Written by Connor Lawson
The most romantic weekend in English football returns this weekend. 48 sides from League One and Two were joined by 32 non-league sides.
With just one game remaining tomorrow night, it seems like a good time to look back at the weekend that was.
It was a weekend of 131 goals, five wins for non-league teams, pitch invasions and controversial decisions.
National League outfit Macclesfield Town beat Walsall away from home thanks to a John McCombe first half header. Whilst there weren’t really any other big upsets, quite a few non-league sides earned replays against higher level opposition. Boreham Wood and Maidstone United, both National League sides picked up draws against Notts County and Rochdale respectively.
Southern League Division One side Taunton Town also got a replay against National League Barrow. Brackley Town drew away to Gillingham, as did Dover at Cambridge. Eastleigh drew at home to Swindon, Solihull forced a replay against Yeovil and the lowest ranked team in the competition, Westfields, conceded late on at home to Curzon Ashton to take the two sides to a replay.
Goals goals goals
I’ve already mentioned there were 131 goals in the First Round (with some more to come tomorrow night, hopefully). Nine of those goals came at Dartford as they fell to a 6-3 defeat to Sutton United, eight goals were scored in one of the games I went to, St. Albans vs Carlisle, which saw the League Two side win 5-3.
National League side Braintree hammered Eastbourne 7-0 at home, and six goals were scored at Sheffield United, Northampton and Stockport.
Five non-league teams progressed to the Second Round, fifteen earned replays, but eleven were knocked out. Merstham, who sit in tier 7 of the English football pyramid, were convincingly beaten 5-0 by Oxford.
Also in tier 7, Stamford, Spennymoor, Harrow and Chesham were all knocked out by league opposition. Whitehawk would argue Stourbridge should have been another tier 7 team knocked out, but the referee blew his full-time whistle as the home side scored a sweet volley.
Two games I went to…
I went to a game on both Saturday and Sunday, as I tried to make the most of one of my favourite weekends of the football calendar. On Saturday, I went to see MK Dons vs Spennymoor Town. The home side were three up in fifteen minutes but Spennymoor got a goal before half-time, and in the second period, got a second and put their all into trying to force a replay, but to no avail. The travelling support was fantastic and made plenty of noise. Their players were clapped off at the end by their adoring away supporters and, indeed, the home supporters. Spennymoor fans will have gone back home very proud of their side.
The second game I saw was St Albans City vs Carlisle. It was a fantastic atmosphere at Clarence Park, and the home side took the lead through a spectacular strike from Junior Morais. They were pegged back just before the break before Carlisle took the lead in the second half. City struck back with Morais again, but three goals in twelve minutes for the visitors, including two Jabo Ibhere headers, put the game to bed. St Albans did get a brilliant goal late on through Louie Theophanous, but it was all too little, too late.
Second Round draw
The draw for the next round will take place on Monday night ahead of the Southport vs Fleetwood game at around 7:10pm on BT Sport. The ball numbers are as follows:
- Sheffield United
- Dagenham & Redbridge or Halifax Town
- Oxford United
- Taunton Town or Barrow
- Southport or Fleetwood Town
- Yeovil Town or Solihull Moors
- Sutton United
- Macclesfield Town
- Port Vale
- Northampton Town
- Cambridge United or Dover Athletic
- Westfields or Curzon Ashton
- Milton Keynes Dons
- Gillingham or Brackley Town
- Alfreton Town or Newport County
- Wycombe Wanderers
- Maidstone United or Rochdale
- Bury or AFC Wimbledon
- Carlisle United
- Boreham Wood or Notts County
- Plymouth Argyle
- Braintree Town
- Hartlepool United
- Bolton Wanderers
- Accrington Stanley
- Oldham Athletic
- Eastleigh or Swindon Town
- Shrewsbury Town
- Morecambe or Coventry City
- Crawley Town or Bristol Rovers
- Whitehawk or Stourbridge
- Lincoln City
- Luton Town
- Charlton Athletic
- Cheltenham Town or Crewe Alexandra
- Peterborough United
Did you go to an FA Cup at the weekend? What is your favourite round of the competition? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by wonker