Watford 2 Chelsea 2
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Watford had been lucky to take the lead through Heidar Helguson, as they were awarded a goal that clearly had not crossed the line, and after a Eidur Gudjohnsen penalty had levelled things up, benefited from a Neil Sullivan error to retake the lead through Gavin Mahon.
However, Chelsea again tied things up before the break through Frank Lampard - and aside from surviving a penalty scare when Mahon looked to have been felled by William Gallas - it was the top-flight side that looked the most likely to emerge victorious.
The first half had provided everyone with a nostalgic reminder of the magic of the FA Cup, complete with a quagmire of a pitch and a plucky underdog.
Less magic was the manner in which Watford took an unlikely early lead.
Helguson's header hit the bar and bounced down, but was as close to crossing the line as the hapless Sullivan had been to getting a hand to the effort in the first place. However, referee Alan Wiley took the advice of his linesman and awarded the goal.
An equaliser was always likely and duly provided by a Chelsea owned player: Watford's on-loan Blue Lenny Pidgeley hauling down Jesper Gronkjaer in the area and allowing Gudjohnsen to convert with aplomb from the penalty spot.
The Watford fans still had their heads in the hands when their side again took the lead, with Sullivan wrongly opting to come for a cross and leaving himself way out of position when Marcus Gayle headed back across for Mahon to gleefully nod into the empty net.
The Hornets were desperate too cling onto the lead until the break, but it was not to be, and Lampard levelled things up with a well-taken low shot after Glen Johnson's pass across the edge of the area had run kindly for the England international.
The Blues could have been ahead two minutes later, but Gronkjaer's customary good run ended in a customary over-hit pass to the back post, and Gudjohnsen picked the wrong body part to meet the ball with - cushioning his effort back to the grateful Pidgeley.
Watford will feel that the luck that had handed them an opener was more than righted when they were not awarded a second half penalty.
Gallas looked to have made contact with Mahon when he moved the ball quickly away from the Chelsea defender - but referee Wiley was adamant that it was not a foul.
Gudjohnsen tumbled with aplomb in the area at the other end but was rightfully told that his dive would not result in a penalty, and Gronkjaer drove just wide after good work from the Danish winger.
Substitute Danny Webber forced a save from Neil Sullivan in the closing stages, but neither side could add to the half time score, and the tie will be replayed at Stamford Bridge.