FA Cup 2016-17 1st Round ‘Proper’ tie-by-tie preview

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 Overview

The 80 clubs in the FA Cup 1st Round ‘Proper’ comprise of 24x EFL Division One clubs, 24x EFL Division Two clubs, 13x Step 1 / Level 5 National League clubs, 11x Step 2 / Level 6 National League clubs (7x North and 4x South), 5x Step 3 / Level 7 clubs (2x Northern Premier League Premier, 2x Isthmian League Premier and 1x Southern League Premier), 2x Step 4 / Level 8 clubs (1x Northern Premier League Division One South and 1x Southern League Division One South and West), and 1x Step 5 / Level 9 club (1x Midland Football League Premier)!

The sole Step 5 / Level 9 club, Westfields, will be competing in their 7th FA Cup tie of this season. For comparison that is one more Cup tie then the eventual winners are likely to play!

The two Step 4 / Level 8 clubs, Stamford and Taunton Town, will both be competing in their sixth FA Cup tie of the season. Stamford are one of five clubs facing opposition from FOUR levels above them in the shape of Hartlepool United, and away from home, too. Harrow Borough, Spennymoor Town and Chesham United have similar away from home challenges at Northampton Town, Milton Keynes Dons and Peterborough United respectively. Merstham have home advantage over Oxford United.

Of clubs still in this year’s FA Cup the top scorers so far are: Westfields 23; Stamford 16; Brackley Town 14.

Five of the 80 clubs are appearing in the 1st Round ‘Proper’ for the first time ever –Westfields had only made the 2nd Qualifying Round in the past, Merstham had reached the 3rd Qualifying Round before, Solihull Moors and Spennymoor Town had made the 4th Qualifying Round in the past, whilst Stamford had the unusual record of having gone beyond the 4th Qualifying Round but never before this season making it as far as the 1st Round ‘Proper’!

Four more clubs are just one win away from creating a new personal best in the FA Cup – FC Halifax Town, Taunton Town, Braintree Town and Eastbourne Borough – the latter two clubs face each other guaranteeing at least one team in the 2nd  Round for the first time!

Nine other clubs are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run to the 2nd Round ‘Proper’ – Harrow Borough, Curzon Ashton, Alfreton Town, Maidstone United, St Albans City, Boreham Wood, Whitehawk and Stourbridge – the latter two face each other meaning at least one club will have the chance of making the 3rd Round ‘Proper’ for the first time!

Just seven of the 40 ties have clubs from facing each other who will meet in league matches this season – from EFL Division One, Millwall v Southend United, Bury v AFC Wimbledon, and Charlton Athletic v Scunthorpe United; and from EFL Division Two, Portsmouth v Wycombe Wanderers, Mansfield Town v Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City v Luton Town, and Cheltenham Town v Crewe Alexander – this means seven EFL clubs at least will exit the FA Cup at this round, whilst there are eight Non-League clubs guaranteed to be in the 2nd Round!

Fourteen of the 40 ties involve clubs who have met in the FA Cup in the past – the most common tie of the round is Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers who have met four times in the past (with two wins each) and this will be their third meeting in five seasons! The oldest re-match is Bolton Wanderers v Grimsby Town with the two clubs first meeting in the FA Cup 120 years ago. That first match ended in a goal-less draw with Bolton eventually winning the second replay, as they also did in the two other times the two clubs have been drawn together!

Several clubs are looking to try to make the 2nd Round ‘Proper’ for the first time for quite a while – Woking (11 years), Stockport County, Curzon Ashton (both 8 years) and Sutton United (5 years) have had a relatively short wait, whilst Boreham Wood (19 years), St Albans City (20 years) and Harrow Borough (33 years) have waited considerably longer!

Some clubs are defending long periods since they were knocked out of the FA Cup as early as the 1st Round ‘Proper’ – Oxford United and Chesterfield (5 years), Oldham Athletic, Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons (6 years), Doncaster Rovers (9 years), Peterborough United (11 years), Millwall (17 years) and Sheffield United (35 years)!  Of course, Bolton Wanderers have not even appeared in the 1st Round for 24 years!

Several clubs have been knocked out of the FA Cup in the 1st Round ‘Proper’ on many, many occasions with the top (or bottom) six clubs being: Stockport County (42 times), Southport (43), Lincoln City (44), Crewe Alexandra (45), Exeter City (48) and Rochdale (a record 51 times)!

 

To follow is the most comprehensive FA Cup 1st Round ‘Proper’ tie-by-tie preview available on-line or anywhere!

 

  1. Sheffield United (League One) v Leyton Orient (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2008/09 3rd Round tie won 4-1 by the Blades.

