With the traditional first weekend in January FA CupThird Round matches to begin in earnest today, there were two matches lastnight to kick off the action, one a second round replay and the other the firstof the third round ties at the Cardiff City Stadium.

MK Dons 0 Chesterfield 1

It was a case of déjà vu in the second round replay asChesterfield repeated their previous victory over the MK Dons with a one nil margin.The game was replayed after it was identified that Chesterfield had fielded anineligible player in the first match. Manager Paul Cook praised his side after ahard-earned result, highlighting how difficult it had been to raise the spiritsof his players when they realised that they would have to play the game allover again.

The Spireites now move on to a third round tie against ScunthorpeUnited next Tuesday. Chesterfield’s hero on the night was Gary Roberts wholatched on to a cross from Eoin Doyle to settle the game and score the decisivegoal just before half-time.

Cardiff City 3 Colchester United 1

Cardiffbecame the first side through to the fourth round of the cup with a generallyroutine win at home to Colchester, with the game being played to a backdrop ofan almost empty stadium. The mid-table Championship side took the lead againsttheir struggling League One opponents when Joe Ralls’ shot was deflected in, anadvantage they maintained to the break. Second-half strikes from a KadeemHarris volley and Kenwyne Jones’ header (moments after being introduced as a substitution)ensured that the result was secured for the Bluebirds, although Colchester didnet a consolation goal through Freddie Sears.

Overall it was a pleasing night’swork for Russell Slade’s men and they now look forward to the fourth rounddraw.

Withthe remaining third round ties being played over the weekend and into the startof next week, many supporters will be travelling the length and breadth of thecountry to support their heroes, hoping for a good cup run.

There are manyintriguing ties to be played, with perhaps the beauty of the competition beingencapsulated best in the Blyth Spartans versus Birmingham City tie on Saturdayafternoon at Croft Park. Manager Tom Wade believes another giant-killing chanceis there for his Northern Premier League side against Championship outfitBirmingham, although he acknowledges that the odds are probably with theopposition.