Crawley and Stevenage earn Premier rewards


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The Independent Football

Lower league sides Stevenage and Crawley will both welcome Premier League opposition in the fifth round after drawing Tottenham and Stoke respectively in yesterday's draw.

Gary Smith began his managerial reign at League One Stevenage by leading the club into the last 16 for the first time with a 1-0 home win over Notts County, and Harry Redknapp's high-flyers will be the next side to visit the Lamex Stadium.

Crawley, enjoying their first season in the Football League, reached the fifth round last year – losing to Manchester United – and welcome last year's losing finalists Stoke this time.

"This is the first time we have hosted Premier League opposition at the Broadfield in a competitive fixture," chief executive Alan Williams said. "It's another wonderful occasion."

Sheffield Wednesday, the only other side from outside the top-two tiers still in the competition, have been given the incentive of a trip to Everton, should they dispose of Blackpool, while the only possibility of an all-Premier League tie would be if Sunderland prevailed in their replay against Middlesbrough, to set up a home tie with Arsenal.

Fifth round draw

Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion

Everton v Blackpool/Sheff Wed

Chelsea v Birmingham City

Crawley Town v Stoke City

Stevenage v Tottenham Hotspur

Norwich City v Leicester City

Sunderland/Middlesbro' v Arsenal

Millwall/Southampton v Bolton

Ties to be played 18-19 February