Beesley sees off sorry Oxford

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The Independent Football

The enticing prospect of a match at Old Trafford, Highbury or Anfield brought out the best in the Nationwide Conference sides Dagenham & Redbridge, Chester City and Kingstonian, who all won through to the Third Round of the FA Cup. Northwich Victoria are also in the draw but must replay at Leyton Orient to claim their prize.

The enticing prospect of a match at Old Trafford, Highbury or Anfield brought out the best in the Nationwide Conference sides Dagenham & Redbridge, Chester City and Kingstonian, who all won through to the Third Round of the FA Cup. Northwich Victoria are also in the draw but must replay at Leyton Orient to claim their prize.

Chester City, in the top half of the Conference, were ideally placed to take advantage of Second Division Oxford United's poor form - they have won only two league matches all season - but two goals in as many minutes before the half-hour ought to have settled Oxford's nerves. However, the non-leaguers, who had beaten Plymouth in a replay at Home Park in the First Round, pulled one back through Paul Beesley 10 minutes before the break. In the second half, Steve Whitehall struck twice for a memorable Chester win.

Mark Janney of Dagenham & Redbridge scored in the 90th minute at Sincil Bank to knock out Third Division Lincoln City while Kingstonian, the third non-league side definitely through, turned Conference form on its head when they won 2-1 at third-placed Southport. Two-nil up through Mark Harris and Geoff Pitcher, the side managed by that perennial slayer of inflated reputations, Geoff Chapple, withstood Southport's second-half pressure after Dino Maamria had given them hope with a goal late in the first half.

Northwich, who needed a replay before disposing of Bury last time out, trailed Leyton Orient 2-0 at home, by Carl Griffiths scoring both. But Gary Fletcher scored twice to level and when the former Manchester City midfielder Adie Mike put them ahead with 20 minutes left an upset loomed. But with eight minutes left, Chris Tate struck to set up a replay in east London.

Elsewhere, status held sway. Gateshead of the Unibond Premier lost 5-0 at Swindon Town and Kettering, bottom of the Conference, lost 3-1 at Bristol City after threatening a shock when they led through Darren Collins.

Elsewhere, Third Division Darlington held Second Division Luton Town to a 0-0 draw at Feethams and York, midway up, or down, the Third Division earned a replay against Reading, fifth in the Second Division when they recovered a two-goal deficit and survived the late sending off of Kevin Hulme.

In the meetings between Second Division sides, Rotherham United, second in the table, beat Northampton 1-0.

Three ties featured all-Third Division matches. Bottom of the table Carlisle surprisingly won 2-0 at Kidderminster while second-placed Brighton went down 2-1 at Scunthorpe United. Robert Earnshaw scored twice as Cardiff City beat Cheltenham Town 3-1.

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