The biggest shocks from the FA Cup Third Round


The Biggest Shocks from the FA Cup Third Round
The FA Cup returned to our screens last weekend, with the third round providing riveting viewing, as it always does. The third round is where the big boys from the Premier League and Championship get involved in the action, and there were a number of England’s bigger clubs left with egg on their collective faces as victims of the traditional giant-killing.

The Magic of the Cup is a phrase we are familiar with in England, and in this season’s FA Cup third round, that magical pixie dust was in the air once again. Heading into the third round, there were just four non-league clubs remaining in the competition, namely Wrexham, Chesterfield and Boreham Wood. And unbelievably, none of them exited the tournament, with all of them throwing their name into the hat for the fourth-round draw at the very least.

While we will get on to Wrexham a little later on, Chesterfield twice came from behind to secure a 3-3 draw against second-tier side West Bromwich Albion. Boreham Wood – the stars of the tournament last season as they reached the fifth round – bagged a late equaliser against third-tier Accrington Stanley.

When it comes to the Premier League’s biggest of boys, all except Chelsea – who were routed 4-0 by Manchester City – are safely into the fourth round, although Liverpool will need to get past fellow top-flight club Wolverhampton Wanderers in a replay following a 2-2 draw at Anfield. But following their thumping win over Chelsea, it’s Pep Guardiola’s Blues who have been made the favourites to lift the FA Cup this season by online bookmaker Bovada, which provides sports betting and free offers.

But on this rare occasion, it isn’t the Premier League elite that we’re interested in, it’s the giant killers. Here are the biggest shocks from the third round of the FA Cup.

Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage
The biggest shock of the FA Cup third round was undoubtedly delivered to us at Villa Park. Fourth-tier Stevenage headed to the West Midlands without much hope however, maverick Scottish manager Steve Evans has steered the Hertfordshire-based outfit to second place in League Two this season. They headed north with confidence, but no one could have been ready for what was about to transpire.

Villa fielded a strong side featuring the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Matty Cash, and they duly took the lead in the first half through Morgan Sanson. They had a hatful of chances to go along with their 79% possession however, they couldn’t make their dominance count. And in the end, they were punished.

The visitors were awarded a shock penalty with less than five minutes remaining and to add insult to injury for the hosts, Leander Dendoncker was given his marching orders. James Reid duly converted the spot kick and it looked as though the tie was headed for a replay.

That was until the visitors found themselves with a late corner, which was taken quickly to substitute Dean Campbell. The central midfielder lashed home from the edge of the penalty area to give his side a 91st-minute lead much to the delight of their travelling supporters. It was a lead they wouldn’t surrender, and Stevenage held on for perhaps the greatest victory in the club’s history.

Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle United
Newcastle United have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season. They currently sit in third place in the English topflight and are aiming to secure a return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in two decades.

Sheffield Wednesday used to be a household name in English football, but nowadays they ply their trade way down in League One. they are currently in second place in the third tier however and are in fine form themselves.

That form – coupled with a raucous atmosphere inside Hillsborough – gave the visiting Magpies the shock of their lives. In-form striker, Josh Windass’ second-half brace gave the hosts a two-goal lead and although Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães pulled one back for the visitors, they couldn’t pull themselves level.

Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham
Wrexham have become many people’s second team in recent seasons. Their takeover by Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds has sent the Red Dragons’ popularity through the roof, and this third-round tie away at second-tier Coventry City was the perfect opportunity for them to capitalise on their newfound notoriety.

That is exactly what they did. The Welsh club found themselves 3-1 up at halftime away at the Championship side. Unbelievably they added a fourth on the hour mark when Paul Mullin – the competition’s top scorer this season – netted from the penalty spot.

The Sky Blues did pull back two goals in the second half, which set up a nervy finish. But Wrexham managed to hold on to a famous victory, which their 4,000-strong travelling army celebrated long into the night.


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