Player of the Round: Kemar Roofe, Oxford United
The 23-year-old’s permanent move from West Brom to Oxford in the summer has seen him flourish in the fourth tier of English football.
The Baggies’ youth graduate continues to show why he is being tracked by both Premier League and Championship sides in the January transfer window after helping his side cause the biggest upset of the round against Swansea.
With the sides tied 1-1 at half time, the former Colchester forward cut in from the left wing nine minutes into the second half, hitting a beautiful curling shot that beat Swans’ keeper Christopher Nordfelt and nestled into the far corner.
Roofe followed that up ten minutes later, making the most of a blistering counter-attack from a Swansea corner. The attacking midfielder kept his composure to brush past defender Jordi Amat and get a shot away past Nordfelt that gave Oxford an unassailable lead over their Premier League opponents.
Team of the Round: Oxford United
As alluded to above, in a round that saw very few upsets occur, the U’s caused the biggest shock by being the only team outside of English’s top-flight to come away with a win against Premier League opponents, seeing off Alan Curtis’ struggling Swansea at the Kassam Stadium.
The League Two promotion hopefuls had to do it the hard way after going behind midway through the first half when Jefferson Montero finished off a sublime team move for the Welsh side. However, Liam Sercombe’s penalty on the stroke of half-time saw the U’s go in level at the break, with Roofe’s second-half brace giving them a two-goal cushion.
Oxford braved a nervy last 25 minutes after Bafetimbi Gomis’ 66th-minute strike made it 3-2, however that was how the score remained, with Michael Appleton’s outfit now in the bag for the Fourth Round for the first time in 17 years.
Goal of the Round: Barry Bannan (SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY vs Fulham)
Whilst there were a number of sublime strikes in the Third Round, the technique needed for the former Aston Villa man to fire home the opening goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over fellow Championship side Fulham means that Bannan gets the nod on this occasion.
The Scottish midfielder measured the bounce of the ball to unleash a ferocious half-volley from 25 yards which crashed in off the underside of crossbar, in a strike that had shades of Tony Yeboah about it.