FA Cup 2016-17 1st Qualifying Round Review

Goals! Goals! Goals!

Chippenham Town from the Southern League Premier Division were the biggest victors winning 9-0 at home to Moneyfields from Wessex League Premier Division which equals their biggest ever FA Cup win when they beat Devizes Town by the same score in the 1945/46 season. For Moneyfields it is their heaviest FA Cup defeat surpassing the 8-1 loss to Team Bath nine years ago.

Also scoring nine goals in the round were Tonbridge Angels from Isthmian League Premier Division although theirs were spread across two matches against Ascot United from Hellenic League Premier Division. The 7-0 replay win represents the Kent club’s biggest FA Cup win since they incorporated the word ‘Angels’ into their following reformation of the club in 1994. It was by far and away the biggest FA Cup defeat for Ascot United in their short history in the competition having only ever lost by one goal in the past.

For Ashton Athletic of North West Counties League Premier Division their 7-2 home win over Mossley from Northern Premier League Division One North was the biggest in the club’s FA Cup history easily trumping their previous best win a 3-2 victory over Maltby Main last year. For Mossley seven goals is the most they have ever conceded in an FA Cup match.

Southern League Premier Division side Kings Langley recorded their biggest margin of victory in the FA Cup by winning 6-1 against Sporting Bengal United from the Essex Senior League. The Hertfordshire club have once scored more goals in a 7-4 win over Apsley (Hemel Hempstead Town) in the 1945-46 season. For the Bengal Tigers this is their biggest ever FA Cup defeat displacing their 4-0 loss to Ware eight years ago.

Northern Premier League Premier Division club Ilkeston recorded their biggest FA Cup victory by winning 6-0 at East Midlands Counties League side Ashby Ivanhoe in their opponent’s first ever FA Cup campaign. Ilkeston’s previous best win was a 5-1 victory over Belper Town four years ago.

Southern League Premier Division side King’s Lynn Town won 6-1 at home to Brigg Town from Northern Counties East League Division One but this fell short of their record FA Cup win, a 7-0 victory over Boston Town just two seasons ago. League rivals Slough Town also won 6-1 against Chipstead from Isthmian League Division One South, but this was still behind their best FA Cup win, an 8-0 defeat of Feltham in 1990/91 season. For Chipstead it was the fifth time they have conceded six goals in an FA Cup match.

Northern Premier League Division One South side Gresley recorded their best FA Cup win with a 6-2 victory at Deeping Rangers from United Counties League Premier Division. The margin of victory was the same as the 4-0 win over Quorn six years ago, whilst Deeping suffered their heaviest loss the worst previously being a 4-1 reverse against Rugby Town ten years ago.

League rivals Lincoln United also set a new personal best winning 6-1 at home to East Midlands Counties league side Dunkirk. They reportedly opened the scoring within a second of kick-off, which if true would be regarded as the fastest goal ever in the FA Cup, and probably of all time. The margin of victory equalled that of their 5-0 win over Winsford United in 2004/05 season, whilst for Dunkirk it was their heaviest defeat surpassing the 4-1 loss to Alvechurch eight years ago.

Isthmian League Premier Division side AFC Sudbury won 6-0 at home to Halstead Town from Eastern Counties League Division One, including four goals scored by Luke Callander, but this is way short of their biggest win, a 9-0 thumping of Berkhamsted 13 years ago, but for Halstead it does equal their biggest margin of defeat having lost 7-1 twice and 6-0 once in the past.

For Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate and Finchley their 5-0 win at Waltham Abbey from the league below equalled their previous best FA Cup victory 14 years ago over Witham Town. For Waltham Abbey it represents their worst ever defeat, the previous worst being a 4-2 defeat to Eastbourne Borough four years ago.

Southern League Division One Central club Farnborough won 5-0 at Andover Town from Wessex League Premier Division, a new highest victory bettering the 3-0 win over Heybridge Swifts in 2009/10 season.

 

Scoring Feats

There were amazing scoring feats amongst the 515 goals scored in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round. As well as the breakneck speed of the Lincoln United opener, there were spectacular long range efforts as well. Northern Premier League Premier Division side Spennymoor Town opened the scoring in their 5-3 win over Radcliffe Borough from a league below courtesy of a 90 yard goal kick from their keeper Dan Lowson. Remarkably this was also the only goal of the first half with the other seven all being scored in the second period.

Another long-range effort was produced by Tom Tonks of Northern Premier League Premier Division side Stourbridge who lived up to his name with a precision shot from just inside the half defended by Peterborough Sports of United Counties League Premier Division which contributed to the Glassboys 3-1 victory.

Aaron O’Connor of Southern League Premier side Kettering Town had a dramatic final minute in their FA Cup tie at Northern Premier League Division One South club Leek Town. First he fired a penalty wide past the post in the 90th minute that would have won the tie, but then popped up 60 seconds later to give Kettering a 3-2 victory.

