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Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Friday, 27 January 2012

FA Cup as it happened


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By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport

2222: Right then. Time for me to call it a night. FA Cup fourth-round Friday didn't serve up any shocks, even if Watford deserved to spring one against Tottenham, but the end result is that Everton and Spurs are into round five. Thanks for keeping me company and make sure you join Mike Henson on Saturday for the next installment of last-32 ties... I'll see you again very soon.

2218: Almost time for me to go but, before I do, here's some exciting news: our live text commentaries are getting a fancy new makeover next month. They will be laid out better, update quicker, include pictures and generally just be improved. Watch this space, as they say.

Full time
FULL-TIME Watford 0-1 Tottenham
Tom Rostance reports: "Rafael van der Vaart's goal ensures a happy end to the week for Harry Redknapp, but Spurs definitely rode their luck."

Full time
FULL-TIME Everton 2-1 Fulham
Chris McKenna reports: "It is Everton who go into the last 16 and deservedly so. The Toffees showed more hunger for the win and Marouane Fellaini's winner means Everton fans are still dreaming of Wembley."

2214: Here's a reminder of what happned in the FA Cup tonight...

2213: Incidentally, that fifth-round draw is at 1540 GMT on Sunday, just before Arsenal take on Aston Villa.

thefadotcom on Twitter: "After wins tonight Spurs will be No.10 and Everton will be No.13 in the FACup Fifth Round draw on Sunday."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "3 - Landon Donovan now has three assists in his last three games for Everton. Impact."

From anonymous Spurs fan, via text: "We were really lucky tonight, but never deserved to lose to Man City. Big believer that luck balances itself out over a season."

klasing on Twitter: "Must go down as one of the luckiest victories ever... Watford deserved to win by a couple of goals."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp after seeing his side survive a scare at Watford to reach the FA Cup fifth round: "They say it's better to be lucky than good and tonight we were lucky. That was not the Tottenham side I see every week, we were poor. Watford were fantastic, top class. We rode our luck and we got away with it. I don't know what was wrong with us. We were off colour but we got the luck. I think we've got a big chance of winning the Cup this year. I haven't been around this week but I picked the team and then I was told that Luka Modric hadn't been feeling very well, but he always wants to play. A win's a win and we are in the hat. You want to win the cup, that's our ambition this year."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From anonymous Fulham fan, via text: "Heartbreak. Well deserved Everton win, but the FA Cup means so much for midtable teams like us. Just the league to focus on now, whole new journey with Martin Jol next season. Come on Fulham! Gutted."

Watford boss Sean Dyche after seeing his side hit the post twice as they were edged out by Premier League Totenham in their FA Cup fourth-round tie: "We don't want to be over the top but I thought the magic of the cup was going to strike again. We didn't get what we deserved. I'm gutted we haven't gone through tonight. We made it a real cup tie, we played on the front foot and it is important that we use this experience to better ourselves as a team."

2158: Fulham's tactics at the end there reminded me of Steve McClaren's time as Middlesbrough boss when he took them to the Europa League final, rescuing several lost causes along the way by throwing on about six strikers and launching the ball forward. It worked for McClaren, but not for Martin Jol tonight. Everton join Tottenham in the FA Cup fifth-round draw on Sunday.

Bharat Kerai on Twitter: "That is the Tottenham future without Bale and Modric."

Full time
2154: FULL-TIME Everton 2-1 Fulham

Tottenham matchwinner Rafael van der Vaart after his side's narrow victory over Watford in the FA Cup fourth round: "It is a relief. We played a bad game today and Watford deserved more, maybe a win. They were the better team. Sometimes you have these kind of days. The pitch was heavy and Watford played great. It was a lucky goal but I'm happy that it was the winner."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin at Vicarage Road: "Spurs didn't get into the last third often enough, they were really poor. Watford had lots of opportunities all night but they just lacked that quality."

VonBlade on Twitter: " Easily one of the worst displays in the last 12 months. Lucky! Watford probably deserved it to be honest."

Gareth Brett on Twitter: " Must go down as one of the luckiest victories ever... Watford deserved to win by a couple of goals."

