Kidderminster Harriers and Boreham Wood proved the magic of the FA Cup is alive and well by dumping out higher ranked opponents and progressing to the fourth round.
By Steven Oldham
Giant-killing Harriers strike again
Kidderminster Harriers provided one of the shocks of the day by beating Championship side Reading 2-1 at Aggborough.
The lowest ranked side left in the competition came back from a goal down to move into the fourth round for the first time since 2014.
George Puscas had put Reading ahead just before the break, but Sam Austin equalised midway through the second half.
Amari Morgan-Smith wrote his name into club folklore eight minutes from time by scoring the winner for Russell Penn’s side.
Harriers entered the competition in the second qualifying round back in September where they beat Sporting Khalsa 3-1.
Boreham Wood break records
Luke Garrard’s National League high-flyers are into the fourth round for the first time in the club’s history after beating League One AFC Wimbledon 2-0.
Boreham Wood scored in both halves to book their place in Sunday’s fourth round draw.
Tyrone Marsh opened the scoring after 10 minutes, with Adrian Clifton wrapping up the win three minutes from time.
They’ve eliminated Barnet, Eastleigh and St Albans City to reach this stage. It’s the second successive year Garrard’s side have bested their previous best performance, after making round three in 2021.
Both sides have banked £82,000 for winning their third round fixtures.
Chesterfield and Yeovil Town bow out
There was to be no upset for National League pair Chesterfield and Yeovil Town, who were eliminated by Chelsea and Bournemouth respectively.
The Spireites were 5-1 losers at Stamford Bridge, while Yeovil were beaten 3-1 at home.
The European champions proved too strong for James Rowe’s side and were 4-0 up at the break.
Akwasi Asante’s goal ten minutes from time gave the 6,000 travelling fans something to celebrate despite their cup run coming to an end.
Emiliano Marcondes’ hat-trick was enough to see off Yeovil and put Bournemouth through to the next round.
The 26-year-old put The Cherries in control with two first half goals. Joe Quigley pulled one back for the home side in the opening minutes of the second half, but Marcondes sealed the game with 20 minutes to play.
As the only two non-league sides left in the competition, both Kidderminster and Boreham Wood must be key contenders for live TV coverage in the next round - whoever they come up against. Hopefully the BBC and ITV don’t make the same mistake in their round four picks for live terrestrial coverage and ignore non-league’s contribution to the competition.