They might have severe money problems and be the lowest ranked team left in the competition, but that did not prevent Notts County from causing a major shock by knocking Wigan Athletic out of the FA Cup at a near-deserted DW Stadium last night.
Just 5,519 were present as two goals in three second-half minutes booked the League Two club a fifth-round tie at Fulham on 14 February.
Stephen Hunt, the former Southampton defender, took advantage of poor Wigan marking from a 75th-minute corner to break the deadlock before an own goal by Gary Caldwell completed a shocking night for Wigan, whose supporters booed their team off the pitch at the end.
"We expected a very tough game but when Wigan did manage to break through our defence then Kasper Schmeichel was there to save us," said a delighted Dave Kevan, the Notts County caretaker manager. "To see our supporters celebrating at the end was a wonderful sight."
County had come within seven minutes of knocking Wigan out at Meadow Lane 10 days earlier. More than 50 places divide the teams on the league ladder yet County again made a mockery of their position as they carved out the better chances after Jason Scotland had let them off the hook.
Scotland was put clean through in the 11th minute but Schmeichel stood his ground.
For County, Lee Hughes and Ben Davies, who both scored in the original tie, were denied by Vladimir Stojkovic in the space of four first-half minutes while it required a clearance off the line by Scott Sinclair to prevent Neal Bishop breaking the deadlock for County.
But the visitors finally got the breakthrough they deserved, Hunt taking advantage of Wigan's static defence to head in a corner. And Wigan's problems doubled three minutes later, Caldwell putting past his own keeper while trying to make a clearance.
"We created enough chances but we needed to score the first goal because that would have changed the game completely," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez afterwards.
Wigan Athletic (4-5-1): Stojkovic; Boyce (Rodallega, 86), Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa; Sinclair, Scharner, Gomez, Diame (McCarthy, 61), Koumas (N'Zogbia, 61); Scotland. Substitutes not used: Pollitt (gk), Amaya, Thomas, Watson.
Notts County (4-5-1): Schmeichel; Thompson, Edwards, Hunt, Jackson; Westcarr (Hawley, 73), Ravenhill, Clapham, Bishop, Davies (Hamshaw, 90); Hughes (Rodgers, 73). Substitutes not used: Hoult (gk), Lee, Fairclough, Akinbiyi.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).Reuse content