2150: One of Fulham's strikers is going to have a pop at goal here, surely? Yep, Bryan Ruiz smashes a volley wide after meeting the ball inside the Everton area. The Cottagers are going to have to do better than that.

2148: Fulham have brought on another stiker, Marcello Trotta - who I don't think is related to Rodney - for Danny Murphy. The Italian, so prolific in a loan spell at Wycombe where he scored eight goals in eight games earlier this season, got a sight of goal soon after coming on but hesitated on the edge of the area and Shane Duffy dispossessed him. The 90 minutes are almost up on Merseyside.

From Spurs fan in Wales, via text: "Fair play Watford, they should have won tonight, but what I would have given for just an ounce of that luck against Man City last week."

2144: We can give our full attention to Everton versus Fulham now. The Cottagers have brought Bobby Zamora off the bench, meaning they have four strikers on the pitch (joining Clint Dempsey, Andy Johnson and Bryan Ruiz). They have not created any chances since falling behind though.

Full time
2142: FULL-TIME Watford 0-1 Tottenham

2141: I was wrong. Mark Yeates went for goal himself. Carlo Cudicini catches it comfortably, and that should just about be that...

2140: The Hornets are in last chance saloon... but they have got a free-kick about 35 yards out which I am pretty sure will be launched into the Tottenham area.

2139: Time for Tottenham's final substitution of the night. Roman Pavlyuchenko replacing Emmanuel Adebayor. Spurs have been very poor tonight, but as it stands they are in the hat for the fifth round.

2138: Watford have got three minutes of stoppage time to force an equaliser. They need to get the ball off Tottenham first.

Someone has struck the woodwork
Yellow card
2135: Our first booking at Vicarage Road comes in the 88th minute, with the yellow card shown to Lee Hodson after he fouled Aaron Lennon. It is all happening at Goodison now, because Tim Cahill has just hit the bar with what seems like Everton's 100th header of the night.

Everton goal: I knew that writing this game off would do the trick. Landon Donovan sends over another cross and Marouane Fellaini, who nods back across goal, sees his header beat David Stockdale - but only just. The Fulham keeper got his fingertips to it but could not claw it to safety. Everton were behind early on but they are ahead now, with about 15 minutes to go.

2133 GOALFLASH Everton 2-1 Fulham (Marouane Fellaini)

2132: We are in for a tense finish at Vicarage Road, but not so at Goodison - where my prediction of goals has seemingly killed the tie off as a spectacle.

2130: Tottenham survive again, with Mark Yeates meeting Marvin Sordell's cross but seeing his goalbound shot cannon back off Michael Dawson, who did not know much about it. Watford are running out of time to get the result their performance has merited.

2128: Spurs make a change, with Steven Pienaar on for Jermain Defoe - who has been very quiet tonight. At the same time, Watford have brought on another of their kids, with Matt Whichelow replacing Joe Garner.

2127: Here come Watford again, this time from a free-kick curled in from the right flank. It falls for Nyron Nosworthy, who sees his snap-shot kept out by Carlo Cudicini, and Marvin Sordell is unable to convert the follow-up.

2126: Joe Garner goes a lot closer with his next effort, a glancing header from a corner, but he is still a few yards off target. Tottenham are getting a few warnings here, but they don't seem to be heeding them. With 12 minutes to go, the Premier League team are looking far from comfortable with their 1-0 lead.

2123: Watford are giving everything but they are being restricted to shots from the edge of the area at the moment. Prince Buaben brings a sprawling save from Carlo Cudicini, before Joe Garner launches his effort over the stand behind Cudicini's goal. Over at Goodison Park, Fulham have managed their first attack for a while, with Andy Johnson firing straight at Tim Howard.

From Anon via text: "Re 2105. Below par teams in Champions League? Weren't your first two European Cup final triumphs against Borussia Monchengladbach & Club Brugge?"

