2015/16 FA Cup 1st Round Review

  1. Peterborough United avenged their 1-0 defeat to Burton Albion from 2006 to avoid being eliminated in the 1st Rd again since then
  2. A brilliant last minute equaliser for Maidenhead United gave the club a great opportunity to reach the 2nd Round for the first time since the 19th Century. In the end Port Vale proved too strong for the Conference South in the replay coming from behind to win 3-1.
  3. Barnet end a run of 3 consecutive 1st Round exits and condemn Blackpool to their 5th consecutive FA Cup tie without a win
  4. Maybe the Cup upset of this year’s 1st Round as Southern League Premier side Chesham United win at League Two Bristol Rovers and make it to the 2nd Round for the 1st time in 36 years
  5. A 1-0 win for Cambridge United means that Basingstoke Town are still waiting to appear in the 2nd Round for the first time since 2006/07 season
  6. Following their 0-0 draw, the most common FA Cup foes in this 1st Round, Oldham Athletic and Mansfield Town, will have to do it again. Oldham beat Mansfield for the 5th time in six FA Cup meetings.
  7. A fantastic Cup upset as National League side Altrincham knocked out League One Barnsley to make it to 2nd Round for 1st time in 14 years
  8. Another fantastic Cup upset as Eastleigh win 1-0 at League One Crewe Alexandra meaning the club will at least equal its best ever FA Cup run.
  9. Northwich Victoria are now the only 8th tier team still in FA Cup after 1-1 draw with Boreham Wood who have another chance to make 2nd Round for 1st time in 18 years. Following their 2-1 win in Replay, the Vics will be the lowest ranked team in the 2nd Round.
  10. A second successive 1st Round exit for Coventry City after not experiencing it for 55 years before last season, and Northampton Town have now equalled FA Cup wins between the two teams to two each
  11. Brackley Town come back from two down to draw 2-2 with League Two Newport County meaning both clubs maintain opportunity of emulating their best ever FA Cup run of 2nd Round. In the end it is the League side who will get the chance to make it to the 3rd Round for the first time in their history.
  12. 1996/97 was the last time St Albans City made the 2nd Round and this 5-1 defeat at Grimsby Town means the wait goes on for another year
  13. No Cup upset for League Two Hartlepool United as they win 1-0 at home to National League Cheltenham Town.
  14. Salford City progress to the 2nd Round for the first time in their history after their terrific televised 2-0 win over League Two Notts County, which is three rounds further than the club has ever been before in the FA Cup
  15. 7th tier Stourbridge produced a Cup upset beating National League Dover Athletic to mean the club will at least equal its best ever FA Cup run
  16. A 3-0 win for Stevenage means that Gillingham have been knocked out of the FA Cup in the 1st Round for the 3rd successive season
  17. AFC Fylde were applauded off the pitch by both sides after losing 3-1 at League One Millwall equalling their best ever FA Cup run
  18. Aldershot Town and Bradford City will have to go again after their 0-0 draw. Bradford made sure with a straightforward 2-0 win in the replay.
  19. Walsall and Fleetwood Town met for the second time in FA Cup history and the result was the same as the replay five years ago, a 2-0 win for The Saddlers
  20. The only 1st Roud tie pitting two former FA Cup winners together saw Bury comprehensively win 4-0 at home to Wigan Athletic, knocked out in the 1st Round for the first time in 14 years
  21. It’s been 6 long years since Portsmouth had won an FA Cup match, a semi final win over Tottenham, so this narrow 2-1 win over National League side Macclesfield Town will be celebrated with a huge sigh of relief.
  22. There was to be no revenge for Worcester City for the 1959 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United as The Blades won 3-0 to maintain their current excellent FA Cup form
  23. Barwell may well have lost 2-0 to Welling United but the club has set a new personal best for how far they have gone in the FA Cup by reaching the 1st Round … and they can still lay claim to the best burger in the Cup!
  24. Wycombe Wanderers in the end ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at FC Halifax Town, but the Yorkshire can be proud of equalling their best ever Cup run of the 1st Round
  25. Luton Town won the battle of the last two teams to make the 5th Round as non-league clubs by beating Crawley Town by two goals to one
  26. Doncaster Rovers beat National League North side Stalybridge Celtic 2-0 to maintain their record of not being knocked out in the 1st Round since 2007/08 season
  27. It was not to be for the lowest placed side in the 1st Round as Didcot Town succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to League Two Exeter City after holding them for the first 45 minutes. Didcot have scored 19 goals, played 7 matches and competed in 6 rounds of this year’s FA Cup, that’s the same number of round as the likely winners will have to play in.
  28. Dagenham and Redbridge and Morecambe will have to play again to see which of the two can put an end to their respective current poor FA Cup runs. The Daggers came from two goals down to win the replay 4-2 and end a run of three successive 1st Round exits.
  29. League Two side Leyton Orient produced the biggest aggregate win of the 1st Round 6-1 at home to Isthmian League Premier side Staines Town
  30. Shrewsbury Town won 1-0 at National League North side Gainsborough Trinity to finally beat their Lincolnshire opponents in the FA Cup after two historical defeats
  31. Yeovil Town overcame being reduced to 9 men to win 1-0 at Maidstone United from National League South
  32. National League side Braintree Town have another chance to make it to the 2nd Round for the first time in their history after drawing 1-1 at home to League Two Oxford United. Braintree will have to console themselves with equalling their best ever Cup run as Oxford win 3-1 in the replay.
  33. A great Cup upset for National League South Whitehawk winning 5-3 at home to National League Lincoln City to progress to the 2nd Round for the first ever time in what is their 34th FA Cup campaign
  34. Accrington Stanley beat their fellow League Two side York City 3-2 to end a knock-out sequence of R2-R1-R2-R1-R2 in last 5 seasons
  35. Scunthorpe United won 2-1 against fellow League One side Southend United
  36. National League leaders Forest Green Rovers won 2-1 at League Two side AFC Wimbledon to produce one of the less surprising FA Cup upsets
  37. Carlisle United made the 780 mile round trip worthwhile for them and their fans by winning 2-0 at Plymouth Argyle
  38. FC United of Manchester missed the opportunity of equalling their best ever FA Cup run of reaching the 2nd Round
  39. They have had to wait 103 years but Rochdale finally avenged their 1912 FA Cup 1st Round defeat to Swindon Town by winning this year’s contest 3-1 and condemn The Robins to a fourth successive 1st Round exit
  40. League One side Colchester United won 6-2 at Wealdstone from three divisions below them
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Stand Out Non League Clubs in 2015/16 FA Cup

