The magnificent seven heroes of the FA Cup third round weekend

Swansea City, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, and Rochdale feature.

Inevitably, the third round of the FA Cup is going to throw up some heroic performances as crucial goals are scored, saves are made, substitutions have an impact as we look at the heroes who have either earned their side a place in the fourth round of the competition, or a second chance at their opponents.

Wilfried Bony

Bony seems to be finding his feet at Swansea City after a difficult first half of the season. Having bagged a brace in the Premier League defeat to Manchester City, he scored the crucial goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last minute of normal time to take his side into the fourth round.

Ryan Flynn

Flynn’s strike was crucial as Sheffield United manage to dump Aston Villa out of the FA Cup at Villa Park. Having been pegged back in the game after taking a first half lead, Flynn’s left-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area restored the Blades’ lead to ultimately give them victory.

Jamie Paterson

You can say what you like about the side he was facing, but if you’re playing for a Championship club against someone in the Premier League and score a hat-trick, you have done very well for yourself. And Paterson’s hat-trick involved three very well taken goals as Nottingham Forest hammered West Ham’s young side 5-0.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

His first game in charge of Cardiff City and his side fell behind their tie against Newcastle United at St James’ Park. However, two substitutions sorted that out as Craig Noone scored a wonderful equaliser before Fraizer Campbell scored the winner. It seems the effect Solskjaer had in his playing career of coming off the bench and scoring crucial goals has rubbed off on his players already.

Gary Bowyer

Many sides will have folded when the riches of Manchester City struck just before the half-time break to take the lead. But Bowyer made sure his Blackburn Rovers side remained positive and they managed to find their equaliser to earn a replay. Their best chance of progressing from the tie has probably passed them by given City were reduced to ten men, and their formidable home record.

Ian Henderson

One of the biggest upsets in third round was Rochdale’s win over Leeds United and Ian Henderson was at the centre of most of the good play from Rochdale. He capped off his man of the match performances with one of the most composed volleys you will see to double his side’s lead and to send Leeds packing.

Steve Williams

With Macclesfield Town trailing to Sheffield Wednesday, Williams popped up with an equaliser as the match was heading into the latter stages by prodding home from close range to give the lowest ranked side left in the competition a replay against the Owls – which could aid the club financially.

image: © flawka

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