Will Collar’s hat-trick for League Two Stockport County knocked out managerless League One side Charlton Athletic in their FA Cup second round replay.
Charlton, who fired Ben Garner on Monday, took an early lead when County keeper Ben Hinchliffe beat in a corner and the ball bounced off his own defender Akil Wright.
Stockport began to take control of the draw with Collar equalizing as County fended off a number of good first-half efforts.
Ryan Rydel’s free-kick hit Charlton’s post early in the second half before Collar fired home his second from eight yards before converting a penalty shortly after.
County host fellow Ligue 2 side Walsall in the third round on Sunday January 8.
The game was a first in charge for caretaker Addicks boss Anthony Hayes and the Irishman made seven changes to the side which lost 1-0 at Cheltenham in the league on Friday.
But for the most part, Charlton were second best against lower division opponents as they failed to win for a seventh game in a row in all competitions.
Despite a side unchanged from the one that won 5-0 at Hartlepool on Saturday, Stockport found themselves one goal from the game’s first corner. Hinchliffe was blindsided as he fended off a waist-high ball that bounced off defender Wright and dribbled past the line.
County started to get back at it, with Macauley Southam-Hales looking dangerous down the right, and his cross saw Craig MacGillivray pull off a magnificent one-hand save from Paddy Madden’s diving header midway through the first half.
But MacGillivray could do nothing to stop the equalizer when Rydel’s powerful low shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box returned from the foot of the right post and straight to Collar, who made no mistake six yards away.
Charlton were lucky not to concede a 30th-minute penalty when Sean Clare appeared to push Myles Hippolyte, while MacGillivray did well to prevent two Paddy Madden efforts in quick succession five minutes later.
Collar saw a header go away before Rydel hit the post in the 50th minute as Stockport started the second half as they had finished the first.
But they had to wait until the 73rd minute to move forward when Hippolyte’s ball into the box was thrown into Collar’s path by Kyle Wootton and it exploded right-footed.
Collar completed his hat trick from the spot after Ollie Crankshaw was fouled in the penalty area by George Dobson, and although Jack Payne closed in during nine minutes of stoppage time, the woes of Charlton continued.
Stockport County manager Dave Challinor told BBC Radio Manchester:
“It was a bit strange atmosphere, maybe we are a bit victims of our own success, a lot of people came here and maybe more than in other games, expected us to win .
“Maybe it was stopped by us conceding a bad goal and giving ourselves a bit more to do, but once we equalized I thought we had done it then. draw we needed.
“I don’t think we were brilliant, but what we were was we were tough to come up against.
“Will will rightfully get all the applause, he is now back to his goalscoring form he had last year.
“To score a hat trick in any game is a brilliant achievement, to have it on TV in an FA Cup tie that takes us into the third round is really nice and something he will remember for the rest of his life.”
Charlton Athletic caretaker manager Anthony Hayes told BBC Radio London:
“It hasn’t been an easy 48 hours. We have a group of players to prepare for and a cup tie that we wanted to win and go through to the third round. It hasn’t been a comfortable few days.
“We trained on Tuesday morning, we arrived yesterday afternoon, we had some good meetings today but in the end we lost a 3-1 draw in the cup and now we have to focus on the league .
“Where we need to improve as a team, we had very good dominance and control with the ball, but what we didn’t do was dominate enough games by creating chances and then preventing the opposing team to create their own chances.
“We have to be better at dominating games by creating more chances than the opposition and probably being more clinical in the final third. Tonight we didn’t work the goalkeeper enough.”