2118: At last, a chance on Merseyside to tell you about. Fulham keeper David Stockdale is off his line quickly to smother the ball at Denis Stracqualursi's feet as the Everton striker looks to double his account for the club.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2119: For Sean Miller at 2114 read Sean Murray. Not so impressive by me, that. More importantly, though, Watford have just hit the post, with John Eustace's back-post header coming back off the woodwork.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin at Vicarage Road: "They have high hopes for Sean Murray at Watford and you can see why. He was a secret weapon tonight and nearly wrote himself into the record books when he hit the post."

2114: A first change for Watford, with the impressive Sean Murray being replaced by Mark Yeates. Oh, and I'm sorry to say there is still no sign of any more goals at Goodison. Everton are shading possession but neither side has created anything of note since the break.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2112: The Championship side have to be careful here, though, because Spurs are lightning fast when they break foward. They go within inches of extending their lead when Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon combine to tee up Rafael van der Vaart, who slams his shot against the bar.

2110: Watford trail 1-0 with 25 minutes left, but they still have hope. Spurs keep trying to play their way out of defence but every so often they only suceed in giving the ball away, and this time Younes Kaboul has to mop up the danger as three Hornets players look to pounce.

Jon, Eastleigh, via text: "Jake Livermore is quietly developing into a really decent ball winner in midfield. Surely he's a must for the Olympic squad this summer."

Mal, Liverpool season ticket holder, via text: "Re 2044. The European Cup was a fantastic competition but Champions League? You're having a laugh. Too many below average teams."


2105: Everton and Fulham get the second half started at Goodison. They have 45 minutes left to get the goals (or a goal) that I predicted so confidently earlier.

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: You just knew it would happen! After being on the back foot for much of the game, the Spireites take the lead through Liam Ridehalgh who scores a scorcher from outside the area into the top corner of the net. Chesterfield 1-0 Bournemouth.

2104: Aaron Lennon is operating on the left since coming on, and he has given Spurs a lot more width. Watford are digging in, much as they did before the break, but they look a lot more stretched and a lot more crosses seem to be being fired into their area. After a hoisted ball from Kyle Walker is half cleared, Danny Rose spanks a cross back into the danger zone, but it has too much zip on it for Jermain Defoe to get on the end of it.

2101: Spurs are not just sitting back on their lead, mind. They test Scott Loach for the first time since their goal, and the Watford keeper is just about equal to it, tipping Kyle Walker's header over his bar.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2058: Watford have begun the second half brightly, very brightly. John Eustace blasts wide from a corner but, from a quick Carlo Cudicini goal-kick, Spurs defender Michael Dawson gives the ball away cheaply and the Hornets are quickly back on the attack, playing in Sean Murray, who sees his curling shot helped on to the post by Cudicini's fingertips. Troy Deeney, following up, blazes his first-time shot off target. Tottenham fans can breathe again, because they are very fortunate to still be ahead.

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: We're into the second half at B2net Stadium but it's still goalless. However, Bournemouth have dominated the game so far but can show nothing for their efforts. Chesterfield may not mind though, because they still move off the bottom of the League One table as it stands.

David Stone on Twitter: " Howard Webb has now refereed twice in 4 days. Don't see him complaining about it, or is he just much fitter then a footballer?"

2052: We are back under way at Vicarage Road. Spurs have made a change at the break with Aaron Lennon on for the distinctly underwhelming Luka Modric.

Half time
Everton 1-1 Fulham
Chris McKenna's HT snapshot: "After a slow start, this one has turned into an exciting cup tie. Danny Murphy's penalty gave Fulham the lead but Denis Stracqualursi got the Toffees a much-deserved equaliser to leave this delicately poised."

2050: HALF-TIME Everton 1-1 Fulham

2050: Thanks for the tweets and texts about the FA Cup, and what it means to you. Sadly, I think its diminished importance these days is inevitable while the Champions League is dominating European club football. The magic is still there, but it's never going to be the same as it was 25 years ago when top-flight managers are prioritising the top four, or staying up.

2046: No goals yet but another sniff for Everton, with Tim Cahill firing wide after a scramble in the Fulham area. They are in first-half stoppage time at Goodison.

