LONDON (AFP) - Premier League Portsmouth sneaked into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday after an own-goal in the third minute of stoppage time by Preston defender Darren Carter secured a 1-0 victory at Deepdale.
England goalkeeper David James had earlier kept Portsmouth in the Cup with two superb second-half saves, including one from a penalty.
In Sunday's other fifth round tie, Pompey's top-flight rivals Middlesbrough were forced into a replay after a goalless draw away to Championship side Sheffield United.
That looked like being the outcome for Pompey against Championship strugglers Preston until Carter put through his own goal as he tried to clear a corner which had appeared to be handled, albeit accidentally, by Portsmouth's Hermann Hreidarsson.
"The Cup's about winning, however you do it, whenever you do it, the last minute is fine for us," James said.
Portsmouth, tipped by some pundits to end the 13-year monopoly on the FA Cup enjoyed by Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, failed to make the most of their first-half chances.
They were almost made to pay dearly by a side battling to avoid relegation to the third-tier of English football.
On the hour mark, defender Sylvain Distin clipped Preston's Billy Jones inside the box and the home side had a penalty.
But James, guessing correctly, dived to his right to block Simon Whaley's spot-kick.
It was not the first time this season the in-form 37-year-old James had played a key role in a win for the south coast club, who last lifted the FA Cup way back in 1939.
"When they got the penalty, you were quietly confident he was going to save it, he's that good," said Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp. "You wouldn't want anybody else in the goal at that time but him.
"I thought whoever is taking this is going to be looking at David James knowing he's got a real job on their hands to beat him and that's how it turned out. He's fantastic."
Then Preston substitute Neil Mellor, like James a former Liverpool player, saw the England No 1 athletically save his well-struck curling shot.
Redknapp admitted his team had been fortunate to escape a replay against a Preston side that belied their league position.
"They didn't deserve to lose that game. If they played like that every week they wouldn't be in a relegation battle."
At Bramall Lane, Sheffield United striker James Beattie hit the outside of the post for the hosts just before half-time with a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Boro almost won the game in stoppage time when defender Emanuel Pogatetz's close-range header was blocked in what was Kevin Blackwell's first match as Sheffield United manager following his appointment as successor to Bryan Robson.
"We've got to believe in ourselves. There's a decent set of players here, it's a terrific stadium, a great crowd, there's plenty to build on," said Blackwell.
Sunday's results meant that four clubs from the Premier League (Middlesbrough, Chelsea, Manchester United and Portsmouth), four from the second-tier Championship (West Brom, Barnsley, Cardiff and Sheffield United) and one from third division League One (Bristol Rovers) would feature in Monday's quarter-final draw.
Barnsley made it through on Saturday courtesy of a dramatic 2-1 victory away to five-times European champions Liverpool, coming from behind at Anfield to score the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.
Holders Chelsea beat Huddersfield 3-1 while Manchester United, last season's beaten finalists, thrashed Premier League leaders Arsenal 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Bristol Rovers, the lowest-ranked club left in the draw, enjoyed a 1-0 win at home to Championship Southampton.
Cardiff reached the quarter-finals for the first time since they won the Cup in 1927, with a 2-0 victory against Wolves while, in Saturday's other all-Championship clash, West Brom overpowered Coventry 5-0.
|Courtois relishing Chelsea encounter|
|Gray: Lambert is running out of time|
|Martino feels responsible for Barca struggles|
|Carroll still seeking full fitness - Allardyce|
|Keller eyes response to Stuttgart loss|
|Sherwood ´fearful´ of losing Eriksen|
|We were our own worst enemy - Rooney|
|Xavi: Barca still fighting|
|Injured duo a concern for Bruce|
|Rodgers enjoying Liverpool freedom|
|Carragher slams ´worst´ United performance|
|Harnik lauds Stuttgart display|
|Girard calls for focus|
|Colombia Primera A Wrap: Envigado seal top-eight place|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Toluca v Cruz Azul|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: The Strongest eye top spot|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Saprissa rout Belen Siglo XXI|
|Brazil Serie A Wrap: Fluminense, Sao Paulo win big|
|Liga MX Wrap: Top two beaten|
|Marseille reach agreement with Bielsa|
|Venezuela Primera Division Wrap: Three and easy for Zamora|
|Ranieri delighted with Monaco character|
|Martino relieved to beat Bilbao|
|La Liga Wrap: Barcelona back in title race, Sevilla three points off fourth|
|Jesus: Unforgettable night for Benfica|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Ajaccio relegated, Monaco secure top-three spot|
|La Liga: Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 1|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Emelec extend lead, Independiente lose again|
|CAF Confederation Cup Wrap: Kaizer Chiefs face uphill battle, Cotonsport take narrow lead|
|Rodgers lauds ´mature´ Sterling|
|Benfica crowned Primeira Liga champions|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Stuttgart move clear as Nuremberg lose again|
|Martinez delighted with squad effort|
|PEC Zwolle thrash sorry Ajax to win KNVB Beker|
