Norwich rolls, Watford stunned, Aston Villa falls in FA Cup
Three more Premier League sides booked a place in the FA Cup fourth round, but one was left on the outside looking in as Saturday’s heavy slate of magic continued along.
[ MORE: Early FA Cup slate recap ]
18-year-old Adam Idah picked up a hat-trick to as Norwich City used a storming first half to beat Preston North End 4-2. Idah was on target less than 90 seconds into the match as Marco Stiepermann delivered a fabulous through-ball on the break and Idah split two defenders expertly and finished from outside the box. Onel Hernandez hit for Norwich’s second in the 28th minute before Idah grabbed his second of the game via a deep 40-yard effort with the goalkeeper out to secure a 3-0 halftime lead. Preston got one back after the break through Billy Bodin, but Idah struck from the spot past the hour mark to bag his big moment.
Watford also appeared on its way having taken a 3-0 lead by halftime, but was left red-faced after coughing that all up in a 3-3 draw with League One side Tranmere Rovers. 20-year-old Tom Dele-Bashiru gave Watford the lead inside the opening 15 minutes, while Nathaniel Chalobah and Roberto Pereyra tacked on goals before halftime in what was a comfortable first 45 minutes. However, in good form and with a big lead, Watford absolutely collapsed. Connor Jennings was first to pull a goal back for Tranmere as he headed home on a corner, while another set-piece provided Tranmere’s second off the head of Emmanuel Monthe. The equalizer came from the spot after VAR gave a penalty on Mason Barrett just inside the box, and Paul Mullin slotted home the spot-kick. Pereyra was then sent off late harshly for a somewhat innocuous trip on Kieron Morris.
Fulham used a pair of absolute beauties to shock Premier League side Aston Villa 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Anthony Knockaert was the first to strike, blasting a left-footed effort from outside the top of the box to find the top-left corner and earn a 1-0 lead. Anwar El-Ghazi was on hand at the far post to tap in a deserved equalizer for Villa past the hour mark, but Harry Arter produced a stunning winner from acres out that curled away from Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland and buried into the same corner as Knockaert’s.
Southampton struggled through the first 45 minutes with Huddersfield Town’s stout defense, but they broke through just after halftime and advanced on Will Smallbone’s debut goal that led to a provided a 2-0 win. Shane Long headed it from the byline back to the penalty spot where Smallbone was all alone, and the 19-year-old took his time before calmly firing a half-volley into the back of the net. 19-year-old Jake Vokins was on hand to put the game away with three minutes to go.
Brighton & Hove Albion was dumped out of the competition after Adam Reach’s 65th minute goal gave Sheffield Wednesday a 1-0 victory at The Amex.
Non-league side Hartlepool United’s trek through the FA Cup came to an end despite an early lead, falling 4-1 to Oxford United. Mark Kitching gave Hartlepool the lead inside the opening 10 minutes, but a quickfire pair from Robert Hall and Shandon Baptiste after halftime saw Oxford survive and advance before tacking on another two late for good measure.
Reading and Blackpool will require a replay after a 2-2 draw that saw Blackpool twice throw away a goal advantage. Cardiff City completed a two-goal comeback at home to force a replay with Carlisle United.