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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
John Brewin

FA Cup roundup: Vardy on the mark in Leicester win as Argyle hold Leeds

Jamie Vardy celebrates after setting Leicester on their way to victory over Birmingham.
Jamie Vardy celebrates after setting Leicester on their way to victory over Birmingham. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jamie Vardy scored his first goal since November as Leicester, the Championship leaders, weathered a storm from Birmingham, strugglers in the same division, to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

Birmingham, unbeaten in four matches since Tony Mowbray succeeded Wayne Rooney, had dominated the first-half opportunities. Jay Stansfield hit the post and Jakub Stolarczyk, the Leicester keeper, had to make five saves in the opening 45.

After a clearly unimpressed Leicester manager, Enzo Maresca, made three half-time substitutions, bringing on James Justin, Ricardo Pereira and Kasey McAteer, it was the old firm of Marc Albrighton, 34, and Vardy, 37, who broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half. The veteran winger’s cross from the right wing found an unmarked Vardy to nod in his first FA Cup goal since 2018. He was soon denied a second when the offside flag was raised.

Port Vale have vowed to deal with a supporter who ran on the pitch and attempted to confront referee Craig Hicks during their 1-0 home defeat leaders Portsmouth at Vale Park.

Hicks awarded an 88th-minute penalty to the visitors when Conor Grant brought down Abu Kamara and Colby Bishop converted to keep Pompey top of the table. The home fans were furious as they felt they had a strong claim for a free-kick seconds earlier, with one supporter entering the pitch and chasing after the official before the coaching staff on the touchline intervened.

A Port Vale statement read: "Port Vale Football Club condemn the actions of the individual who entered the field of play during today's match against Portsmouth.

"We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the matter and the individual is dealt with a zero tolerance approach. We remind all supporters that entering the field of play is a criminal offence."

Bolton moved up to second, two points behind Pompey, after a 4-1 win at Carlisle. Goals from Zachary Ashworth and Edmond-Paris Maghoma in the space of five minutes saw the visitors lead at half-time. Jordan Gibson pulled a goal back before Kyle Dempsey and substitute Nathanael Ogbeta wrapped things up in stoppage time.

Peterborough slipped to third after a goalless draw at Lincoln. A late goal from James Collins gave Derby a 2-1 win over Cheltenham to move level on points with Posh. Liam Sercombe put the visitors, before Max Bird's free-kick pulled Derby level on the hour and Collins struck with nine minutes left.

Fifth-placed Barnsley were beaten 2-1 at home by Exeter, while Oxford suffered a second straight league defeat as they lost 3-1 at Bristol Rovers. Stevenage came from behind to win 3-2 at Wigan with a late goal from substitute Louis Thompson.

Managerless Charlton battled to a 1-1 draw at play-off chasing Blackpool, secured through a second-half own goal from Marvin Ekpiteta.

Bottom club Fleetwood held out for a 2-2 draw at Wycombe, where they played the second half with 10 men after Promise Omochere - who had earlier scored - was sent off on the stroke of half-time for a second caution.

Cambridge drew 0-0 with Burton, who had midfielder Steve Seddon sent off in the second half following two quick cautions. Daniel Udoh and Cheyenne Dunkley were on target in the second half as Shrewsbury beat Northampton 2-0, while strugglers Reading drew 1-1 with Leyton Orient.

That did not affect Birmingham as they continued to rain down shots on the Leicester goal, only to concede another in the 72nd minute. Yunus Akgun, on loan from Galatasaray, fired a rocket past John Ruddy from the edge of the area to double the home team’s advantage.

Birmingham’s fire now extinguished, it was left to Dennis Praet to complete the win with a neat finish from a Tom Cannon cut-back two minutes from time.

In another all-Championship tie, Leeds dominated Plymouth in the first half at Elland Road but were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw. Georginio Rutter’s header forced the Argyle keeper, Conor Hazard, into a smart save and then the same Leeds forward saw his cross drift off the crossbar. Hazard made another fine first-half save, this time from Wilfried Gnonto.

Jaidon Anthony pays tribute to his late mother.
Jaidon Anthony pays tribute to his late mother after scoring. Photograph: Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA/Getty Images

In the 31st minute, Jaidon Anthony, on loan from Bournemouth, scored for Leeds, completing a slaloming solo run through Plymouth’s defence with a crashing right-foot shot and then celebrated with an emotional tribute to his mother, who died recently. The referee, Lancashire’s Lewis Smith, booked him for taking off his shirt to reveal the message.

Stockport extended their lead at the top of the table with a 5-1 win at Doncaster. Paddy Madden scored twice as County took full advantage of Wrexham being in FA Cup action to move five points clear.

Mansfield failed to make up any ground after a 2-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon, where they finished with nine men. Stags defender Jordan Bowery was shown a straight red card after 20 minutes and then Stephen Quinn was sent off in stoppage time before Ronan Curtis scored a late winner.

Crewe's promotion push was also dented after a 3-2 home defeat by Salford, with Matt Smith scoring a hat-trick. Late goals from Michael Williams and Alex Gilbey helped MK Dons secure a 2-1 win over Gillingham.

Notts County, though, saw their winless run extend to four games after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Barrow, who sit fourth.

New Forest Green Rovers boss Steve Cotterill saw his first match in charge end with a 1-0 home defeat by Accrington. Arthur Read's goal gave Colchester a 1-0 win at Morecambe, a first victory for new management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley. Elsewhere, Walsall and Sutton drew 1-1, Swindon beat Bradford 2-0 and Tranmere won 2-1 at Grimsby.

Leeds failed to convert their territorial dominance into a clear lead and Adam Randell, on as a second-half sub, completed an end-to-end counterattack to shoot pass Ilan Meslier after Matt Butcher had sent Mustapha Bundu, another sub, away down the left.

Plymouth scored their 73rd-minute goal during a spell when Ian Foster, appointed this month, made changes.

In a helter-skelter finish, Patrick Bamford, on as a late sub, from a Junior Firpo pass, was denied by the excellent Hazard, who had made a series of fine saves. A replay means Leeds will have to make two long trips to Devon in February: a Championship encounter between the clubs is scheduled for 17 February, a Saturday lunchtime kick-off. An extra match will be an unwelcome addition to Leeds’ workload as they battle for an automatic promotion place.

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