BY STEVE MITCHELL

ARSENAL & WEDNESDAY SET FOR A FIFTH SHOWDOWN AT FILBERT STREET:

It’s been a week of FA Cup Third-Round and Third-Round replays as clubs try to catch up with a fixture list decimated by the wintry weather that has swept across the UK this month.

On Monday evening however, top billing went to Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday, whose marathon tie entered its third chapter at a neutral venue, Filbert Street. At the end of another highly entertaining contest, the two sides had to return for a fourth match after the game finished 2-2 after extra-time.

Liam Brady and Alan Sunderland were on target for the Gunners, with Brian Hornsby, once on the books at Highbury, getting a brace for the Third Division side. 48 hours later and the teams were back in the East Midlands for part four in what was the best game of the lot so far. After another 180 minutes of action, there will be a fifth instalment of this epic encounter, as the sides could not be separated again after a 3-3 draw.

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Hornsby was again one of the Wednesday scorers, knocking in his second penalty in 72 hours; Dave Rushbury and John Lowey getting the others. A Frank Stapleton double, and one by Willie Young, ensured that the tie will go into a fifth game next Monday; once again the venue will be Filbert Street.

 

MAIDSTONE & ALTRINCHAM BOW OUT:

Altrincham said goodbye to this year’s FA Cup having earnt a lucrative replay against Tottenham Hotspur. The Non-League side drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane to earn the right for a replay, which was played at Manchester City’s Maine Road on Tuesday.

The First Division side proved too strong second time around however, and a hat-trick by Colin Lee eased Keith Burkinshaw’s side into the Fourth Round.

24 hours earlier, Maidstone United said farewell to the cup after they were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic at London Road. Goals from David Campbell and Martin Robinson took the Second Division side through, with Coupland once again on target for Maidstone.

 

UNITED EASE PAST CHELSEA BUT CITY NEED TWO MATCHES TO ELIMINATE ROTHERHAM:

Third Division Rotherham United earned a replay after a goalless draw against Manchester City at Maine Road on Monday. New City Head-Coach Malcolm Allison, once again saw his side held after last weekend’s point at Elland Road. This game however, will have left a bitter taste in the mouth against opposition that Allison knows should have been despatched with the minimum of fuss.

Just 48 hours later and the teams were back at Millmoor for the replay and whatever Allison said to his players after Monday’s stalemate certainly did the job, as City swept into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Gary Owen and Brian Kidd (2). Peter Barnes added a fourth after the break but credit to the home side, who fought back with goals from John Breckin and John Green.

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Manchester United got the job done first time of asking, running out comprehensive 3-0 winners against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday; Steve Coppell, Ashley Grimes and Jimmy Greenhoff grabbing the goals for Dave Sexton’s men.

 

LIVERPOOL END SOUTHEND’S FA CUP DREAM, STOKE ARE LEFT FURIOUS AFTER OLDHAM DEFEAT:

Scheduled for Monday but finally played on Wednesday, Liverpool stayed true to the form book as they beat Southend United 3-0 at Anfield. The Division Three side held the European Champions to a goalless draw at Roots Hall, in a match played in appalling conditions last week, but made no mistake in front of a healthy crowd of nearly 38,000 at Anfield. Jimmy Case, Kenny Dalglish and Ray Kennedy finally ending the Shrimpers cup dreams.

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The most controversial tie of the week took place at the Victoria Ground as Stoke City faced Oldham Athletic in a game that had to be replayed after the first match was abandoned at half-time. In that game, the Potters were 2-0 up and manager Alan Durban was furious that the referee decided to stop the action despite the snowy conditions.

He will have been left fuming after seeing his side beaten 1-0 last night, thanks to a goal from Latics defender Ian Wood. We may not have heard the last of the fall-out from this particular cup tie.

 

MORE THIRD-ROUND SHOCKS:

Fourth Division Aldershot knocked out Sheffield United in a replay at the Recreation Ground on Monday; a John Dungworth penalty in the second-half giving the Shots a night to remember. Second Division Crystal Palace are celebrating, after eliminating top-flight Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park thanks to a goal from young England full-back Kenny Sansom.

Preston North End kept the shocks coming, as they comprehensively beat Derby County at Deepdale on Tuesday. A brace from Alex Bruce and one from former Manchester United stalwart Francis Burns, made it a miserable night for former Preston player and manager now Derby boss, Tommy Docherty.

 

FA CUP RESULTS:

THIRD ROUND – MONDAY JANUARY 15:

Manchester City 0-0 Rotherham United

Manchester United 3-0 Chelsea (Coppell, Grimes, Greenhoff J)

 

THIRD ROUND REPLAYS:

Aldershot 1-0 Sheffield United (Dungworth pen)

Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough (Sansom)

Maidstone United 1-2 Charlton Athletic (Coupland; Campbell, Robinson)

W.B.A 4-0 Coventry City (Brown T 2, Batson, Brown A)

 

THIRD ROUND SECOND REPLAY:

Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Arsenal (Hornsby 2, 1 pen; Brady, Stapleton) aet – game played at Filbert Street

 

THIRD ROUND – TUESDAY JANUARY 16:

Newcastle United 3-1 Torquay United (Robinson, Nattrass pen, Withe; Lawrence)

Preston North End 3-0 Derby County (Bruce 2, Burns)

 

THIRD ROUND REPLAY:

Altrincham 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Lee 3) game played at Maine Road

 

THIRD ROUND – WEDNESDAY JANUARY 17:

Stoke City 0-1 Oldham Athletic (Wood)

 

THIRD ROUND REPLAYS:

Liverpool 3-0 Southend United (Case, Dalglish, Kennedy R)

Rotherham United 2-4 Manchester City (Breckin, Green; Owen, Kidd 2, Barnes)

 

THIRD ROUND THIRD REPLAY:

Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Arsenal (Rushbury, Lowey, Hornsby pen; Stapleton 2, Young) aet – game played at Filbert Street

 

 

POSTPONED MATCHES:

Hartlepool United v Leeds United (Being played tonight)

Wrexham v Stockport County

 

FOLLOW THE WHOLE 1978-79 SEASON IN THE ENGLISH FIRST DIVISION WITH STEVE MITCHELL HERE ON THE FOOTBALL PINK. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @barafundler

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