Football / FA Cup Fourth Round: Kidderminster conquer again: Kidderminster's heroes add another scalp as Beardsley rescues Newcastle

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The Independent Online
FOR the second consecutive round, Kidderminster Harriers, the leaders of the GM Vauxhall Conference, sprang one of the big surprises of the FA Cup, dumping Preston North End out of this year's competition. Formerly Proud Preston were harried out of it in front of a 7,000 full house at Aggborough as Delwyn Humphreys' second-half goal sealed the fate of the Third Division high-fliers.

The Harriers' manager Graham Allner fancies their Midlands' neighbours Aston Villa or Wolves in the next round. 'I just don't know how good this side is. We went to First Division Birmingham City and won at their ground and now we've beaten one of the most difficult sides in the Third Division.' Their Cup run has hauled in over pounds 80,000 so far.

The fourth round's rewards for underdogs did not end with Cardiff and Kidderminster. Two struggling First Division sides, Luton and Oxford, shook mighty Newcastle and Leeds. David Pleat's improving Hatters weathered Newcastle's expected early onslaught and swept into the lead through their 19-year-old midfielder Tony Thorpe. A disputed Peter Beardsley penalty forced the replay.

At the Manor Ground, Oxford, inspired by John Byrne, charged into a two-goal lead against Leeds. 'At 3.30 it was Goodnight Vienna,' Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds manager said, 'but when we got the goal just before half-time I felt we could turn it round.' They did, to draw 2-2. Oxford's manager Denis Smith said ruefully: 'We are not used to being in front.'

First Division Charlton (estimated cost: pounds 400,000) held Blackburn (ditto: pounds 23m) to a goalless draw, their manager Steve Gritt fuming over a penalty appeal which denied the Robins victory. 'I thought we were the better team throughout,' he said. 'It must be a long time since Alan Shearer could not get a single shot on target.'

Another travelling Premiership team, West Ham, were also happy to draw at First Division opposition, Notts County having taken the lead. Oldham dominated Stoke at Boundary Park but had to settle for a 0-0 draw. 'We got hold of the game and put in plenty of pressure but didn't threaten the goal enough,' their manager Joe Royle said. Barnsley, lucky to survive at Bromsgrove in the last round, will have been happy with their 2-2 draw at Plymouth.

A rumble on the Humber saw Shaun Teale, the Aston Villa defender, and the Grimsby striker Steve Livingstone sent off for fighting. The home side adapted quicker to 10-a-side and Paul Groves equalised Ray Houghton's early goal. Villa's Dwight Yorke snatched a late winner.

Finalists in both Cup competitions last season and already in this year's Coca-Cola semi-finals, Sheffield Wednesday are on course for a repeat after their draw at Chelsea. 'We didn't play well,' the Blues' manager Glenn Hoddle said, 'but we're not out of it by any means.' In the other all- Premiership tie Ipswich were too good for Tottenham who went down 3-0. Wolves won fairly comfortably at Port Vale.

Finally, Wimbledon's John Scales bet pounds 20 at 40-1 on himself to score the first goal of yesterday's tie against Sunderland. He scored the first Cup goal anywhere as the Dons went on to win 2-1. 'Some of the other lads also had a flutter on me. Altogether we won about pounds 3,000.' A win bonus indeed.

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