Joe Garner and the Best Performing Players from FA Cup 3rd-Round Replays
The magic of the Cup.
That's the line that's proclaimed every single time the Cup comes around, and for good reason! Something about the knockout competition always produces great surprises and individual performances, and the slew of third-round replays this week were no exception to that—especially if you're a fan of Kidderminster.
Let's take a look at the best performances from the Cup this week.
Lewis McGugan, Watford
The club's second-highest scorer in the Championship this season, Lewis McGugan delivered a strong performance to get Watford over the line 2-0 against Bristol City.
Having arrived at the club on a free transfer last summer, the 25-year-old midfielder was dangerous throughout the night with the ball at his feet—creating a slew of chances for both himself and others. McGugan finished with an assist for the opening goal to Marco Davide Faraoni, and then netted himself 26 minutes from time to seal a fourth-round match against Manchester City.
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City
With the arrival of Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic to Manchester over the summer transfer window, Bosnian international Edin Dzeko hasn't been the same potent force this year as he was last season. However, that didn't stop him from showing manager Manuel Pellegrini just what he's been missing out on by not playing the striker—chalking up two goals and an assist against Blackburn Rovers.
Dzeko was instinctive in the box as he latched on to the end of two crosses from Jesus Navas, and he showed great poise to find Sergio Aguero inside a crowded penalty area as well, as City stormed to a 5-0 victory.
Chris Burke, Birmingham City
Birmingham might have ended their 10-game unbeaten streak in the Championship last weekend with a 1-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion, but the Blues bounced back in a big way during the week—defeating Bristol Rovers 3-0 in a match that was probably a lot closer than the score suggests.
Leading 1-0 with under 10 minutes to go, Chris Burke moved well inside the penalty area to grab a crucial goal for Birmingham, and then he sealed the match moments later with a strong finish from outside the area.
The goals continue an impressive run of domestic form for Burke, who now has six goals in four appearances throughout the FA Cup and Capital One Cup combined this season.
Dean Lyness, Burton Albion
Burton Albion might have been comprehensively beaten by Bournemouth 4-1 in the end, but the scoreline could have been much worse were it not for goalkeeper Dean Lyness.
The 22-year-old made a number of impressive saves against Bournemouth and managed to keep Burton in the match for as long as possible, with the hosts not really taking control of the match until the final five minutes when Ryan Fraser's goal put them 3-1 up in the end.
Bournemouth dominated the match with a staggering 65 percent possession, 27 shots and 10 corners.
Brede Hangeland, Fulham
Star central defender Brede Hangeland made a much-needed return to action for Fulham against Norwich City during the week, and it was hardly surprising to see the hosts chalk up a clean sheet as a result—winning through to the next round with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the end.
Hangeland hasn't played for the Cottagers since October when he picked up a back injury, but he showed no signs of injury in this one, moving well in defense and patrolling Fulham's box well.
The talismanic defender will face an even bigger test this weekend when Fulham take on Arsenal.
Nick Powell, Wigan Athletic
Manchester United loanee Nick Powell has been superb for the Latics this season, with the 19-year-old already registering 11 goals and three assists in all competitions.
Few goals, however, will have been bigger than the ones that he scored against Milton Keynes Dons.
Having survived with a 3-3 draw when they met earlier, defending champions Wigan were again staring down the face of an embarrassing shock defeat until Powell (who only came on as a substitute earlier) instinctively got himself on the end of a cross from Chris McCann to level the match at 1-1.
Powell then produced a cool finish indeed in the first minute of extra time to send the defending champions through to the fourth round of the competition.
The Entire Kidderminster XI
Kidderminster's shocking victory over Peterborough epitomised exactly what the FA Cup is all about.
After falling behind early, the non-league side somehow managed to walk away with a 3-2 win over their League One opponents, with Joe Lolley scoring the winner in the 76th minute.
Peterborough had more shots and time in possession, but the Harriers managed to hold their nerve and post one of the most phenomenal victories in club history and set up a fourth-round fixture against Sunderland. Which, come to think of it, is a much easier assignment than a trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United, had the Black Cats not upset them earlier in the third round.
Jennison Myrie-Williams, Port Vale
Forced to come from behind twice against Plymouth Argyle, Port Vale somehow managed to walk away with a 3-2 victory away from home thanks to a strong performance from Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Having tested Plymouth's goal several times throughout the night, Myrie-Williams's effort in the 75th minute proved to be the match-winner in the end, but his crosses and assist for Ben Williamson's goal in the 63rd minute were also just as important for the League One side.
Myrie-Williams hadn't scored for Port Vale since his Boxing Day goal against Notts County.
Joe Garner, Preston North End
A goal is a pretty special thing.
Three goals is even more special.
Three goals as a substitute is remarkable.
Three goals as a substitute including the game-winner is nothing short of incredible, and certainly a night to remember for Joe Garner as Preston North End knocked Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win.
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