Nicholas Mills, Manchester United season ticket holder, via text: "Champions League is a fantastic tournament - as much as I love the FA Cup, nothing will ever surpass the top European competition."

2044: Everton's turn to attack, and Landon Donovan lets fly with a swerving shot that brings the best out of David Stockdale. Still 1-1 on Merseyside but I'm willing to risk a case of 'commentators' curse' and say there will be more goals in that one. Be warned, though, I have been known to be very wrong about these things.

From Anon, via text: "Deserved equaliser for Everton, poor defending from the surprise inclusion of Aaron Hughes. They've definitely got the height advantage over us. Come on Fulham, still believe!!"

2040: Fulham have been on the back foot pretty much since they went ahead but they have just wasted a decent opportunity to retake the lead. Bryan Ruiz elects to shoot from just inside the area, despite having unmarked team-mates either side of him, and his tame effort is straight at Tim Howard. As I say, a bit of a waste.

Dan Irvine on Twitter: "Watford are unlucky there. Their defending was exceptional for the 41 minutes before the goal."

Half time
Watford 0-1 Tottenham
Tom Rostance's HT snapshot:
"Lucky, lucky Spurs. Without wingers Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale there's been no penetration down the flanks for Tottenham and Watford are crowding them out in the middle. The hosts have been excellent without creating a good chance and were made to pay when Rafael van der Vaart punished them against the run of play."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Jimmy Armfield at Goodison Park: "I think if I was Martin Jol, the thing I would be concerned about it the continuity of his midfield. Key players like Ruiz, Duff and Dempsey haven't been seen much. They've let Everton take control."

2035: HALF-TIME Watford 0-1 Tottenham

Tottenham goal: Not a great moment for Watford keeper Scott Loach this. Tottenham break quickly when a Hornets attack breaks down, with Kyle Walker charging forward before feeding Rafael van der Vaart. The Dutchman lets fly from about 25 yards out and Loach should easily keep out his bouncing shot. I say 'should' because he makes a hash of it and sees it bounce past him and into the net. Spurs have the lead, and you can tell how harsh it is on Watford because the visiting fans are singing "we've only had one shot".

2031: GOALFLASH Watford 0-1 Tottenham (Rafael van der Vaart)

Everton goal: Everton's pressure pays off and it is their Argentine striker Denis Stracqualursi who has got it, to open his account for the club. It was another header too, with Stracqualursi getting just about enough contact on Landon Donovan's cross. Half-an-hour gone and all-square at Goodison Park.

2028: GOALFLASH Everton 1-1 Fulham (Denis Stracqualursi)

From anonymous Manchester United season ticket holder via text: " I would rather win the FA Cup than qualify for the Champions League any day of the week. We qualify for the CL almost every year, but only occasionally win it, winning the FA Cup is special and would be remembered more than another quarter-final loss to a better team."

2027: Tottenham are still a bit lethargic at the moment, especially in the final third. Watford, meanwhile, remain busy - scurrying round in midfield and trying to deny the visitors any space. They are doing pretty well at it at the moment. About six minutes left until the break and still 0-0.

2025: Another chance for Everton, via another header. This time it is Tim Cahill who is behind it, forcing a great save from David Stockdale. The Fulham keeper doesn't do so well with a corner a few moments later, mind, dropping the ball and allowing Shane Duffy to fire goalwards... but Stephen Kelly is in the right place to clear off the line. The Toffees have upped the ante of late and are pressing hard for an equaliser.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin at Vicarage Road: "Gareth Bale's pace stretches teams and without him Spurs haven't got anyone to do that. It's very crowded in midfield as a result and Watford are working so hard. It's hard to do that for 90 minutes though."

2021: Everton respond to going behind by going on the attack. And they are almost level too. Magaye Gueye's cross finds Shane Duffy at the far post, but he cannot direct his header on target. He should have done a lot better there.

Anon via text: "As a Spurs fan, my eldest child has a season ticket and my second has a season ticket for Watford. May the best team win."

