Queens Park Rangers earned their first win under new manager Mark Hughes and a tie with his former club Chelsea after edging past MK Dons in their third-round replay on Tuesday night.
Danny Gabbidon’s second-half header was enough to separate the two sides in Hughes’ first match at Loftus Road. It was QPR’s first win in the FA Cup since they beat Luton in 2001.
QPR, ho began the game as clear favourites in the FA Cup betting, were given a real scare along the way. They needed an injury-time equaliser at Stadium MK to force a replay and MK Dons started brightly in west London.
The Dons looked in confident mood as the home side struggled to get going on a cold night. The two sides exchanged chances during the first half but lacked that cutting edge in front of goal and went into half-time on level terms.
Karl Robinson’s side started to gain the upper hand after the break and went close to taking the lead through Jobo Ibehre and Charlie MacDonald. However, Hughes introduced Heidar Helguson, the hero of the original tie, off the bench and he made an immediate impact. His saved free-kick won the corner which led to Gabbidon’s goal.
QPR saw out the game comfortably to book an intriguing fourth-round clash with rivals Chelsea, who have been well backed by punters who bet the FA Cup winner. John Terry could face Anton Ferdinand for the first time since the pair clashed in October. Terry is due to face a racially aggravated public order charge at West London Magistrates’ Court just days after the FA Cup tie.
Elsewhere in the cup, Millwall eased past Dagenham & Redbridge to book a tie with Southampton, Leicester City face Swindon Town in round four after comfortably seeing off struggling Nottingham Forest and Bolton set up an all-Premier League clash against Swansea City after beating Macclesfield Town.