Saturday, June 24, 2006

FA Cup Fourth Round Betting Review

Striker DJ Campbell, last season’s FA Cup hero with non-league Yeading, dumped Premiership strugglers Sunderland out of the FA Cup to secure Brentford’s spot in the last 16 for the second time in as many years.

The £5,000 summer signing opened the scoring after 57 minutes only for Argentinean midfielder Julio Arca to equalise for Sunderland. However, Campbell became the hero in the 89 minute, netting the winning goal to set up a memorable win for the 11/4 Bees.

Bolton Wanderers extended Arsenal’s away day blues with a 1-0 win at the Reebok Stadium. The bookmakers priced this match according to Arsenal’s reputation, rather than their performances this season. Bolton were as large as 2/1 before kick-off, an insult considering they beat the Gunners 2-0 in league duty back in December. Greek international Stelios scored the decisive goal with six minutes remaining.

Shortest price of the day unsurprisingly was Chelsea at 1/2 but they will have spoiled a few betting coupons after a 1-1 draw at Everton. The Toffees, priced up as 11/2 before kick-off, took the lead through James McFadden but a 73 minute equaliser from Frank Lampard took the tie to a replay at Stamford Bridge.

League One high flyers Colchester United sent another Championship side packing in Derby County. Colchester were 11/8 favourites and found themselves 3-0 up through Neil Danns and Richard Garcia. A penalty from Tommy Smith 11 minutes from time was the Rams’ only reply.

Leyton Orient will have had their supporters at 10/1 to beat Charlton Athletic. Jon Fortune gave the Addicks an early lead but the League Two side hit back through veteran Lee Steele. Charlton, 2/7 jollies before kick off, needed a stoppage time winner from Jay Bothroyd to spare their blushes.

The scent of an upset hung in the air before the lunch-time clash between League Two side Cheltenham Town and Newcastle United. Despite their efforts, Newcastle scored two goals in as many minutes just before half-time through Michael Chopra and Scott Parker to justify their odds of 8/15.

Rank outsiders on the day, 14/1 Port Vale, gave Aston Villa a scare with five minutes remaining to claw the score back to 2-1, although highly-rated midfielder ensured there would be no upset with a third goal in the 90 minute to please the big hitters who waded in at 1/4.

Better finishing could have earned Coventry City a shock 5/2 win over Middlesbrough but the tie ended all square at 1-1, extending Coventry’s unbeaten run at the Ricoh Arena to eight matches.

On Sunday, Manchester United were shorter still at 4/9 but did not disappoint against Wolves, brushing aside the Championship team 3-0 at Molineux. Two goals from Kieron Richardson and another from a resurgent Louis Saha inflicted Glenn Hoddle’s heaviest defeat as Wolves manager.

Liverpool were also short at 8/15 to win away at Portsmouth and they didn’t disappoint with two first half goals from Steven Gerrard and John Arne Riise. Sean Davis pulled a goal back for Portsmouth nine minutes into the second half but the Reds held firm.



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