2020: Watford have another sight of goal when another Troy Deeney cross finds Joe Garner unmarked about six yards out, but the Hornets striker mis-kicks and the chance is gone. Tottenham are still toiling at the other end, although Jermain Defoe has just had their first shot... which was easily dealt with by Scott Loach.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Jimmy Armfield at Goodison Park, on Fulham's penalty: "It looked it a little bit harsh for me. He came sliding in and it hit his hand. It's like that Micah Richards incident in the Carling Cup on Wednesday except it didn't come off his knee first."

Fulham goal: Referee Howard Webb points to the spot when Chris Baird's shot hits Johnny Heitinga's arm in the area, after the Everton defender had slid in to block it. Heitinga gets a booking, and Danny Murphy steps up to take the penalty... sending Tim Howard the wrong way to give the Cottagers the lead.

2014: GOALFLASH Everton 0-1 Fulham (Danny Murphy pen)


2012: Newcastle assistant boss John Carver and coach Steve Stone are at Vicarage Road tonight, supposedly to watch Watford defender Adrian Mariappa, who has been solid enough so far. Mind you, the Hornets have got quite a few talented young players... from the same production line that gave us Ashley Young and, er, Mike Williamson in recent years. Plenty of talent on show for Premier League scouts.

2010: Not much to tell you about from Goodison so far, other than a few crunching tackles by Phil Neville, who has been penalised for fouls on John Arne Riise and Clint Dempsey, among others. The Toffees skipper is making his 50th career appearance in the FA Cup tonight, and is looking to mark the occasion with a booking by the looks of things.

Paul, Arsenal fan, via text: " I'd take the FA cup and not qualify for the Champions League. Trophies and trips to Wembley even for players are special. One season away from CL won't kill us because we don't sign the real top players anyway."

Hermitrude on Twitter: " How about creating a new competition for cup winners? My suggestion would be to call it the European Cup Winners' Cup."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Jimmy Armfield at Goodison Park: "I think realistically that whichever team gets through here then they have a chance of going to Wembley. I think they will look at this as a real opportunity."

2007: The Hornets try their luck from distance this time, with the brilliantly-named Prince Buaben winning the ball in midfield and letting fly with a swerving shot that flashes a couple of yards wide of Carlo Cudicini's left-hand post. Tottenham are still playing a patient passing game but they need to buck their ideas up a bit because they have not got near Scott Loach's goal yet.

2004: Another decent Watford move, and again they are not far away from a goal. Troy Deeney is allowed to advance down the right and his fizzing low cross is met by the ever-lively Marvin Sordell at the near post. Sordell is not able to divert it goalwards but he is definitely keeping the Spurs defence busy.

2001: Everton and Fulham get us under way at Goodison Park.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin at Vicarage Road: "Watford youngster Sean Murray is playing on the left but he is not a tricky winger as we were expecting. He is naturally coming inside and looking for the ball all the time. This is a good spell from the home side."

From Abdulla, Watford fan, via text: "Forget the cup being a distraction, anything but mid-table obscurity would be nice. Potential cup shock definitely on the cards tonight."

From Anon, via text: "Re 1912. Am I just too old fashioned or shouldn't the whole incentive of winning a major trophy be to win a major trophy?!"

1958: Another sniff for Watford and they are a bit unlucky here. Teenage midfielder Shaun Murray makes the most of a slip by Scott Parker to burst into the area and his angled drive is only pushed away by Carlo Cudicini, who just about recovers in time to stop Marvin Sordell from gobbling up the loose ball.

1955: Lots and lots of possession from Spurs so far but Watford look dangerous on the break. They test Carlo Cudicini for the first time too, with Marvin Sordell getting away a low shot that the Spurs keeper gets down to collect at his left-hand post. Not much power behind the shot to be honest.

1953: Les Ferdinand, who spent time on the books of both clubs but never played a competitive game for Watford, is in the stands tonight. Elton John, the Hornets' honorary vice president, didn't make it - he is on tour in Peru. John has missed Tottenham make a bright start, involving a slick passing move that involved over 30 passes but broke down before it made it into the home side's area.

