Stevenage Dispatch Newcastle in Third Round’s Biggest Cupset
League Two side Stevenage stunned Toon fans at the weekend after romping to a thoroughly deserved 3-1 over Newcastle United in what was undoubtedly the most shocking of a predictable round of FA Cup ties.
Stevenage, clearly keen to show what they could do against the Premier League’s elite, struck first in a pulsating encounter after the unfortunate Mike Williamson deflected Stacy Long’s strike into his own net.
Michael Bostwick doubled their lead with a long range effort before Joey Barton struck in stoppage time to briefly set up a tense finale. It was short-lived, however, as Peter Winn found time to wrap up the win in style.
Unfortunately for fans of FA Cup drama, that was as good as it got in terms of cupsets this round as Sunderland and Blackpool also lost to lower league opposition as the latter went down 2-1 to League One side Notts County at the Stadium of Light and the former were outplayed by League One leaders Brighton.
Reading did also manage a 1-0 win over West Brom, but other than that there was little real drama save for a spate of inconvenient replays for Premier League clubs such as Stoke, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Cardiff at the Brittania.
Other sides who could still potentially be eliminated from the competition by lower league clubs are Arsenal, who were indebted to a last minute penalty from Cesc Fabregas to earn themselves a replay against Leeds United, Manchester City, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Leicester City and Wolvers, who had to come from behind in another 2-2 draw with classy Championship side Doncaster.