Thirty-two Non-league clubs have made it through to the First Round of this year’s FA Cup, and I wish every one of them all the best in going even further in the competition, regardless of what they have had to do to get there. A couple of Non-league clubs, namely Didcot Town and Northwich Victoria, have had to win through five rounds already just to get this far, and they are truly deserving of the recognition and the plaudits they get from the National media, whilst the 13 National League clubs in the First Round have only had to overcome one team to get there, but they will still be lauded by the media as the ‘plucky underdogs’.

Without denegrating the achievements of those clubs that are in the First Round, I actually want to salute all of the 612 other clubs who have taken part in the competition since August, clubs who will never even be of the radar of those TV, radio and newspaper reporters and pundits now actively presenting the FA Cup as if it started in November (or January). All of those clubs taking part, and failing in the Preliminary and Qualifying Rounds, help make the FA Cup what it is, namely the best Cup competition in the World. Ashton and Backwell United, Blaby and Whetstone Athletic, Debenham Leisure Centre, Ellistown and Ibstock United, Gorleston, Hemsworth Miners Welfare, Norton and Stockton Ancients, Penistone Church, Sporting Bengal United, Wellingborough Whitworths; these are just some of the rich tapestry of clubs and names that will eventually just become an extremely small footnote in the history of this year’s FA Cup in the minds of all but a handful of passionate supporters.

But I would like to take this opportunity of raising the profile of three of the clubs who didn’t quite make it to the First Round, but who have helped make the FA Cup the best in the world, and this season in particular have shown what the competition means to all those taking part who have little, if any, hope of ultimate glory (or of even getting into the media and public consciousness).

The first of my three stand-out clubs is Coleshill Town, playing their football in the Midland Football League Premier Division. Coleshill Town may well be vaguely remembered over time for losing 9-0 to National League North side AFC Fylde in the Third Qualifying Round, but that match was just their fifth FA Cup tie (and sixth FA Cup match) of this season’s campaign having started in the Extra Preliminary Round in the middle of August. In that EP Round of matches Coleshill Town faced Ellesmere Rangers of the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division and ended up running out 11-0 winners. In fact despite being on the wrong end of a 9-0 defeat to exit the competition, Coleshill Town still ended up with a very healthy positive goal difference in their FA Cup matches, having scored 21 goals and conceding just 14 in their six games. It is for this noteworthy achievement of total number of goals and a plus seven goal difference despite the manner of their exit that, in my opinion, places Coleshill Town apart from the crowd.

