11 Jan 2021

'Magic of FA Cup' to fore in third round

12:28 pm on 11 January 2021

Leeds United suffer stunning upset as Premier League rivals Tottenham easily prevail in the biggest mismatch in FA Cup history on penultimate day of third round fixtures.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho Photo: Photosport

Leeds were humbled in a 3-0 defeat by fourth-tier Crawley Town on Monday (NZ time).

A brilliant solo strike from Nick Tsaroulla in the 50th minute put League Two Crawley in front after a first half in which Leeds had caused them few problems.

Three minutes later the West Sussex club were 2-0 up after an error from Leeds keeper Kiko Casilla who let an Ashley Nadesan shot squeeze in at the near post.

The impressive Nadesan had a hand in Crawley's third when his low shot was parried out by Casilla, only for Jordan Tunnicliffe to pounce and drill the ball home.

Crawley's best run in the FA Cup came in 2012, when they reached the fifth round - the only other time they have made it past the third round.

Tottenham travelled to Merseyside to face eighth-tier Marine.

The part-timers play in the Northern Premier League, Division One North West, 161 places below Spurs in the English football pyramid.

Covid-19 restrictions denied Marine fans the chance to see the club's biggest ever match but some supporters were able to get close to the action - watching from their back gardens which overlook the tiny ground.

The non-league side nearly gave Spurs a shock in the 20th minute when Neil Kengni struck the bar with a long-range effort which former England keeper Joe Hart opted to leave only for the ball to dip late and strike the woodwork.

Yet four minutes later Carlos Vinicius opened the scoring and quickly added a second - both finishes coming from close-range.

Another Brazilian, Lucas Moura, then curled in a free kick for the third before Vinicius completed his hat-trick in the 37th minute with a left-footed curler.

Alfie Devine came on as a substitute at the break to become Spurs' youngest player at 16 years and 163 days old and scored on the hour with a well-taken strike that zipped in the near post.

Manchester City strolled to a 3-0 win over Championship (second-tier) Birmingham City, while Chelsea avoided any embarrassment with a comfortable 4-0 victory over League Two Morecambe.

Brighton and Hove Albion, however, needed penalties to win at fourth-tier Newport County.

Solly March looked to have won the game with a fine strike in the 90th minute but Brighton keeper Jason Steele made a mess of a cross in the sixth minute of stoppage time and the ball flew in off Albion defender Adam Webster.

But, after extra time stayed goalless, Steele made amends with four excellent saves in the shootout and Webster too redeemed himself with the winning spot-kick.

Championship club Barnsley beat League Two Tranmere Rovers 2-0 while Bristol City, also of the Championship, needed an 83rd-minute goal from Chris Martin to beat League One (third tier) Portsmouth 2-1.

- Reuters