Sundays trio of FA Cup fifth round games began with an all Premiership tie at the Reebok as Bolton Wanderers played host to Tottenham Hotspurs. Spurs haven’t been playing well lately and this showed in the first half which was dominated by the home team, Bolton topped off this domination with Kevin Davies driving in a solid shot after some very neat play.
1-0 down at the break Spurs came out with all guns blazing in the second half and finally began to look like the top four team that they are trying to be. They peppered the Bolton goal, forcing many top saves from Jaaskelainen who was breathless in the second forty-five. Defoe finally equalized for Tottenham on the hour mark and when he did a Spurs win looked assured but they just couldn’t find that second goal, with Jaaskelainen on top form.
Spurs also missed a penalty, with Huddlestone having his spot-kick saved by the Bolton ‘keeper as this game ended 1-1. They will now settle this tie at White Hart Lane.
After breezing past Wolves in the last round Crystal Palace were hoping for another Premiership scalp at home to Aston Villa today. Villa had the better of the play early on but Palace were the ones to open the scoring when Ertl headed in from a corner on twenty-five minutes.
Villa replied ten minutes later though and squared things up when Collins met a Downing free-kick and headed home from close range. The second half was a battle but with twenty minutes to go Darren Ambrose hit a screaming free-kick from thirty-six yards which smashed into the top corner to give Palace the lead. A minute after his stunning goal Ambrose hit the bar with a header.
Villa weren’t beaten though and with just under five minutes left to play they made it 2-2 when Petrov dived to meet a Downing corner, his header flying into the bottom corner. The spectacular goal from Ambrose deserved a medal of it’s own and certainly a place in the next round, but this game ended a draw and they will have to settle it in a replay at Villa Park.
League Two side Notts County won away to Wigan in the last round and playing away to Fulham today they attracted some attention, with many neutrals hoping the minnows could scalp another Premier League team.
Fulham were not going to be brushed aside though and despite some pressing from Notts County they took the lead on twenty-two minutes thanks to a strike by Simon Davies. Fulham then took control of the game and Zamora smacked home a left footed volley before half time. Zamora was key in the third goal, when setting up Duff who drilled in at the near post before Okaka grabbed his first Fulham goal to end the game 4-0.
Two replays and one big win means that five teams headed for the Quarter Final draw which was due to be drawn just after these games finished and will be covered in another article.