John Utaka's two goals lifted the gloom surrounding Fratton Park as Portsmouth's players set aside Premier League and fiscal worries to dispose of Sunderland 2-1 in the FA Cup fourth round and embark, perhaps, on a run that will swell their depleted coffers as well as boosting confidence on the pitch.
With chants of "we want our club back" and "sack the board" replacing the Pompey chimes, the hosts fell behind in the 15th minute, Darren Bent side-footing in from eight yards for his 15th goal of the season giving the Wearsiders a deserved lead in the all-Premier clash.
There had been protests against the Portsmouth board outside the ground before the match and after 32 minutes two Pompey fans brought the protests inside, invading the pitch before being hustled away.
There was something more positive for the half-full ground to cheer three minutes before the break when a long ball from Marc Wilson was met by Utaka, whose header looped over Craig Gordon to level. Twelve minutes into the second half, a Gordon clearance was headed back by Younes Kaboul and Utaka ran on to score.
"It was fantastic spirit from the players," Portsmouth first team coach Paul Groves said. "They showed great togetherness on that pitch to come away with a great result."
In a round of few shocks, Crystal Palace of the Championship forced a replay against Premier League club Wolverhampton after drawing 2-2, and Southampton of League One beat the Championship side Ipswich Town. Palace took an early lead at Molineux through Alan Lee's emphatic header in the third-minute. Injury to centre-back Claude Davis forced a Palace change, Wolves came into the match and levelled eight minutes before the break through David Jones. Palace's deadball specialist, Darren Ambrose, presented with a free-kick 25 yards out, fired in his 14th goal of the season to put his side back in front, but Wolves pressure told, Ronald Zubar firing in the equaliser.
"I can't say enough good things about my side – an absolutely incredible little bunch," the Palace manager Neil Warnock said. "We deserve to be in the hat and it will not be an easy game for them at Selhurst Park."
Meanwhile, a superb long-range shot in the 31st minute by Saints defender by Wayne Thomas and Michail Antonio's tap-in 43 minutes later saw Alan Pardew's South Coast side beat Ipswich 2-1 to ensure a League One side in the last 16. Pablo Counago pulled a late goal back but the Saints held on.
Three ties paired Championship sides. West Bromwich Albion and leaders Newcastle United drew in the League on Monday, but home advantage saw Albion progress. They led 2-0 at the interval, Jonas Olsson heading in Chris Brunt's 17th-minute corner and Graham Dorrans making it 2-0 with a 37th-minute penalty.
Andy Carroll pulled a goal back for the Magpies, but after denying them a penalty referee James Linnington awarded Albion their second for a foul on Jerome Thomas by Ryan Taylor, who was sent off. Dorrans again scored, Thomas made it 4-1 and Carroll scored his second as it finished 4-2.
It ended 4-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium, too, where the 2008 finalists scored twice in time added on to beat Leicester City. Jay Bothroyd, Peter Whittingham, Chris Burke and Ross McCormack scored for City.
Substitute Jay McEveley was the hero at Pride Park, his 88th-minute left-foot shot saw Derby County beat Doncaster 1-0.Reuse content