 

Uncharted Territory

Alongside Southern League Division 1 South and West Clubs Hereford and Salisbury, who are both competing in their first FA Cup campaign, there are nine clubs who will be appearing in the Second Qualifying Round for the first time ever. Of these clubs Combined Counties League Premier Division side Colliers Wood United have competed in the most FA Cup campaigns with the 2016-17 season being their 11th foray into the competition.

Seven of the other clubs had never even been in the First Qualifying Round before this season never mind the Second and these include Northern Counties East League Premier Division club Handsworth Parramore, North West Counties League Premier Division club Ashton Athletic, United Counties League Premier Division side Kirby Muxloe, Wessex League Premier Division side Alresford Town and Hellenic League Premier Division club Brimscombe and Thrupp.

Hadley, from Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, are also amongst these clubs going at least two rounds further than they have ever done so before, and they face Kings Langley from Southern League Premier Division who are also appearing in the Second Qualifying Round for the first time ever, guaranteeing at least one first-timer in the Third Qualifying Round. Sevenoaks Town from the Southern Counties East League Premier Division are also in the Second Qualifying Round for the first time ever in their 12th campaign.

Northern Counties East League Premier club AFC Mansfield are competing in their second FA Cup campaign and are doing considerably better than the first time around which saw them lose in the Extra Preliminary Round, so now they are already three rounds further on than they have ever been before.

 

Maybe This Time

There are nine other clubs appearing in the Second Qualifying Round for whom this is the further they have ever gone in the competition and who will be looking to at last make the next round. It is Isthmian League Division One South club Faversham Town who have competed in the FA Cup the most amongst this group having had 38 campaigns already to try to make the Third Qualifying Round and this will be the eighth time the club has appeared at this stage of the competition. Also making their eighth Second Qualifying Round appearance is Isthmian League Division One North side Thamesmead Town in their 23rd campaign, whilst Waltham Forest from the Essex Senior League are making their fourth Second Qualifying Round appearance in their 22nd campaign.

Despite being on the brink of folding during the summer, Southern League Division One Central club Beaconsfield SYCOB are at least going to equal their best FA Cup run for the eighth time in 20 seasons. VCD Athletic, from Isthmian League division One North, and Westfields, from Midland Football League Premier Division, have both in their 17th FA Cup campaign, whilst Felixstowe and Walton United from Eastern Counties League Premier Division are in their 15th. The latter two clubs are appearing in the Second Qualifying Round for only the second time.

Southern League Division One Central side AFC Dunstable are in the Second Qualifying Round for the second time in their 6th campaign, as are Western League Premier Division club Cadbury Heath in what is their 10th campaign despite first entering the FA Cup in the 1931-32 season. Wessex League Premier Division side AFC Portchester have made the Second Qualifying Round for the third time in just their sixth campaign, whilst the current incarnation of Farsley Celtic from Northern Premier League Division One North are here for the second time in their 5th campaign.

Glad to be Back

It has been 35 years since Highgate United, playing in the Midland Football League Premier Division, have appeared in the Second Qualifying Round, whilst Northern League Division One club Morpeth Town have waited 17 years. Egham Town, from Southern League Division One Central, are back after 15 years, Northern Counties East League Premier Division club Bridlington Town return after 13 years, Highworth United from Hellenic League Premier Division are back after 11 years, and Walton Casuals from Isthmian League Division One North have waited eight years before being back in Second Qualifying Round.

 

Phew

Isthmian League Premier Division Club Havant and Waterlooville and Southern League Premier Division club Hayes and Yeading United are both breathing a big sigh of relief having both avoided being knocked out of the FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round for the first time. Other clubs who defended longstanding records of always making it beyond the First Qualifying Round include Hyde United from Northern Premier League Division One North (23 years), Workington from Northern Premier League Premier Division (13 years) and Staines Town from Isthmian League Premier Division (10 years).

 

Darn It

Conversely, three clubs have exited the FA Cup as early as the First Qualifying Round for the first time in a while. All three currently play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division: Buxton, who’d gone 11 years; Ashton United, eight years; and Skelmersdale United six.

 

Small Consolation?

Being knocked out of the FA Cup is never a pleasant experience, but for some players they can console and congratulate themselves on at least setting a new personal best for the club. Sawbridgeworth Town from the Essex Senior League were in their 17th FA Cup campaign whilst League rivals Sporting Bengal United were in their 10th. Hellenic League Premier Division club Ascot United were competing in their 6th campaign, Southern Counties East League club Ashford United in their 5th, and Portishead Town from Western League Division One their 3rd.

Wessex League Premier Division club Andover Town and Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Sun Sports were both in just their second campaign, whilst Midland League Premier Division club Coventry United, Leicester Road from Midland League Division One, Ashby Ivanhoe from the East Midlands Counties League and Combined Counties League Premier Division club CB Hounslow United were all in their debut FA Cup season, each holding enviable records of having won more FA Cup matches than they have lost.

