed to take their chances on a bitterly cold and rain-swept Friday (Jan 26) night in London.

Sheffield Wednesday 1 v Coventry 1

Owls supporters will relish reminding their rivals, Sheffield United, that they are at least still in the FA Cup. The home side had gone behind to a Victor Overgaard goal at the end of the first half but equalised late on through Djeidi Gassama. A replay at Highfield Road will determine which team will advance to the next round.

AFC Bournemouth 5 v Swansea 0

Many Bournemouth supporters questioned the wisdom of jettisoning Gary O’Neil after he guided them to safety last season. After a rocky start, Adoni Iraola has gotten the players playing to his tune, and the Cherries are reaping the dividends.

They made short work of Swansea in the tie played in midweek and most teams will want to avoid going to the Vitality Stadium in the next round. – Jan 28, 2023


All photos credited to The Guardian

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