Havant keep their dream alive

HAVANT AND Waterlooville will fly the non-league flag in today’s FA Cup fourth round draw after Rocky Baptiste earned the Blue Square southern side a replay against Swansea.

Baptiste equalised Andy Robinson’s superb free-kick with just three minutes remaining of a bad-tempered tie, which saw two players - Havant’s Brett Poate and Swansea’s Alan Tate - sent off following a 20-man brawl.

“For a side like us to hold Swansea at their place is like winning the FA Cup,” Baptiste said. “We had a big party in the dressing room and the atmosphere was amazing. I don’t think Swansea will like coming to our place for the replay.”

Fellow non-league minnows Chasetown — who had played nine ties to reach the third round — sensed another upset after they took the lead against Championship side Cardiff, but the visitors hit back to win 3-1 and avoid humiliation.

“I am the proudest man in the world,” Charlie Blakemore, the manager, said. “Some say the magic of football has gone but not me. This is what it’s all about.”

There were a handful of other shocks on an eventful third-round weekend. Peterborough overcame a two-division gap to crush Colchester 3-1 at Layer Road while Bury also belied their lowly status in League Two to secure an impressive draw against Norwich, Gary Doherty’s late strike denying the Shakers a famous win at Carrow Road.

For all the talk of Dimitar Berbatov’s future, it was Ireland’s Stephen Hunt who put himself in the spotlight at White Hart Lane as Spurs and Reading shared four goals.

Hunt’s contribution was overshadowed by another miserable afternoon for Paul Robinson, yet the Reading midfielder gave a performance to explain why he has been subject of a bid from Sunderland.

“He’s a bit like the mentality of the Wimbledon team of not so long back,” said Reading boss Steve Coppell. “He’s always got something to prove.

“He was a free transfer from Brentford and that gives him a real motivation to enjoy every game he’s playing at this level and also to try to improve himself.

“He works ever so hard in training and this is the culmination. He should be an inspiration to all the pros in the lower divisions.

“He’s played some terrific games this year,” Coppell added. “He and Dave Kitson have probably been my best two players so far.”

Portsmouth were grateful to a terrible decision from referee Mark Halsey to progress against Ipswich at Portman Road.

The Championship side were reduced to 10 men when 19-year-old Liam Trotter was sent off for a challenge which seemed to warrant a caution at worst. David Nugent made the most of Pompey’s good fortune to score the only goal in the second half.

Boro were lucky to see off a determined Bristol City side at Ashton Gate. Boro fell behind to Liam Fontaine’s early strike but Stewart Downing and Jonathan Wheater saved them.

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