FA Cup roundup 8/1/23: Aston Villa stunned by minnows; Leeds force replay

Aston Villa dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Stevenage
Aston Villa dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Stevenage / Clive Mason/GettyImages

The FA Cup third round embarked upon its traditional burst of twists and turns in another enthralling day of cup football on Sunday.

Leeds United avoided an upset with a stoppage-time equaliser against Cardiff City, forcing a replay at the end of a breathless tie. The late drama wasn't exclusively reserved for Wales as Walsall and Stockport County exchanged blows in the dying embers of an all-League Two affair. Stoke City and Derby County enjoyed far more leisurely routes into the fourth round.

Here's a rundown of how events unfolded on Sunday.

Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage

The shock of the round happened at Villa Park, where League Two Stevenage produced some late heroics to dump Premier League Aston Villa out of the cup.

It all looked like it was going well for Villa, who led courtesy of a Morgan Sanson penalty. However, things changed dramatically following Leander Dendoncker's red card with just five minutes to go. His challenge gave away a penalty, which Jamie Reid converted. Things got a whole lot worse for Villa in injury time when Dean Campbell hit the winner.

Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City

The Cities of Bristol and Swansea are separated by six points and four places in the Championship table but there was nothing to divide them after 90 minutes at Ashton Gate on Sunday lunchtime.

Joel Piroe was the beneficiary of an awful lapse in concentration from Robert Atkinson, tucking in a 15th-minute opener. Antoine Semenyo's second-half equaliser owed plenty to an opposition error as well, nodding a tame header between Steven-Andreas Benda's weak wrists to force a replay later this month.

Derby County 3-0 Barnsley

Derby County extended their unbeaten record to 16 matches in normal time across all competitions with a 3-0 victory at home to Barnsley, keeping a fifth consecutive clean sheet in the process.

Barnsley only trail their hosts by one point in the League One promotion places and kept the game goalless until James Collins' penalty in first-half stoppage time. Tom Barkhuizen thumped his way onto the scoresheet after an hour before Jason Knight wrapped up a convincing triumph.

Cardiff City 2-2 Leeds United

Under Jesse Marsch, Leeds are many things; energetic, porous, ill-disciplined and unwaveringly watchable.

Cardiff had scored one goal across their previous four Championship matches but managed two through Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Sheyi Ojo in the opening 31 minutes of a thrilling cup tie.

Marsch began the match with a reasonably strong side but was compelled to make a triple substitution as Leeds continued to trail 2-0 after an hour. Rodrigo was one of those that came off the bench, halving the deficit within five minutes of his arrival with a sharp header.

The Spain international squandered the chance to level the match with ten minutes to play, watching Jak Alnwick beat away his penalty. Joel Bagan was sent off for his role in conceding the spot-kick, forcing the ten-man hosts deeper and deeper. Sonny Perkins produced a poacher's finish in the 93rd minute as Cardiff's resolve ultimately buckled, booking a replay at Elland Road.

Hartlepool United 0-3 Stoke City

The odds were always stacked against League Two strugglers Hartlepool United as they hosted second-tier side Stoke City, 52 places ahead of them in the football pyramid. However, Pools didn't exactly aide their plight by scoring a pair of own goals at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Jacob Brown found the net he was actually aiming for between Euan Murray and Rollin Menayese's blunders either side of the interval as Stoke eased towards their first post-Christmas victory.

Norwich City 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

Norwich weren't treated to a new manager bounce as David Wagner oversaw a 1-0 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers on his debut in the Carrow Road dugout.

Jon Dahl Tomasson has been in charge of Blackburn since the summer, winning his first four matches at the helm as the 1996 Premier League champions launch a genuine bid to return to the top flight. Jack Vale's first-half goal ensured the team sitting third in the Championship (eight places above Norwich) have a fourth-round tie to juggle alongside their promotion push.

Stockport County 1-2 Walsall

Ten days after losing 2-0 at home to Stockport County, Walsall knocked the Hatters out of the FA Cup with a 95th-minute penalty from Andy Williams.

Michael Flynn famously took Newport County to the fifth round of the cup in 2019 and is one step closer to repeating the feat with Walsall after Sunday's win. Danny Johnson gave the visitors a second-half lead before Paddy Madden came off the bench to equalise for the hosts in the 88th minute.

Yet, Stockport's saviour slipped into villain territory, as Madden caught Liam Kinsella with a wild boot in his own box deep into stoppage time. Williams held his nerve to convert from 12 yards, ensuring that Walsall's only defeat since mid-October was the league fixture against Stockport last month.