With the traditional first weekend in January FA Cup Third Round matches to begin in earnest today, there were two matches last night to kick off the action, one a second round replay and the other the first of 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 as Chesterfield 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 an ineligible player in the first match. Manager Paul Cook praised his side after a hard-earned result, highlighting how difficult it had been to raise the spirits of his players when they realised that they would have to play the game all over again. The Spireites now move on to a third round tie against Scunthorpe United next Tuesday. Chesterfield’s hero on the night was Gary Roberts who latched on to a cross from Eoin Doyle to settle the game and score the decisive goal just before half-time.

Cardiff City 3 Colchester United 1

Cardiff became the first side through to the fourth round of the cup with a generally routine win at home to Colchester, with the game being played to a backdrop of an almost empty stadium. The mid-table Championship side took the lead against their struggling League One opponents when Joe Ralls’ shot was deflected in, an advantage they maintained to the break. Second-half strikes from a Kadeem Harris volley and Kenwyne Jones’ header (moments after being introduced as a substitution) ensured that the result was secured for the Bluebirds, although Colchester did net a consolation goal through Freddie Sears. Overall it was a pleasing night’s work for Russell Slade’s men and they now look forward to the fourth round draw.

With the remaining third round ties being played over the weekend and into the start of next week, many supporters will be travelling the length and breadth of the country to support their heroes, hoping for a good cup run. There are many intriguing ties to be played, with perhaps the beauty of the competition being encapsulated best in the Blyth Spartans versus Birmingham City tie on Saturday afternoon at Croft Park. Manager Tom Wade believes another giant-killing chance is there for his Northern Premier League side against Championship outfit Birmingham, although he acknowledges that the odds are probably with the opposition.

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