|Moyes rubbishes Welbeck exit talk|
|Blanc keen for PSG extension|
|Moyes bemoans ´terrible´ goals|
|Injuries and schedule hampered Arsenal, says Wenger|
|Martinez hails ´adaptable´ Everton|
|Bruce focused solely on survival|
|Premier League: Everton 2 Manchester United 0|
|Adams bullish over survival hopes|
|Thai Premier League Wrap: Bangkok Glass edge thriller, Muang Thong win again|
|Ramsey pleased to be back|
|Rodgers hails complete performance|
|Turan poised for Atletico return|
|Wenger delighted with Arsenal display|
|Lerner coy on Villa takeover talk|
|Totti proud of Roma exploits|
|Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying: Mauritius 0 Mauritania 2 (0-3 agg)|
|Premier League: Hull City 0 Arsenal 3|
|Bartomeu: Barca must take care of Messi|
|Ronaldo boost for Real|
|CSL Wrap: Vagner Love hat-trick inspires Luneng, Evergrande victorious|
|Adams rues first-half display|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid v Chelsea|
|Suarez calls for Liverpool calm|
|Pochettino keen to help youngsters develop|
|Eriksen´s commitment impresses Sherwood|
|Premier League: Norwich City 2 Liverpool 3|
|Neuer set to return for Real clash|
|Pogba coy over future|
|Westermann puzzled by Wolfsburg defeat|
|Conte champions Giovinco cause|
|K-League Wrap: Pohang stay top, Suwon held by Ulsan|
|J.League Wrap: Vissel Kobe hit the front, Sanfrecce held|
|Anything possible from Sunderland, says Poyet|
|Matic quashes complacency talk|
|Title win would make Gerrard the world´s best, says Suarez|
|Cambiasso optimistic over World Cup chances|
|Allardyce understands fans´ frustration|
|Magath hopeful on trio´s return|
|Monk hails Bony contribution|
|Gerrard had given up on Premier League|
|MLS Wrap: Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten|
|Coupe de la Ligue win important, says Cavani|
|Garde: Referee cost us|
|Reus demands Dortmund momentum|
|Early goal crucial, says Wolfsburg´s Olic|
|Montella rejects talk of Fiorentina exit|
|Van Gaal arrival would ensure van Persie stay|
|Chiellini: ´We have to thank Roma´|
|Ruddy ready for nemesis Suarez|
|Maiden Milan header pleases Balotelli|
|Muller: Bayern fought well|
|Baines: Martinez backs Everton style|
|Garcia delighted with top-two finish|
|AFC Champions League Preview: All to play for in Group G|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Gremio away at San Lorenzo|
|Serie A Wrap: Roma best Fiorentina but Juve remain clear at the top|
|Result all that counts for Blanc|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Sporting win keeps Benfica waiting on title, Pacos thrashed at home|
|Coupe de la Ligue: Lyon 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|La Liga Wrap: Late goals crucial for Real Sociedad, Valencia|
|Poyet wants Sunderland to earn survival reward|
|Livorno dismiss Di Carlo, re-hire Nicola|
|Conte thrilled with ´good step forward´|
|Championship Preview: Wigan out to thwart Burnley, Leicester on verge of title|
|O´Shea credits Poyet´s words|
|UEFA to announce Financial Fair Play findings next month|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Hamburg beaten, Freiburg see off Monchengladbach|
|Mourinho offers withering referee ´congratulations´|
|Klopp dismisses Barca rumours|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: Sutton denies Celtic, Saints beat United|
|Premier League: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2|
|Serie A: Juventus 1 Bologna 0|
|Lambert happy after ´difficult week´ ends well|
|Allardyce singles out Armero for costly error|
|Hughes disagrees with Cardiff penalty decision|
|Monk: Win proved Swansea are united|
|Pulis hails Palace unity|
|Penalty call lifted Cardiff, says Solskjaer|
|Pochettino blasts ´unexplainable´ penalty decision|
|Bayern need to be ´outstanding´ against Real, says Guardiola|
|Pardew stunned by late Bony winner|
|League Two Preview: Torquay set for the drop as relegation battle heats up|
|Football League Wrap: Millwall climb out of bottom three|
|Seedorf coy on Milan future|
|Mazzarri demands continued Inter focus|
|CAF Confederation Cup: Nkana 0 Bizertin 0|
|Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Swansea City 2|
|Premier League: Cardiff City 1 Stoke City 1|
|Premier League: West Ham 0 Crystal Palace 1|
|Premier League: Aston Villa 0 Southampton 0|
|Sherwood praises ´world-class´ Lloris|
|Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund 4 Mainz 2|
|Bundesliga: Eintracht Braunschweig 0 Bayern Munich 2|
|Magath eyes home wins|
|League One Preview: Wolves poised to seal title|
|Serie A: Milan 3 Livorno 0|
|Serie A: Parma 0 Inter 2|
|Sandro must work hard, says Sherwood|
|Moyes holds Mata in high regard|
|Ranieri calls for Monaco response|
|Premier League: Tottenham 3 Fulham 1|
|Henry: Liverpool ahead of schedule|
|De Laurentiis: Hamsik not for sale|
|Martino ´not optimistic´ over Neymar return|
|Farina unsure over Del Piero future|
|Surgeon: Falcao may not be fully fit for Word Cup|
|Bruce pleads patience from Aluko|
|Wenger pays tribute to Giroud´s mental resolve|
|A-League: Central Coast Mariners 1 Adelaide United 0|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Jones: Liverpool´s best chance for the title|
|Sherwood: I don´t know best Spurs XI|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester City v West Brom|
|Rodgers: Henderson still vital|
|Lallana: League One was beneficial|
|Leaked line-up no big deal, says Allardyce|
|Moyes wants respect from Everton fans|
|Rodgers: Gerrard is world´s best holding midfielder|
|Silva: PSG must win Coupe de la Ligue|
|Toshack: Messi not to blame for slump|
|Rolando wants Inter stay|
|Juventus must beat Bologna, says Pogba|
|Simeone: Perseverance paid off|
|Keller wary of unlucky Stuttgart|