The second of my three stand-out clubs is Westfields, members of the same Division as Coleshill Town. Westfelds played just three ties in the FA Cup before being eliminated in the First Qualifying Round by Barwell, one of the clubs making history by being in the First Round for the first time ever. It is Westfields’ Preliminary Round replay performance that will always stick in my mind, a ‘never-say-die’ attitude that saw the club recover from a 4-0 half-time deficit away at Kidsgrove Athletic from the higher Northern Premier League Division One South, to not only take the tie into extra time, but to also comeback from falling behind yet again during that extra time, to finally win the match 6-5 with the last kick of the ball. Westfields were never likely to win many more matches in this season’s FA Cup, but that fightback, that eagerness to remain in the competition as long as possible, epitomises for me what it means for clubs who participate in these early round FA Cup matches. And what ultimately makes it such a wonderful competition.

The third of my three stand-out clubs is Sporting Khalsa, purely coincidentally also plying their trade in the same Division as Coleshill Town and Westfields. Sporting Khalsa entered this year’s competition in the Extra Preliminary Round having only ever participated twice before, and on both of those occasions falling by the wayside just one round later. This year a comprehensive 5-0 win at Malvern Town followed by an equally comprehensive 4-0 win at home to Cadbury Athletic took the club into the uncharted territory of the First Qualifying Round for the first time ever. Three more wins, all very tight encounters against AFC Wulfrunians, Basford United and Spalding United, the latter two from the higher Northern Premier League First Divisions, saw the club as the last remaining team from the Extra Preliminary Round still standing in the Fourth Qualifying Round, one step away from potentially meeting a League club.

The club gained a lot of publicity ahead of, during and after their eventual defeat to FC United of Manchester, particularly in local media and national on-line media, and being the last EP Round club standing is commendable enough on its own. However, the club did more than just win their way through five FA Cup ties, they also did it winning a lot of friends on the way, and ahead of their big day (and in preparation of an expected record crowd,) saw members of the club and the local community come together to produce a phenomenal effort to enable them to be able to stage the game. A perfect example of everything that is great about local football and the FA Cup.

So, stand up everybody involved with Coleshill Town, Westfelds and Sporting Khalsa; players, board members, volunteers and fans alike, not only doing the Midland Football League proud, but representing everything that is fantastic about this wonderful and unique FA Cup competition.

FA Cup 1st Round – One to Ten

  1. Notts County has won the FA Cup just once, way back in 1894. That’s 122 years since the club last equalled its best ever Cup run!
  1. Gainsborough Trinity and Shrewsbury Town have met twice in the FA Cup in the past with Trinity winning both times. In the Fifth Qualifying Round 1910/11 season Trinity won 4-0, and in 1933/34 Trinity won their 4th Qualifying Round tie 3-1 after a replay.
  1. By being in the 1st Round three clubs are equalling their best ever FA Cup performance. FC Halifax Town and AFC Fylde are both in their eighth FA Cup campaign, but Braintree Town are competing for the 58th time and are in the 1st Round for the fourth successive season.
  1. There are four clubs making their debut in the FA Cup 1st Barwell, Didcot Town and Whitehawk have all been close before making the 4th Qualifying Round in the past, but Salford City has only ever been as far as the 3rd Qualifying Round in their previous 25 FA Cup campaigns.
  1. Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic have met each other five times in the FA Cup in the past, the most common match-up of all this year’s 1st Round ties. Oldham are 4-1 in terms of victories between the two teams which, co-incidentally, is the scoreline the last time the two clubs met in the 2nd Round two years ago.
  1. By entering this year’s competition in the Preliminary Round, way back on August Bank Holiday weekend, Didcot Town and Northwich Victoria will both be playing their sixth tie. That’s as many ties as the eventual finalists will play.
  1. Portsmouth last won an FA Cup match when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the 2009/10 Semi Final. That was seven FA Cup matches ago!
  1. It is eight years since Doncaster Rovers failed to progress beyond the 1st
  1. Just nine of the 40 First Round ties involve clubs who will face each other in League matches during the season. Five ties between League One sides and four ties between League Two.
  1. There are 10 former FA Cup winners in this year’s 1st Round: AFC Wimbledon, Barnsley, Blackpool, Bradford City, Bury, Coventry City, Notts County, Portsmouth, Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic.

FA Cup First Round TV Selections

On the surface there can be little argument that the three FA Cup First Round matches selected for coverage by the BBC and BT Sport are three FA Cup ties with the potential for high interest, high drama and, by pitting non-league clubs against league clubs, there is a high potential for memorable giant-killing. So why don’t they sit comfortably with me?

