Cup holders Pompey avoid upset
FA Cup holders Portsmouth ensured they avoided the embarrassment of a third round exit as goals from Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar secured a 2-0 replay win away to Bristol City on Tuesday.
Pompey's fellow Premier League side West Brom, the team they beat in last season's semi-final, also made it through with a 1-0 replay win away to Peterborough United.
But non-league Histon, who'd already knocked out third-tier Swindon and fallen giants Leeds on their way to the third round, saw their Cup campaign end with a 2-1 third round loss to second-tier Championship side Swansea. The Welsh side will travel to Portsmouth in the fourth round.
Championship side Sheffield United, who fell behind to a Leyton Orient team 41 places below them in the league standings, won their third round clash 4-1.
In the other third round ties held over because of frozen pitches, Wolverhampton won 2-0 away to Midlands rivals Birmingham to set up a clash with Premier League Middlesbrough.But Cheltenham and Doncaster's goalless draw left Premier League Aston Villa still waiting to discover the identity of their fourth round opponents.
Tuesday's other third round replays saw Millwall beat Crewe 3-2 in a match where Lions striker Neil Harris scored his 112th goal and so broke former England striker Teddy Sheringham's club record. Millwall's reward was a tie against the winners of the all Premier League replay between Hull and Newcastle on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table Charlton booked themselves a tie against Sheffield United after scraping past fellow second-tier strugglers Norwich 1-0.
The third round is the stage where Premier League and Championship clubs enter the FA Cup. Portsmouth, with just one win in their previous eight matches, were certainly candidates to be on the wrong end of an upset after a goalless clash at Fratton Park, but went ahead seven minutes before half-time.
City thought they had a penalty when Crouch appeared to handle inside his own box. But as play continued Crouch released Nadir Belhadj, whose crossfield pass was collected by Armand Traore. He in turn went past Liam Fontaine before cutting the ball back for Crouch, who'd run some 80 yards, to finish the move he'd started. Frustrated City manager Gary Johnson told the BBC that Crouch's handball was so blatant "it even looked like one on radio".
With two minutes left, Kranjcar scored on the counter-attack and City were then denied a goal when England goalkeeper David James saved a penalty. Jay Simpson, in only his second game since joining on loan from Arsenal, put West Brom, bottom of the Premier League ahead in the 18th minute with a low shot from outside the box at London Road.
West Brom then moved closer to the fourth round when Paul Robinson headed in their second goal in the 37th minute. Histon fell behind to Spaniard Gorka Pintado's 25-yard shot and they were 2-0 down before the break when Guillem Bauza scored from close range. But Josh Simpson ensured a nervous finish for Swansea by pulling a goal back for Histon six minutes from time.
Andy Keogh put Championship leaders Wolves ahead at St Andrews after beating the offside trap and lashing the ball past Maik Taylor in the 38th minute. Sam Vokes made it 2-0 for Wolves in the 51st minute from inside the six-yard box.
Sheffield United, pushing for promotion back to the Premier League, fell behind to third-tier strugglers Leyton Orient when John Melligan scored from the penalty spot after a handball in the box. But the Blades hit back after the break with two goals in three minutes.
They levelled when Greg Halford capitalised on a goalkeeping error by Greg Morris and just as Orient were recovering from that blow, Billy Sharp added a second. The visitors' comeback at Brisbane Road was complete in the 69th minute when Kyle Naughton applied the finishing touch to a counter-attack. Halford made it 4-1 in the 78th minute.