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Last month’s FA Cup 3rd round draw for League Two sides was kind, was helpful, was expectant and for some the limelight came calling.
Shocks there were, good performances in abundance and plenty for the purists to admire from our clubs taking those from the higher level and either dispatching them or taking them to a replay with the Fourth Round still within 90 minutes.
The performance of the round has to go to Coventry City. Once winners of the famous old Cup in 1987, life in recent seasons hasn’t worked out well for the Sky Blues and this season began life in the Football League’s lowest tier.
But the cup is a great leveller and for their visitors Stoke City, in a spell of very poor Premier League form, it proved the end for their manager Mark Hughes after the game as City breached the Stoke defence twice for a famous 2-1 victory.
The Sky Blues seem to have come to terms with League Two football over the past few weeks and for some it might not appear a massive shock given both club’s recent differing form, but given the difference in budgets and league status it must go down as a giant-killing.
Kevin Nolan’s Notts County also advanced to the next round with a slender 1-0 win over Brentford, veteran striker Jon Stead’s goal was enough to see off a side harbouring promotion hope of their own. County’s form this season has propelled them in the title mix in League Two and there will be plenty who would like to avoid them in the next round.
Lowly Yeovil also advanced to the Fourth Round after a 2-0 home over League One Bradford City. The Glovers are the lowest ranked side left in the competition and showed that budget or size means nothing given the support that City receive for a third tier club.
Three clubs took higher opposition to replays and Stevenage, Mansfield and Carlisle should all fancy their chances in the second game after all kept clean sheets at the weekend and one or two may even receive a visit from the TV cameras and more much needed income.
There were a few casualties, Exeter, Wycombe and Luton were unable to transfer their league form to the cup and so their dreams remain on hold for another year.
Overall League Two have put up a good showing across the board and it’s time to await with bated breath to see whether the Fourth Round draw can be as kind and give our clubs a passage to the Fifth Round, over to you drawmaster!
Written by Trevor Knell
Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37
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