Spurs held to shock draw

2012-02-19 18:49
Stevenage Borough's Lawrie Wilson and Tottenham Hotspur's Younes Kaboul (AP)

London - Premier League high-flyers Tottenham Hotspur were held to a shock goalless draw away to third tier Stevenage in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday and face a replay to reach the quarter-finals.

Click here for all FA Cup results over the weekend

League One Stevenage demonstrated excellent defensive organisation and no little skill in attack to keep a Spurs side managed by Harry Redknapp, favourite for the permanent England job, at bay.

Spurs did have the ball in the back of the net early in the second half when Louis Saha turned in Danny Rose's low cross.

But the Frenchman's effort was ruled out for offside after a linesman spotted the striker's shot had clipped the offside Scott Parker before hitting the net.

However, few could deny Stevenage deserved a money spinning replay trip to Spurs' White Lane ground, such was the way the team from Hertfordshire, north-west of London, kept going right until the end.

In an earlier Cup tie on Sunday, Stoke won 2-0 win away to fourth-tier Crawley Town despite playing most of the match a man down after Rory Delap was sent off.

Goals either side of half-time, courtesy of a Jonathan Walters penalty and a Peter Crouch header, saw Stoke, last season's beaten finalists, make it into the last eight.

Stoke's victory ended the FA Cup run of League Two side Crawley, the lowest-ranked club left in the tournament, who also reached the fifth round stage of English football's leading knockout competition last season.

But Premier League Stoke suffered an early setback when Delap was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Jones for a lunging challenge on David Hunt in the 17th minute.

"We're one win away from Wembley again and it would be lovely if we could get a home tie," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis, whose side have had three away matches in this season's competition.

Asked about Delap's red card, he added: "There is a big problem within the game in that I think professional people and referees are so far apart in what they see in terms of what are fair challenges or competitive challenges and the bad, reckless challenges.

"We had a fourth official (Lee Probert) today who I think has got Rory sent off.

"He has refereed a game against Liverpool and not even booked a player for what was the worst challenge in the Premier League this year in (Yohan) Cabaye's challenge on (Jay) Spearing.

"Lee was five yards away and the difference between what we think and sometimes what referees think is enormous."

Crawley manager Steve Evans was also unhappy with the officiating.

"I think we're unfortunate to go out this year," he said. "I think I probably take it harder this year than I did going out at Manchester United.

"I can't help but be disappointed by the match referee. I think from a second-half perspective, he has had a poor game for me and he is normally a very good referee."

Sunday's other tie sees Liverpool at home to Championship side Brighton.

Draw for the sixth round of the FA Cup made here on Sunday:

Sixth round (quarter-finals)

Liverpool or Brighton and Hove Albion v Stoke City
Chelsea or Birmingham City v Leicester City
Stevenage or Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
Everton v Sunderland

Ties to be played on the weekend of March 17-18

Read more on:    fa cup

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