Leyton Orient made the Semi Finals 39 years ago when still named just ‘Orient’, whilst Sheffield United are four times winners of the FA Cup, although the last victory happened 92 years ago. The Blades have a good recent FA Cup record and it’s now a quarter of a century since the club exited the competition in the 1st Round.

 

  1. Millwall (League One) v Southend United (League One)

Level 3 v Level 3

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by the Shrimpers, the second time as recently as just three years ago.

Southend United are competing in the FA Cup for the 100th time this season with a personal best of reaching the 5th Round four times, most recently in 1992/93. The club has exited the FA Cup in the 1st Round in both of the last two years. Millwall were Runners-Up 13 years ago and the Lions haven’t been knocked out in the 1st Round this Century.

 

  1. Dagenham and Redbridge (National League) v FC Halifax Town (National League North)

Level 5 v Level 6

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Shaymen are equalling their best ever FA Cup run something they’ve now achieved five times, including in each of the last four seasons. The Daggers are a non-league club for the first time in 10 years and their best FA Cup run came when previously a non-league side, reaching the 4th Round in 2002/03.

 

  1. Merstham (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Oxford United (League One)

Level 7 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs

Merstham are competing in the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their 124 history in what is their 33rd campaign, having never gone beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round prior to this season. Oxford United made the Quarter Finals as a fourth tier side in 1962/63 and haven’t gone out of the FA Cup as early as the 1st Round for five years..

 

  1. Taunton Town (Southern League Division 1 South and West) v Barrow (National League)

Level 8 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Peacocks are equalling their best run in the FA Cup having appeared just once before at this stage 35 years ago. Despite 45 seasons as a Football League club throughout their 116 year history, Barrow have never made it beyond the 3rd Round. Their 11 knockouts at that stage of the competition is a record for a club that has never gone any further.

 

  1. Southport (National League) v Fleetwood Town (League One)

Level 5 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Southport reached the Quarter Finals in 1930/31 as a third tier club, whilst Fleetwood Town’s best is the 3rd Round and the Fishermen have exited the FA Cup at this stage of the competition in both the last two seasons..

 

  1. Yeovil Town (League Two) v Solihull Moors (National League)

Level 4 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Yeovil Town hold the record for most League clubs beaten as a non-league side, being victorious on 20 separate occasions, including against Sunderland in 1948/49, then a high-flying First Division club, on their way to reaching their best Cup run of the 5th Round. Solihull Moors are into the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time, equalling the best run of both Solihull Borough and Moor Green, the two clubs that merged to form the Moors in 2007.

 

  1. Stockport County (National League North) v Woking (National League)

Level 6 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Former League side Stockport County have made it as far as the 5th Round in the past whilst Woking made the 4th Round in 1990/91 famously defeating West Bromwich Albion 4-2 at the Hawthorns on the way. However, neither side has made the 2nd Round for a while; for The Hatters it’s been eight years, for The Cards, eleven.

 

  1. Dartford (National League South) v Sutton United (National League)

Level 6 v Level 5

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1978/79 4th Qualifying Round tie won 2-0 by the Darts.

Dartford’s best run is to the 3rd Round whilst Sutton reached the 4th Round twice, most famously after knocking out Division One side Coventry City just two seasons after they had won the Cup. However, the Us haven’t made the 2nd Round for five years now.

 

  1. Walsall (League One) v Macclesfield Town (National League)

Level 3 v Level 5

Two previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, the first in 1997/98 resulting in a 7-0 win for the Saddlers, whilst the Silkmen avenged that heavy defeat with a 1-0 replay win 10 years ago.

Walsall have reached the 5th Round on six occasions, most recently 14 years ago, and that is the highest number of exits at that stage of the competition of any team never to have reached the Quarter Finals. Macclesfield achieved their best run to the 4th Round just four years ago.

 

  1. Port Vale (League One) v Stevenage (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2009/10 1st Round tie won 1-0 in a replay by Port Vale.

Port Vale reached the Semi-Finals as a third tier club in 1953/54 season, the first such club to do so, whilst Stevenage best is to the 5th Rou d just five years ago.

 

  1. Northampton Town (League One) v Harrow Borough (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Level 3 v Level 7

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Harrow Borough are into the 1st Round for the first time in six years, but you have to go back a further 27 years for their one and only appearance in the 2nd Round. (Harrow have now been an Isthmian League Premier Division side for 37 consecutive years). Northampton Town have gone as far as the 5th Round on three occasions, but the last time was 47 years ago.

 

  1. Cambridge United (League Two) v Dover Athletic (National League)

Level 4 v Level 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Cambridge United made the Quarter Finals twice in the early 1990s whilst Dover best is the 3rd Round achieved twice in the last six years. This is the fourth successive season Dover have made the 1st Round.

