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Wednesday, January 14, 1998 Published at 23:29 GMT

Sport: Football

Penalty heartache for Port Vale
image: [ Who'd be a football manager? A tense night for Arsenal's Arsene Wenger ]
Who'd be a football manager? A tense night for Arsenal's Arsene Wenger

Port Vale matched football giants Arsenal until the very last kick of the game before going out 4-3 in a thrilling penalty shoot-out in their replayed FA Cup third round tie.

In other replays on Wednesday, Sheffield Wednesday beat Watford on penalties while Aston Villa put out troubled team Portsmouth 1-0. Wolves coasted to a 4-0 win at Darlington at the first time of asking.

Ron Jones reports (47")
At Vale Park it ended 1-1 after extra-time following a goalless draw at Highbury in the first game.

But in the shoot-out Vale's Allen Tankard blazed his penalty over the bar to hand the Gunners victory after the home side had looked set to cause an upset thanks to Paul Musselwhite's save from Lee Dixon's opening penalty.

David Seaman saved from Ian Bogie as the tension mounted.

[ image: Dennis Bergkamp struck first for Arsenal]
Dennis Bergkamp struck first for Arsenal
Premiership Arsenal looked out-of-sorts for most of the first 90 minutes and Port Vale of Division One had several close chances but lacked composure in front of goal.

It looked all over after Dennis Bergkamp put the Gunners ahead with a right foot curler in the first-half of extra-time.

But Vale's Wayne Corden set up the ding-dong finale with a crisp finish to flowing move.

Arsenal's reward is a fourth round trip to Middlesbrough and a date with their old favourite Paul Merson.

Sheffield Wednesday v Watford

John Murray reports (47")
Premiership Sheffield Wednesday survived a nail-biting finish against second division Watford to win 5-3 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.

Keeper Kevin Pressman was the Owls' penalty hero, turning away Micah Hyde's kick before going on to score the winning penalty himself.

Wednesday suffered an early setback when their Italian striker Paolo Di Canio was sent off for foul and abusive language after 26 minutes.

But the Owls dominated the game and should have won in normal time.

A combination of bad finishing, bad luck and good goalkeeping by Watford's Alec Chamberlain kept Watford in the game until the final, dramatic finale.

Wednesday now face Blackburn at home in the fourth-round.

Aston Villa v Portsmouth

[ image: Scrappy night for Villa but Savo put them through]
Scrappy night for Villa but Savo put them through
Villa earned a fourth round derby tie with West Bromwich Albion but were given a tricky test by Portsmouth - bottom of Division One and without a manager.

Savo Milosevic grabbed the 21st minute winner from close range after Stan Collymore flicked the ball on.

Collymore had already hit the post and Alan Wright rattled the bar before the goal but Portsmouth roared back.

Mark Bosnich denied Paul Hall before John Durnin hit the post with a header.

Wolves v Darlington

Peter Slater reports (44")
First division Wolves moved into round four at the expense of Darlington of Division Three in a tie held over from last week because of bad weather.

Darlington dominated much of the match but could not break down the visitors' well-organised defence as Dougie Freedman continued his fine run in front of goal with an 18th-minute strike.

Darlington goalkeeper David Preece was then at fault as Mixu Paatelainen scored midway through the second half, and stoppage-time goals from Darren Ferguson and Paatelainen gave Wolves a 4-0 win and a trip to Charlton in the next round.


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