QPR, Bolton avoid upsets in FA Cup replays
Updated: January 17, 2012, 17:36
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LONDON(AP) Premier League struggler Queens Park Rangers was rescued from potential embarrassment in a third-round replay in the FA Cup on Tuesday thanks a late winner against third-tier MK Dons.
Wales defender Danny Gabbidon's 73rd-minute goal gave QPR a 1-0 win at Loftus Road, earning the team a fourth-round home match against west London rival Chelsea.
QPR required a last-minute equalizer by Heidar Helguson to earn a replay against MK Dons and was again troubled by a team 30 places lower in English football's pyramid, with the visitors overrunning Mark Hughes' team at times and wasting some golden chances before Gabbidon struck.
"It was a tough game,'' said Gabbidon, whose goal ended QPR's 10-match run without a win. "We needed that little bit of luck.''
Bolton, which also came from behind to earn a replay against lower-league opposition, beat fourth-tier Macclesfield 2-0 to reach the competition's last 32.
First-half goals by striker Kevin Davies and Bulgaria winger Martin Petrov set up an all-Premier League match against Swansea on Jan. 28.
Second-tier League Championship teams Leicester and Millwall also progressed from replays on Tuesday.
QPR, which is third from bottom in the Premier League, hadn't reached the fourth round since 2001 and it looked like that poor record would remain intact midway through the second half, with MK Dons pouring forward and creating chance after chance.
Striker Jabo Ibehre glanced just wide with the goal at his mercy in the 59th minute with the best of the opportunities, and Gabbidon put the hosts ahead against the run of play 14 minutes later from Shaun Wright-Phillips' corner.
"There was a lack of sharpness in our play,'' said QPR manager Mark Hughes, whose team lost to Newcastle 1-0 on Sunday in his first match in charge since taking over from the fired Neil Warnock last week. "We looked a bit leggy but we stuck at it and got our noses in front.''
It will be the first meeting between QPR and Chelsea since their infamous match on Oct. 23. when QPR's 1-0 victory was overshadowed by allegations of racist abuse made against Chelsea captain John Terry.
Terry denies the allegations of directing a racial slur toward QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, but has been charged by prosecutors and will appear in court on Feb. 1 - four days after the FA Cup match.
Leicester thrashed Nottingham Forest 4-0 thanks to a hat trick by former Everton striker Jermaine Beckford to set up a match against fourth-tier team Swindon, which caused the biggest upset of the third round by beating Premier League side Wigan 2-1.
Millwall will host fellow League Championship side Southampton in the fourth round after winning its replay against Dagenham & Redbridge 5-0, with striker Darius Henderson also scoring a hat trick.