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.
|Ronaldo omitted from Portugal squad|
|Academica 1 Vitoria Setubal 1: Paulo Sergio´s men still waiting for first win|
|Marseille 4 Nice 0: Payet helps secure first home win for Bielsa|
|Go Ahead Eagles 1 Willem II 0: Vriends on target as hosts clinch win|
|Augsburg 2 Borussia Dortmund 3: Ramos strike proves crucial for visitors|
|McCarthy completes QPR switch|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Saint-Etienne: Injury-hit champions set for stern test|
|Tottenham v Liverpool: Rodgers downplays Balotelli arrival|
|Montpellier and Spurs agree Stambouli fee|
|Torres set for two-year Milan loan|
|Real Sociedad v Real Madrid: Ancelotti´s men on the road after departures|
|Bamford loaned to Middlesbrough|
|Gallifuoco makes Swansea move|
|Aston Villa v Hull City: Visitors seek Europa League hangover cure|
|Douglas completes Barca switch|
|Van Gaal hits out at Hodgson over Shaw|
|Villarreal v Barcelona: Rakitic grounded after promising start|
|Lallana poised for Liverpool debut|
|Mourinho bullish on Torres future|
|Clasie signs Feyenoord extension|
|Allegri raring to go|
|Two changes to Netherlands squad|
|Milan v Lazio: Inzaghi and Pioli reigns get under way|
|Costa still in contention for Everton|
|Squad size crucial for marathon season - Garcia|
|Leicester City v Arsenal: Wenger predicts tough challenge|
|Pellegrini hopes CSKA have learned lessons|
|Ibe opts for Derby switch|
|New faces in Spain squad|
|Holders Sevilla handed difficult Europa League draw|
|Egypt v Kenya: Williams era begins in Aswan|
|Pardew: Newcastle move key to Colback call-up|
|Van Gaal had not expected Rojo delay|
|Alonso: Kroos arrival not a factor|
|McGregor commits to Celtic|
|McGregor commits to Celtic|
|Low picks 18 World Cup winners for final rematch|
|Wenger coy over new signings|
|Redknapp ready to sign new QPR deal|
|Palace hand Bolasie new deal, table Traore bid|
|Alonso finalises move to Bayern Munich|
|Qualification a ´big step´ for Saint-Etienne|
|Thohir coy on Lavezzi talk|
|Faurlin injury curse strikes again|
|PSG president confident after Champions League draw|
|Hull closing on Hernandez deal|
|Warnock held Palace talks last year|
|Slomka cools Holtby talk|
|Slomka cools Holtby talk|
|Marotta confident of Juventus success|
|Marotta confident of Juventus success|
|Aguirre: New era for Japanese football|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia go top|
|Torino v Inter: Visitors out to maintain dominance|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Penarol cruise into second round, Cesar Vallejo do it tough|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Uruguay remain winless|
|Ronaldo backs Di Maria to shine at United|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Velez stay perfect, Sanchez inspires River|
|Copa do Brasil Review: Cruzeiro win big, Corinthians lose|
|Barca wary of ´difficult´ opponents|
|Ronaldo confident after Champions League draw|
|´Not an easy´ draw for Dortmund|
|Bruce laments ´worst´ elimination|
|UEFA Europa League Play-Off Review: Lyon and Sociedad dumped out, Inter win big|
|Robinson joins QPR|
|Mazzarri lauds Kovacic development|
|Townsend eager to get back to full fitness|
|Tottenham 3 AEL 0 (agg 5-1): Spurs cruise into Europa League proper|
|Leicester complete sensational Cambiasso swoop|
|Del Piero confirms move to Indian Super League|
|Hull City 2 Lokeren 1 (agg 2-2): Lokeren progress despite Brady brace|
|Benatia excited to face Roma|
|Inter 6 Stjarnan 0 (agg 9-0): Kovacic treble sees hosts cruise through|
|Championship Preview: Redfearn in charge for Bolton clash, Magath eyes first league win|
|Newcastle United v Crystal Palace: Warnock kicks off second Palace stint|
|Atletico Madrid v Eibar: Champions seek first win|
|Rodgers excited about ´special´ draw|
|Manchester City v Stoke City: Pellegrini could chop and change|
|Warnock has no issues with Puncheon|
|Sacked Hockaday´s tenure at Leeds lasts just six games|
|Palace re-sign Zaha on loan|
|Burnley v Manchester United: Van Gaal hoping to kickstart recovery|
|Ronaldo named Europe´s best|
|Swansea City v West Brom: Monk wants Liberty fortress|
|Cameroon confident DR Congo clash will go ahead|
|West Ham v Southampton: Koeman anticipating physical West Ham challenge|
|Hughes expecting tough City test|
|Holders Real set for Liverpool test|
|Monk targeting two more additions|
|Koeman keen for ´difficult´ transfer window to end|
|Van Basten absent due to health issues|
|League Two Preview: Morecambe chase another win, giant-killers back in action|
|Irvine eyeing another winger|
|Van Gaal confirms more signings to come|
|Barca are constantly improving, says Rakitic|
|Di Maria is not ´the miracle´, says Van Gaal|
|Torres Milan move ´a real possibility´|
|Juventus v Chievo: Allegri begins quest to replicate Conte success|
|League One Preview: MK Dons and Orient aim to follow up historic wins|
|Schalke v Bayern Munich: Benatia in line for debut|
|Pirlo blow for Juve|
|Napoli defender Ghoulam suffers fractured arm|
|QPR v Sunderland: Redknapp desperate for points|
|Everton v Chelsea: Costa absence could prove costly|
|Deschamps makes two changes to France squad|
|Warnock excited by Palace challenge|
|Lambert: Delph deserves England call-up|
|Aguirre names five uncapped players in Japan squad|
|Ki signs new four-year Swansea deal|
|CSL Preview: Lippi returns to dugout, Beijing Guoan host rock-bottom Harbin Yiteng|
|J.League Preview: Yoshida out to keep pressure on Urawa|
|Chambers, Delph, Colback win England call-ups|
|Rooney named new England captain|
|Costa in doubt for Everton trip|
|Ross County sack Adams|
|Platini wants more UEFA representatives at World Cup|
|Allardyce hints at big-name signing|
|Platini will not challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency|
|Bruce convinced of qualification|
|Alonso set to swap Madrid for Munich|
|Pochettino to use MK Dons as an example|
|Champions League difficult for Arsenal - Bilic|
|Redknapp takes aim at ´really poor´ QPR|
|MLS Preview: Timbers braced for ´massive´ clash in Vancouver|
|Los Angeles Galaxy 4 DC United 1: Arena´s side show quality|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Libertad among teams to progress|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca in seventh heaven, Leon held|
|LDU Quito 3 Deportivo Quito 0: Hosts earn bragging rights against rivals|
|Johnson calm over future|
|Kiessling hails Leverkusen|
|Benitez: Mistakes cost Napoli Champions League spot|
|K. League Preview: Seoul eyeing winning streak|
|Liga MX Preview: Monterrey looking to build momentum|
|Valverde hails ´historic day´ for Bilbao|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Mixed results for Europe´s big guns, Moti the hero for Ludogorets|