Brighton & Hove Albion will face Premier League Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane after reaching the fourth round of the competition for the first time in 34 years, following a comfortable 3-0 win over League Two Burton Albion.
After negotiating their way past the potential banana skins of Swindon Town and Cheltenham Town, the Seagulls once again showed their Championship quality to see off lower league opposition.
There were nine changes from the side that was held to a goalless draw by Blackpool at the weekend, with Paddy McCourt making his first start for the club since his summer move.
Gary Gardner may feel he should have given the Seagulls the lead on six minutes, as he side-footed wide after meeting Adam Chicksen’s cross, while Lewis Dunk rescued Albion nine minutes later as he cleared Dominic Knowles’s goal-bound effort off the line.
Albion immediately capitalised on Dunk’s rescue act with Rohan Ince grabbing his second goal in the competition this season. McCourt’s deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Gardner for the midfielder to nod home from under the Burton bar.
Sami Hyypia’s men were controlling possession for large periods and extended their lead when Kazenga LuaLua drove through the centre of the Burton half, ending his run by unleashing an unstoppable right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Chris O’Grady almost added to the Seagulls’ lead with a fine drive from 25 yards that was pushed wide by Burton keeper Jon McLaughin just after the re-start.
The hosts then had a good spell but it was Brighton who found the all-important next goal. The impressive McCourt found space down the right and the Northern Irishman’s deflected cross was hooked in on the volley by Craig Mackail-Smith.
David Stockdale showed strong hands to deny Jacob Blyth and George Taft, while Inigo Calderon disappointingly saw red for a high footed challenge late on, but it didn't stop the Brighton variety of Albion heading into the next round.