 

  1. Westfields (Midland Football League Premier Division) v Curzon Ashton (National League North)

Level 9 v Level 6

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Westfields are making FA Cup history, not only into the 1st Round for the first time ever in their Golden Jubilee season, which is three rounds further than the club has ever progressed before, but also it will be the Fields seventh FA Cup tie this season, one more tie than the eventual winners are likely to play. Curzon Ashton are just one win away from equalling their best Cup run, achieved for the one and only time eight years ago.

 

  1. Milton Keynes Dons (League One) v Spennymoor Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Level 3 v Level 7

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both these clubs cause problems for FA Cup historians in terms of their history. Personally I treat them as brand new clubs formed in 2004 and 2005 respectively, but I know others may see them as a continuation of previous clubs. For the Dons their best Cup run is to the 5th Round four years ago whereas the Moors are appearing in the 1st Round for the first time since their formation 11 years ago.

 

  1. Gillingham (League One) v Brackley Town (National League North)

Level 3 v Level 6

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, just three years ago, won 1-0 in a replay by the Saints who’ll be hoping Cup upset lightning strikes twice.

A win for Brackley would mean they would at least equal their best ever Cup run achieved after these two sides last met in the competition, whilst the Gills reached the Quarter Finals in the Year 2000, but have gone out of the Cup in the 1st Round in each of the last three seasons.

 

  1. Alfreton Town (National League North) v Newport County (League Two)

Level 6 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

A win for Alfreton would mean the club would equal their best FA Cup run achieved twice, eight and four years ago. The Exiles achieved their best run to the 3rd Round since re-forming in 1989.

 

  1. Portsmouth (League Two) v Wycombe Wanderers (League Two)

Level 4 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs despite 220 FA Cup campaigns between them.

Portsmouth have twice lifted the FA Cup, the second time as recently as nine years ago, whilst the Chairboys made the Semi-Finals as a third tier club in 2001.

 

  1. Maidstone United (National League) v Rochdale (League One)

Level 5 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Maidstone United made the 2nd Round just two seasons ago, whilst the Dale have reached the 5th Round twice, although they also have the unenviable record of most 1st Round exits achieved 51 times..

 

  1. Bury (League One) v AFC Wimbledon (League One)

Level 3 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both clubs are former FA Cup winners (depending upon your point of view re Wimbledon) with the Shakers last of two wins coming in 1903.

 

  1. St Albans City (National League South) v Carlisle United (League Two)

Level 6 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs

St Albans are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, although the last of three times they achieved that feat was 20 years ago. Carlisle United made the Quarter Finals in their one and only season as a top flight club in 1974/75 season.

 

  1. Boreham Wood (National League) v Notts County (League Two)

Level 5 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Boreham Wood are just one win away from equalling their best ever Cup run, last achieved 19 years ago. Notts County are former FA Cup winners but their one and only triumph came way back in the 19th Century, in 1894, and they have gone out of the competition in the 1st Round in each of the last three seasons.

 

  1. Mansfield Town (League Two) v Plymouth Argyle (League Two)

Level 4 v Level 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1977/78 3rd Round tie won 1-0 by the Stags.

Mansfield made the Quarter Finals as a third tier club in 1968/69 season, whilst Argyle went one further reaching the Semi Finals when playing at the same level in 1983/84.

 

  1. Braintree Town (National League) v Eastbourne Borough (National League South)

Level 5 v Level 6

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2003/04 3rd Qualifying Round tie won 4-0 by Eastbourne Borough.

A victory for either side would put the club into the 2nd Round for the first time ever. Braintree are appearing in the 1st Round for the sixth time and the fifth year on the trot, whilst the Sports are making their fourth appearance at this stage of the competition.

 

  1. Hartlepool United (League Two) v Stamford (Northern Premier League Division One South)

Level 4 v Level 8

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Stamford are into the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time in their 122 year history and in their 93rd campaign. Bizarrely the Daniels had gone beyond the 4th Qualifying Round before, but in 1913/14 season there was a 5th Qualifying Round to negotiate which they failed to do. So, 103 years later they finally make the jump to the ‘Proper’ rounds. Despite the fact Hartlepool United have been a Football League side since 1921 their best FA Cup run is to the 4th Round only, a feat they’ve achieved six times.

 

  1. Bolton Wanderers (League One) v Grimsby Town (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, the oldest ‘repeat’ tie of this year’s 1st Round with the clubs first meeting in the FA Cup 120 years. Bolton won that tie at the third attempt and both of the other two times the clubs have been drawn together.

Bolton Wanderers are four times winners of the FA Cup and this is the club’s first appearance in the 1st Round for 24 years. Grimsby Town twice reached the Semi Finals just prior to World War II.

 

  1. Bradford City (League One) v Accrington Stanley (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

First FA Cup meetings between the two clubs although Bradford City did meet and beat the original Accrington Stanley 1-0 100 years ago.

