LONDON: Late goals by Ciaran Clark and Idrissa Gueye gave Premier League strugglers Aston Villa a 2-0 win over fourth-tier Wycombe Wanderers in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
Bottom of the Premier League and seemingly destined for relegation to the Championship, Villa had only managed a 1-1 draw with Wycombe—currently seventh in League Two—when the two teams first met 10 days previously.
The reunion at Villa Park proved a similarly close-fought affair, but Clark’s 75th-minute header and a last-minute Gueye strike earned Villa a fourth-round tie at home to Manchester City.
“The most important thing was to win and go through,” Villa manager Remi Garde told BBC radio.
“We’ve been professional. It was not always easy. That is the fourth game in a row we are not losing, which is very good for momentum.”
Villa’s fellow Premier League side West Bromwich Albion also secured a narrow victory, winning 1-0 at second-tier Bristol City.
Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon scored the game’s only goal in the 52nd minute, chesting down Craig Dawson’s cross and slotting home, to earn West Brom a home tie with third-division Peterborough United.
Fifth-tier Eastleigh, the lowest-ranked team to make round three, were eliminated following a lively 3-2 defeat at Championship bottom club Bolton Wanderers.
Eastleigh, of the Football Conference, went in front through Joe Partington in the 11th minute and pulled it back to 2-2 after falling 2-1 down, only for Darren Pratley to net a 58th-minute winner for Bolton.
Financially stricken Bolton, who avoided being liquidated at Britain’s High Court on Monday, will host Leeds United in the next round.
Second-tier Milton Keynes Dons —4-0 winners against Manchester United in last season’s League Cup —set up a home tie with Premier League champions Chelsea after beating Northampton Town 3-0 in their replay.
Portsmouth, FA Cup winners in 2008 but now in League Two, face a south-coast derby against top-flight Bournemouth after upsetting second-tier Ipswich 2-1 at Fratton Park.
The third-round replays conclude on Wednesday with Liverpool’s home game against fourth-tier Exeter City and Tottenham Hotspur’s trip to Leicester City.