Tony Mallett on Twitter: "So we welcome the cup winners of Romania, Slovakia, Belgium etc in the Champs League? Uefa will say 'don't be silly'!"

From Joe, via text: "How about a playoff between 4th in the league and FA Cup winner for Champs League fourth spot?"

StevenWilkes86 on Twitter: "Lets see if Defoe can score a few today and try to cement a first team place, a firing Defoe is handy with the European Championships 6 months away."

1949: And we're off. Watford get us going.

1946: The Watford and Tottenham players emerge from the tunnel - both sides are in their usual colours tonight, with the Hornets in yellow and red and Spurs in white and navy blue. Are you ready to go? Good...

1942: Right, kick-off is fast approaching at Vicarage Road, where there are not that many empty seats. Good to see. Also good to hear Harry Redknapp (below) talking about wanting to win the Cup. He's been there and done it with Portsmouth, so knows exactly what it means to a club and its fans.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp speaking before kick-off at Vicarage Road: "We've kept in touch all week and I picked the team tonight. We want to go all the way to Wembley - we want to win the FA Cup. I've not taken any liberties, I've given a few a rest but the lads who come in are top class. I've gone really strong. Gareth Bale has got a thigh strain. This is a tough place to play and it'll be a hard game."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin at Vicarage Road: "Watford have to get a good start or they could be in for a nightmare."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Sam B in Ruislip, via text: "The only problem with giving the FA Cup winner Champions League football is that the FA Cup will be dominated by the top teams again, giving no one else a chance for success."

From Mike in Nottingham, via text: "You can't offer Champions League football to FA Cup winners. What if it's a Spurs-United final and they finish top four?"

1935: The reason I was speaking to Keith Houchen is because he goes head-to-head with Lawro in his predictions for this weekend's FA Cup ties. Both of them are going for Tottenham and Everton wins tonight. Why the Toffees? Lawro says: "The Cottagers scored four goals in 16 second-half minutes to blow Newcastle away at Craven Cottage on Saturday but they are not the same team on the road."

Everton v Fulham line-ups
Howard, Neville, Duffy, Heitinga, Baines, Donovan, Gibson, Fellaini, Gueye, Cahill, Stracqualursi. Subs: Hahnemann, Hibbert, Saha, Drenthe, Vellios, Anichebe, Baxter.
Fulham: Stockdale, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Duff, Murphy, Baird, Ruiz, Dempsey, Johnson. Subs: Etheridge, Sidwell, Senderos, Frei, Zamora, Davies, Trotta.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Chris McKenna reports: "Everton boss David Moyes makes just two changes from Saturday's draw with Blackburn. Denis Stracqualursi is the surprise inclusion as he makes just his second start of the season in place of Louis Saha while Magaye Gueye comes in instead of Victor Anichebe. Fulham manager Martin Jol makes three changes with Andy Johnson making his first start of the year in place of Bobby Zamora. Chris Baird and Aaron Hughes also come in with Steven Sidwell and Philippe Senderos dropping to the bench."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE: There is also a game taking place in League One tonight as Chesterfield host Bournemouth at B2net Stadium. The home side can move off the bottom of the table if they avoid defeat but the Cherries can move to within two points of a play-off spot if they achieve victory.

Tom Rostance reports:
"Harry Redknapp makes five changes to the Tottenham side which lost late on against Manchester City last weekend, but still names a formidable looking outfit with Rafael van der Vaart behind both Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor. Reported Newcastle target Adrian Mariappa keeps his place for Watford who make three changes, with cult hero Lloyd Doyley back in at full-back."

From Ed, in Wrexham, via text: "Re 1912. A chance of glory YES. I'm a Gooner so any glory will be gratefully received."

Ben in Reading, via text: "Re 1912. Agree heavily with James. Third and fourth league places getting a Champions League qualifying spot is unmerited. All those teams have done to be 3rd/4th is been consistently worse than the actual league champions. At least FA Cup winners are champions at something other than almost-success."

Watford v Tottenham line-ups
Loach, Hodson, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Doyley, Eustace, Deeney, Buaben, Murray, Sordell, Garner. Subs: Bond, Dickinson, Yeates, Iwelumo, Forsyth, Jenkins, Whichelow.
Tottenham: Cudicini, Walker, Kaboul, Dawson, Rose, Parker, Van der Vaart, Modric, Livermore, Adebayor, Defoe. Subs: Friedel, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Kranjcar, Assou-Ekotto, Pienaar.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Owen, exiled in Houston, via text: " Making the FA Cup special again? Stop playing semi finals at Wembley. Part of me wants to lose the game as I can't afford another trip to London."

Chris McKenna reports: Everton will play their first Friday FA Cup tie at Goodison Park in their history this evening and manager David Moyes enjoys the change: "If you gave me a choice of Friday night or Sunday, I would take Friday night all day long." A win tonight would certainly make it even more enjoyable for Moyes but Fulham boss Martin Jol is keen for his side to progress after disappointments in other cup competitions: "I hope we can push on in the FA Cup. It would be fantastic because we are out of the Europa League and Carling Cup."

Tom Rostance reports:
Spurs forward Rafael van der Vaart has set his sights on ending Tottenham's 21-year-wait for FA Cup glory. "Everyone wants to win it, me too," said the Dutchman. "When I was little I always watched the FA Cup final. It would be a dream to play in it." "It's about giving our supporters a really good performance," says Watford boss Sean Dyche. "If we do that then who knows?"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Jack in Southend, via text: "How any team can think of the FA Cup as a distraction is beyond me. An historic competition, it's sad to see its debatable demise."

BREAKING FULHAM-EVERTON TEAM NEWS: Andy Johnson starts up front for the Cottagers for the first time this year, replaces Bobby Zamora. For Everton, Denis Stracqualursi replaces Louis Saha - just to remind to me that, although, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is on his way to Spartak Moscow, there are still a few players out there capable of giving text commentators nightmares.

Chris McKenna reports: "Everton host Fulham in the first of six all-Premier League FA Cup ties this weekend and the Toffees certainly do not mind facing top-tier opposition. David Moyes's side have faced a Premier League team eight times in their last four seasons. Both these sides would relish a good FA Cup run to liven up their seasons but Martin Jol will be worried about his side's poor away run. The last time Fulham won on the road was against Wigan on 29 October, but as we all know form counts for little in the Cup."

James Cutler on Twitter: "Win the FA Cup, get into the Champions League. If you want to make it special again, its as simple as that."

1912: We know what it means to Keith Houchen but what does the FA Cup mean to you? An unwanted distraction, or a chance for glory? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

BREAKING TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS: Harry Redknapp picks a strong side to take on Championship side Watford. Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale are rested but Scott Parker, Emmanuel Adebayor, Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe all start. Michael Dawson is captain. Full details and Watford news to follow very shortly.

Tom Rostance reports:
"After a week of off-the-field distraction and newspaper headlines, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will be relieved to return to the dug-out at Vicarage Road. Sean Dyche's Watford side - and the home crowd - will not make it easy for Redknapp but the Tottenham manager knows that his side are one of the favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since 1991."

1904: One person definitely looking forward to tonight's action? Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who has been in court, rather than on the training ground, all week for his tax evasion trial. Redknapp was at Southwark Crown Court this afternoon, but he is at Vicarage Road now.

1900: Keith Houchen, he of the spectacular diving header to help Coventry City sink Tottenham in the 1987 FA Cup final, speaking there (yes, it was me who rang him up this week). You have to admit he has a point. Will Watford, Tottenham, Everton and Fulham field full strength teams this evening? Do they care that much about the Cup? We are about to find out. Welcome to FA Cup fourth-round Friday. I just hope it turns out to be as entertaining as it sounds...

1856: "When teams rest players for the FA Cup, I can never get my head around it. It's a modern-day thing because football for me is about winning trophies. I still get people calling me up 25 years after I won the FA Cup to talk about it. Will players these days get that 25 years on, after just keeping a club in the Premier League for another year?"

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see also
Friday's FA Cup photos
27 Jan 12 |  Football

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