Football: Walker draws on Everton's spirit

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE THIRD round of the FA Cup lived up to its reputation for mixing the romance of football with its ability to kick a side in the teeth and then tread on their fingers.

The events surrounding the departure of Mike Walker from Norwich City to take over the manager's onerous duties at Everton added piquancy to the two sides' potentially difficult away matches, respectively at the Wanderers of Wycombe (Third Division) and Bolton (First).

Walker was at Burnden Park to see Everton battle to justify a replay at Goodison Park but has already seen 'a few things I'll have to tinker with. But at least they won't lay down and die'. Memo to Walker: last season Bolton beat Liverpool in a third-round replay at Anfield.

The Canaries won their tie through two Chris Sutton goals which the striker hoped would establish the caretaker manager John Deehan's credentials for the job. 'We got right behind 'Dixie' and did the job for him,' Sutton said. 'The main thing now is to keep going and stick together.'

The feverish shopping for players by the Birmingham City manager, Barry Fry, might intensify, if that were possible, should he ponder long on yesterday's events at St Andrews where the First Division side lost to Kidderminster Harriers, top of the GM Vauxhall Conference.

The fates were less kind to other non-League sides. Sutton United of the Diadora went 2-0 down to First Division Notts County, had a player sent off, as did County, and fought back to 2-2. But the Magpies are notorious thieves and Paul Devlin snatched a late County winner. 'I wasn't too happy with their winning goal,' Alan Gane, the United manager, said. 'Our goalkeeper, Fitzroy McCaulsky, said Gary Lund punched the ball out of his hands.'

But this was as nothing to the heartbreak at Bromsgrove Rovers' Victoria Ground where the GM Vauxhall side led Viv Anderson's First Division strugglers Barnsley until two minutes from time only to lose 2-1. 'With luck like that we could beat anybody - even world champions Germany,' Anderson said. At the other Victoria Ground, Stoke's, the GM Vauxhall visitors Bath City, who have never been past the third round, drew 0-0 and the Potters will not relish the replay.

Peterborough, bottom of the First, almost matched their 1965 elimination of Arsenal, when Jason Brisset gave them the lead over Tottenham at London Road. But Spurs' own Jason, Dozzell, equalised four minutes from time.

Second Division strugglers Barnet's sensible decision to switch their tie against Chelsea from Underhill to Stamford Bridge will be doubly rewarding after a 0-0 draw.

Portsmouth salvaged a replay against Blackburn, with Alan McLoughlin putting the moneybags in their place with a hat-trick - his third equaliser coming 20 seconds from time.

Forest finished all square at Sheffield Wednesday, Second Division Cardiff drew late with Middlesborough of the First while Leeds, Manchester City, Oldham, West Ham and Wimbledon all disposed of their 'inferiors'. But the Cup did no favours to Southampton manager Ian Branfoot - Saints were held at home by Second Division Port Vale - or Sunderland, who must replay at Third Division Carlisle.