Written by Owen Knight
The FA Cup is finally back for the football league, looking to bring with it the added magic it promises year on year. With the introduction of League One and Two teams, it’s bound to be an action packed weekend full of teams hoping to progress and gain a famous cup run towards the third round with the introduction of Premier League teams. For many the cup is just an added bonus, but the prize money on offer will surely put some added pressure on managers from the chairmen, and it has that incentive to give you a healthy budget come the transfer window. For the minnows on the other hand, these can be the biggest games they could ever take part in.
Here are my three games to keep your eye on this coming weekend:
Westfields vs Curzon Ashton
For many the fans the FA Cup starts now, however the loyal viewers of Westfields have already seen their side defeat six opponents in the lead up to the first round proper starting all the way back on the 3rd of September with a 4-0 win at St Ives. Officially the lowest ranked side in the cup this is truly what it is all about, the famous cup run for a team so low is what gets all the attention in the opening rounds. Let’s be honest everyone becomes their secret fan for a couple of games, watching carefully to see how far they can truly go.
Nevertheless it’s not bound to be the most entertaining affair of the weekend, the occasion like many of the games overpower the football on display and the potential holds so much value. On form however Westfields have started well in the Midland Football Premier, starting with 10 wins in 10 they are hoping to bounce-back after defeat in their previous two league games. Curzon Ashton on the other hand are finding themselves in a bit of a struggle in National League North, failing to pick up a home win in the league this season and beating a down in the dumps York in the previous round, Westfields would be right to have confidence going into this tie.
Prediction: Home Win
credit Jon Candy
Peterborough United vs Chesham United
In this encounter we see League 1 opposition face Southern Premier competition. It’s 8th vs 9th respectively, just the four tiers difference between the two. Again there isn’t a lot to talk about in this one, just the huge occasion for the semi-pro footballers who will endeavour the moment they step out to the 15,000+ seated ABAX stadium. Chesham however are no strangers to a giant killing, and managed to see off Darrell Clarke’s high flying Rovers in a 1-0 win in the same round as this. Like Westfields they are also on form with 9 wins in their last 10, a game in which the Posh simply cannot sit back and look for a comfortable win.
Likewise to their opponents the Posh beat Bristol Rovers too, only last weekend where they ran out 2-1 victors, Grant McCann will be expecting nothing but victory to continue in this game and avoid embarrassment at all costs.
Prediction: Home Win
Blackpool vs Kidderminster Harriers
This match-up really puts into perspective the two clubs fall from grace in recent years, Blackpool obviously once a Premier League side now sitting in League Two, and Kidderminster once a team competing for the promotion to the football league, are adjusting to life well in the National League North under ex-Watford, Stoke, Coventry and Derby midfielder John Eustace. Blackpool fans are currently in protest against the Oyston owners, so their team will continue to be without the valuable support, as the fans look to refuse to invest in the club.
This may take some focus and pressure off a Blackpool team and a third placed Kidderminster will surely be looking to take momentum in their stride and look to pull off a giant killing. As always the prize money is a massive incentive for these teams and a lot of stake should set up a tasty offering on Sunday afternoon. Along with Blackpool’s issues they face the problem of two games in three days, as they face Everton U23’s in the following game, and therefore will have to be prioritising which players to risk in this game.
Prediction: Away Win
Where will I be?
This weekend I will be attending Cheltenham vs Crewe in the FA Cup, a team we beat 2-0 earlier on in the season. As always the all important win to progress is at stake. However there is a little bit of history between the two as Crewe beat us 2-0 in a League Two play off final at Wembley, in which then the highly touted wonder kid Nick Powell scored a screamer. I’ll be highly anticipating a second successive win over them this season, as it’s always nice to get one over the Railwaymen after the pain and upset of that final them years ago.
Wherever you are this weekend let us know? Why not make your own predictions? Feel free to comment below!
featured image by Jon Candy