By Simon Gray
The FA Cup Fifth Round Draw has taken place and the one and only replay between Leicester City and Derby County has now been played with Leicester winning 3-1 after extra time.
The major talking point of the Fourth Round was that two non-league teams pulled off brilliant upsets in round four as Lincoln City and Sutton United, both of the National League beat two promotion-hunting Championship sides in the form of Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United.
Lincoln, who knocked out Ipswich in round three welcomed Brighton to Sincil Bank but went behind thanks to Richie Towell’s first half effort, Alan Power levelled from the penalty spot 12 minutes after half time before Brighton defender Fikayo Tomori inadvertently put the ball into his own net five minutes later to give Lincoln the lead.
Brighton desperately pressed for an equaliser but their fate was sealed five minutes from time as Theo Robinson, who has since earned himself a deadline day move to League One Southend United, slotted home to end all hopes of a Brighton fightback. The win for Lincoln sets up a tie away at Premier League Burnley, who overcame Championship side Bristol City 2-0 at Turf Moor.
Sutton played Leeds the day after hoping to emulate Lincoln’s heroics with a shock of their own and they did so as Jamie Collins scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot to book Sutton’s place in round five. Leeds’ Liam Cooper was sent off late on for a second bookable offence and Sutton would become only the fourth non-league team to reach round five since the turn of the century after Lincoln this year, Crawley Town in 2011-12 and Luton Town in 2012-13. By winning the game, Sutton set up a mouth watering tie at home to 12-time winners Arsenal who cruised past Southampton 5-0 at St Mary’s thanks to a hat trick from Theo Walcott and two goals from Danny Welbeck.
Another statistic for just how much of a triumph it is for these two sides is that it is the first time that two non-league teams are into the Fifth Round in the same season since the Football League was established in 1888.
The Fourth Round was full of shocks and upsets with three Premier League sides being defeated by lower league opposition. The most high profile shock came at Anfield where Liverpool were humbled at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liverpool fell behind when Wolves’ Richard Stearman headed in after just 53 seconds. Wolves then doubled their lead just before half time as Andi Weimann rounded Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius after great work from Helder Costa.
Divock Origi pulled a goal back for the home side late on but they could not force a replay meaning Wolves go onto face Chelsea in the Fifth Round at Molineux after the Blues thumped local rivals Brentford 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Championship side Fulham overcame Premier League strugglers Hull City 4-1 at Craven Cottage. Sone Aluko gave the home side the lead before Evandro equalised for Hull just after the break. Chris Martin then restored Fulham’s lead before goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Stefan Johansen ensured that the team from West London would be in the Fifth Round for the first time in five years. The drama did not finish there though as Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli saved two late Abel Hernandez penalties in the space of two minutes to keep Hull at bay.
The win for Fulham means that they will entertain Tottenham Hotspur, another Premier League side in round five.
Tottenham narrowly avoided a giant-killing at the hands of League Two Wycombe Wanderers at White Hart Lane. A valiant Wycombe led 2-0 at half time thanks to two goals from Paul Hayes and then 3-2 in the 83rd minute but eventually were left heartbroken thanks to Son Heung-Min’s 97th minute winner for Spurs.
Millwall knocked out another Premier league team, this time in the form of Watford. The Lions knocked out AFC Bournemouth to reach round four and a late goal from striker Steve Morison booked a place in the Fifth Round. The win means Millwall reached the last 16 for the first time since 2013 and defeat for Watford caused manager Walter Mazzari to apologise to the fans after a disappointing display on their behalf. Millwall’s win means that another Premier League side would visit the Den in round five, this time it will be the turn of Premier League Champions Leicester City after they beat Derby County in a replay for their first home win of 2017.
Both sides made many changes before the game and it showed with neither team really creating anything in the first half. Then, just minutes after the restart Leicester took the lead thanks to Andy King heading in after great work by Demarai Gray and Marc Albrighton. Derby levelled just after the hour mark with Abdoul Camara’s free kick taking a wicked deflection off of Ben Chilwell and completely wrong footing Ron-Robert Zieler in the Leicester goal.
Neither team hatched up any opportunities from then on and it meant that an extra half an hour would be required to separate the two sides. Leicester retook the lead early in extra time when Wilfried Ndidi received the ball off of Riyad Mahrez before wonderfully striking the ball off the post and in from 25 yards out. That goal though would be outdone by Gray in the second half of extra time as he picked up the ball at the half way line before breezing past two Derby players with ease and curling it into the top corner.
Oxford were another lower league side to upset a team in a higher division, demolishing Championship side Newcastle 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium. Goals from Kane Hemmings, Curtis Nelson and Toni Martinez ensured that the dominant U’s booked their place in the Fifth Round for the first time in 23 years. Newcastle’s Aleksandr Mitrovic missed a golden chance to level the match with the score at 1-0 but had his penalty saved by Simon Eastwood. The win sees Oxford travel up to Teeside to take on Middlesbrough after they scraped past League Two Accrington Stanley 1-0 at the Riverside thanks to Stewart Downing’s long range effort.
Elsewhere there were wins for reigning FA Cup holders Manchester United who beat 2013 winners Wigan 4-0 at Old Trafford. They will now face another Championship side, although this time away from home after Blackburn beat League Two Blackpool 2-0 at Ewood Park.
Huddersfield Town humbled Rochdale 4-0 to set up a tie with 2011 winners Manchester City after they overcame an all Premier League affair with Crystal Palace with the score finishing 3-0 in City’s favour.
Here is the draw in full: