PHIL PARKINSON believes his Bradford City team are capable of mixing it at a higher level on a regular basis after they came within minutes of adding Championship Millwall to their long list of Cup scalps.
Ricardo Fuller’s late equaliser spared Millwall’s blushes by securing an FA Cup third round replay with League One Bradford after a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Fuller struck in the 83rd minute to complete a quickfire double for the Championship outfit - adding to Scott McDonald’s first-half goal - that cancelled out Sid Nelson’s own goal and Billy Knott strikes in either half.
“Scoring three goals away from home, we fully expect to win the game, but they have quality. As much as we played in a positive manner, their quality showed in the final third,” said Parkinson. “We are still in the hat and we look forward to the replay.
“It was a test and we set out to see how we looked against a Championship team - an interesting benchmark to see where we stand as individuals in the team - and I thought we went toe to toe with them.
Former Huddersfield Town midfielder Oliver Norwood shot down his old club with the vital pass which secured a 1-0 win for Reading at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Norwood, a £1.2m buy from Town in August, threaded the ball through for substitute Nick Blackman to drill Reading into the fourth round and settle a largely disappointing game.
Town boss Chris Powell wanted more from his players and could not explain the poor performance.
“It was a flat game with no real quality,” he said. “It’s a shame because we took it seriously and didn’t make wholesale changes.
“I put out an attacking side but we never got ourselves or the game going. The only shot on target was a goal.
“We were looking for some bright play and some enthusiasm but I am at a loss as to how it could be like that.”
Championship leaders Bournemouth trailed Rotherham United early on after Richard Brindley struck in the 10th minute but roared back to win 5-1 with goals from Shaun MacDonald, Junior Stanislas, Ryan Fraser and two from Yann Kermorgant
Rotherham assistant manager Paul Raynor fumed at the display and said new signings will be brought in.
He said: “Some of the defending was absolutely awful and (goalkeeper) Adam Collin got no protection at all.
“You have to take defeats from time to time but the manner of the performance second half was not something we’re used to seeing.
“We will make changes. We will be better. We will improve. The calls are already in and we are hoping for positive feedback.
“We have identified the type of player we want to bring into the football club. They are young and hungry.”
The start of Barnsley’s clash with Middlesbrough was delayed by fears over a gas leak, and it was the visitors who emerged triumphant 2-0 thanks to goals from Jelle Vossen and Daniel Ayala, despite having Adam Clayton sent off.
Barnsley manager Danny Wilson said: “Of course I’m disappointed. We’d set a certain game-plan up to frustrate them because they’re a very good side.
“They had some chances in the first half and there were a couple of good saves from Ross (Turnbull), but we did stifle them.
“They’re a very good side and you can see them challenging right to the death.”
Boro manager Aitor Karanka added: “The main thing is to get through though so the work is done.
“I’d have been happier if we’d scored our chances. We have to improve and keep concentrating.”
Doncaster Rovers are the other Yorkshire team who played on Saturday who remain in the draw after drawing 1-1 with Leagoe One leaders Bristol City.
Matt Smith cancelled out Luke McCullough’s opener to earn City a 1-1 draw.
Rovers boss Paul Dickov was delighted with his team’s display and excigted avbout still being in the draw for the fourth round.
“We’ll take a lot of confidence from this,” he said.
“I’m delighted with the effort of the boys. We played a really good team and we restricted them to limited chances.”