The Bantams are one of ten former FA Cup winners in this year’s 1st Round whilst Accrington Stanley best FA Cup run is to the 4th Round seven years ago.

 

  1. Oldham Athletic (League One) v Doncaster Rovers (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

Four previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, the most common ‘repeat’ of this year’s 1st Round, with two wins apiece. This will be the third time in five seasons the two clubs will face each other in the FA Cup.

Oldham Athletic made the Semi Finals twice in the 1990s whilst Rovers best is the 5th Round achieved four times in the 1950s. However, neither side has exited the FA Cup in the 1st Round for a few years; the Latics five years, Rovers, nine.

 

  1. Eastleigh (National League) v Swindon Town (League One)

Level 5 v Level 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Eastleigh achieved their best run to the 3rd Round last season whilst Swindon Town have gone as far as the Semi Finals in the past, twice just before World War I, but have not won an FA Cup match for five seasons.

 

  1. Shrewsbury Town (League One) v Barnet (League Two)

Level 3 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Shrewsbury made the Quarter Finals twice either side of 1980 and almost repeated the feat last season. Barnet best run is to the 4th Round achieved in successive seasons nine and ten years ago.

 

  1. Morecambe (League Two) v Coventry City (League One)

Level 4 v Level 3

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2nd Round tie four years ago won 2-1 by the Sky Blues.

Morecambe best FA Cup run is to the 3rd Round, achieved three times, but have gone out in the 1st Round in each of the last three years. Coventry City won the FA Cup in 1987, but they’ve also been knocked out in the 1st Round in both the last two seasons.

 

  1. Crawley Town (League Two) v Bristol Rovers (League One)

Level 4 v Level 3

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 2nd Round tie three years ago won 2-1 in a replay by Bristol Rovers.

Rovers have appeared in the Quarter Finals three times in total whilst Crawley Town reached the 5th Round twice in 2010 and 2011, but both clubs have exited the competition in the 1st Round in both the last two seasons.

 

  1. Whitehawk (National League South) v Stourbridge (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Level 6 v Level 7

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

A win for either club will mean that they will at least equal their best ever FA Cup run to the 2nd Round, a feat both clubs achieved last season.

 

  1. Colchester United (League Two) v Chesterfield (League One)

Level 4 v Level 3

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1958/59 3rd Round tie won 2-0 by Colchester.

The Us made the Quarter Finals in 1970/71 season as a fourth tier club, whilst the Spireites best is to the Semi Finals achieved 20 years ago as a third tier club.

 

  1. Lincoln City (National League) v Altrincham (National League North)

Level 5 v Level 6

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1988/89 1st Round tie won 3-2 by Altrincham, one of a record 17 victories, by a team that has always been a non-league club, the Robins have had over League clubs.

Altrincham’s best FA Cup run is to the 4th Round in 1985/86 after they beat top flight club Birmingham City in the 3rd Round. Lincoln City best is the 5th Round reached two years before the Football League was formed, and the Imps have exited the FA Cup in the 1st Round in each of the last three seasons.

 

  1. Exeter City (League Two) v Luton Town (League Two)

Level 4 v Level 4

Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, both won by the Hatters in the 1960s.

The Grecians have reached the Quarter Finals twice in the past, both times as a third tier club. Luton Town reached the FA Cup final for their only time in 1958/59 losing 2-1 to Nottingham Forest.

 

  1. Charlton Athletic (League One) v Scunthorpe United (League One)

Level 3 v Level 3

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1961/62 3rd Round tie won 1-0 by the Addicks.

Charlton won the FA Cup in 1947 and have not gone out in the 1st Round for six years, whilst the Iron best FA Cup run is to the 5th Round achieved twice, most recently 47 seasons ago.

 

  1. Cheltenham Town (League Two) v Crewe Alexandra (League Two)

Level 4 v Level 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Cheltenham Town reached the 5th Round 15 years ago whilst the Alex made it all the way to the Semi Finals way back in the year before the Football League was formed, and have also been knocked out in the 1st Round in each of the last three seasons.

 

  1. Peterborough United (League One) v Chesham United (Southern League Premier Division)

Level 3 v Level 7

First FA Cup meeting between the two.

Peterborough United reached the Quarter Finals back in 1964/65 season but have not gone out of the FA Cup in the 1st Round for 11 years. Chesham United reached the 3rd Round in 1979/80 season and fell just one round short of that best run last year.

 

  1. Blackpool (League Two) v Kidderminster Harriers (National League North)

Level 4 v Level 6

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Blackpool famously won the FA Cup in 1953 but have not won a Cup match for five years. Former League club Kidderminster Harriers made the 5th Round 23 years ago.

 

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