Other clubs have been knocked out of the competition but can at least claim to have equalled their best ever FA Cup run. Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division clubs London Colney and Biggleswade United were knocked out in the First Qualifying Round for the 8th and 6th FA Cup time respectively. For Wantage Town from Southern League South and West it was the fourth time in eight seasons, whilst for South West Peninsula League Premier Division club Plymouth Parkway it is the fourth time in just their fifth ever FA Cup campaign they have gone out in this round. For United Counties League Premier Division side Peterborough Sports and Northern Counties East League Division One club Pontefract Collieries it is their 3rd First Qualifying Round exit, whilst for Isthmian League Division One North club Brightlingsea Regent it is their second in just their fourth campaign.

For other clubs reaching the First Qualifying Round represents their best FA Cup run in a while. Eynesbury Rovers from United Counties League Premier Division had had to wait 21 years since last making it this far in the competition. For the aforementioned Pontefract Collieries it had been 19 years, for Winsford United from Northern Counties East League Premier Division it had been 12 years, and Cheadle Town from North West Counties League Division One had had to wait nine.

 

Long Time No See

A whole bunch of clubs were hoping to make it to the Second Qualifying Round for the first time in a while, but failed yet again to do so. The ones who have had to wait the longest include Arundel from Southern Combination League Premier Division who’ve gone 30 years now since last going beyond the First Qualifying Round. It is 29 years and 26 years respectively for League rivals Eastbourne United and Pagham, whilst Heanor Town from Midland Football League Premier Division have now gone 24 years since victory at this stage.

 

The Cupsets Floweth Over

This year’s First Qualifying Round has thrown up more than its fair share of surprises with lower league clubs beating higher league opposition in 14 ties. Midland Football League Clubs Westfields and Highgate United both had impressive home victories over Sothern League Premier Division opposition two steps above them winning 4-0 and 3-1 against St Ives Town and Leamington respectively. Their reward for these terrific Cup upsets is to face each other in the Second Qualifying Round.

AFC Mansfield from the Northern Counties East League Premier Division also beat Southern League Premier Division opponents winning 2-1 against Stratford Town, whilst Dunston UTS from Northern League Division One won 2-1 at Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Skelmersdale United having been taken back to their place for a replay.

Three other Step 5 clubs also beat higher league opponents. Northern League Division One club Bishop Auckland had a massive 5-1 home victory over Ossett Albion from Northern Premier League Division One North. Southern Counties East League Premier club Sevenoaks Town beat Lewes from Isthmian League Division One South 2-1 in a replay after holding them at their ground, whilst AFC Portchester from Wessex League Premier Division won 2-1 away at Bideford who play in Southern League Division One South and West.

Three Step 4 clubs also won away at Step 3 grounds. Southern League Division One Central side Histon won 2-0 at Lowestoft Town from Isthmian League Premier Division, whilst two Northern Premier League Division One South clubs, Belper Town and Kidsgrove Athletic, both won 2-1 at Northern Premier League Premier Division clubs Hednesford Town and Stafford Rangers respectively.

 

Best Served Cold

Several clubs have exacted revenge for previous FA Cup defeats by the same opposition with some waiting longer than others to savour the sweet taste. Northern Premier League Division One North side Burscough beat Maine Road from North West Counties League Premier Division 4-3, 26 years after the second of two successive FA Cup defeats to the same club. Wingate and Finchley from Isthmian League Premier Division avenged a 6-2 defeat by Isthmian League Division One North club Waltham Abbey 11 years ago by winning 5-0 and effectively creating a 7-6 aggregate scoreline in their favour.

Northern Counties East League Premier Division club Bridlington Town beat Newcastle Benfield from Northern League Division One 2-0 at the third time of asking having lost both previous times in successive seasons eight and nine years ago. Also exacting revenge after eight years were Canvey Island from Isthmian League Premier Division (beating Southern League Premier Division side Dunstable Town) and Western League Premier Division outfit Brislington who won 5-2 against Hamworthy United from Wessex League Premier Division.

Other clubs enjoying getting their revenge include Northern League Division One side Consett who won 5-0 at Harrogate Railway Athletic from Northern Counties East League Premier Division after The Rail had beaten them on penalties last time they met. And Colliers Wood United from Combined Counties League Premier Division beat the team who knocked them out of the FA Cup only last season, Eastbourne Town from Southern Combination League Premier Division.

Northern Premier League Premier Division side Matlock Town had their third FA Cup victory over Midland Football League Premier Division club Heanor Town, but unfortunately for them their opponents have beaten them six times in the competition in the past so they still have some way to go before completing their revenge. And Buxton from Northern Premier League Premier Division will have to wait even longer having lost for the seventh time in seven FA Cup meetings to Witton Albion despite their opponents playing in the lower Northern Premier League Division One South.

 

Oh No, Not Again

By losing 2-1 at Northern Premier League Premier Division club Coalville Town, Southern League Premier Division side Redditch United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round for the sixth successive season. Isthmian League Division One South side Cray Wanderers have gone out at this stage for the fourth consecutive year, as have Biggleswade United from Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, but to be fair to the Bedfordshire club this represents the furthest they have gone in the competition.

Northern Premier League Division One North clubs Brighouse Town and Ossett Albion, Pagham from Southern Combination League Premier Division, and Isthmian League clubs Leatherhead, Godalming Town and Tilbury have all exited the FA Cup at this stage for the third year running.

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