As an ardent supporter of grass roots football, I’m all for non-league clubs getting their well-deserved moment in the sun as a consequence of their endeavours in the Qualifying Rounds of the FA Cup, and national TV exposure is a fantastic money spinner for them, a windfall that can set them up for many years to come. But the choices of matches in this year’s First Round have not just been made because of the potential high drama they may deliver or based on any form of sentimentality for the game, the competition or the clubs involved, but there are other factors involved, too.

Northern Premier League Premier side Salford City versus League Two outfit Notts County – the perfect FA Cup First Round clash for TV. It pits a team who’ve only ever been as far as the 3rd Qualifying Round in their 26 year FA Cup history against a former winner of the competition itself, albeit way back in the 19th Century. It’s a no-brainer. Any TV channel would consider it as the ‘one to show’. What galls with me, though, is the typical predictably of the BBC in selecting it as the tie that they want to show.

This isn’t a decision based on it being the best tie to show (there are several other ties equally as attractive), but one borne out of a desire to be able to link it to other football output the Beeb has in its current schedule, namely the documentary on the former Manchester United players owning the non-league club involved. I can see the revised adverts now. It was certainly a no-brainer for those BBC TV execs in charge of scheduling who probably couldn’t believe their luck when the draw was made. It’s as predictable as the fact that Liverpool and/or Manchester United will be chosen by the Beeb when the 3rd Round comes along regardless of who they may face.

The ‘romantic’ tie of the round is arguably Southern League Division One South and West side Didcot Town v Exeter City playing in League Two, five levels above their hosts. It’s the lowest level side who’ve never been this far in the Cup before versus a club that has lost each of its last five First Round matches. This ticks the boxes both for potential upset and for giving air-time to a club that isn’t bank-rolled by multi-millionaires.

It’s commendable that BT Sport has selected this tie to be shown, albeit in the graveyard slot of Sunday lunchtime. That decision for when to show it is purely influenced by their second choice of match, a choice based upon putting their viewing figures and potential advertising revenues first and football nowhere (and the FA kowtowing to their demands) by showing a game at peak time on a Monday night that they know will have a much broader appeal involving, as it does, FC United of Manchester.

Oh the irony of it all. FC United of Manchester, formed out of fans’ dismay of how the commerciality of football was ruining their beloved Manchester United, now having to wrestle with their principles as a consequence of being selected to be shown on TV at a time when their fans do not want to see their club play, namely a Monday night, because they are now at a stage of the competition when it becomes commercially viable to show them on TV. The club protested about the move of kick off and how it was against the club’s and the fans’ principles (sharing their stance publicly on their website and social media), and the FA and BT Sport have ridden roughshod over their desires and are insisting the game goes ahead. Great. The FA not giving two hoots about football fans wishes. It’s good to see such a caring organisation in practice.

However, FC United of Manchester can do something about it. They cannot have naively believed this moment wouldn’t come so they surely already have a plan as to what they would do when the moment arose. If they didn’t, more fool them. The club has a clearly stated set of principles based on fans first and everything else second, and it is those principles they have put to the FA to get them to think again about the kick-off time. The FA has refused and FC United of Manchester has reluctantly conceded and will play the game when told do so. Some fine principles there, then. It’s easy to say you have principles, but it is extremely difficult to live by them. If the club is adamant about its principles and philosophy then maybe they should have had a plan for how they would deal with this inevitable situation, a plan that was more than just fine words.

A truly principled organisation would stick to their guns, and in this case this would translate into FC United of Manchester refusing to play their Cup tie on a Monday night just to satisfy demands of a TV broadcaster, and suffering the consequences of their actions. But no, they go public with the unfairness of it all to try to get people on their side, but when push comes to shove, the fear of expulsion from the competition and the lucrative finances it provides (especially from TV), means that they will play the game on the Monday night.

So, FC United of Manchester, I implore you to stick to your guns and refuse to play the tie on the Monday night. Now that would be taking a principled stance, but it will cost the club a heck of a lot of money and maybe banishment from the FA Cup. Any other course of action, though, means the club should keep their principles to themselves and just get on with it and enjoy the limelight like any other non-league club would do given the opportunity to be aired on national TV.

FA Cup 2015/16 1st Round Preview

1. Burton Albion v Peterborough United – League One clubs met 10 years ago with The Brewers winning 1-0 after a goalless draw. That was the last time The Posh were knocked out in the 1st Round of the FA Cup.

2. Port Vale (League One) v Maidenhead United (National League South) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. The Magpies are looking to get to the 2nd Round for the first time in 128 years.

3. Barnet (League Two) v Blackpool (League One) – First ever FA Cup meeting. Barnet has been eliminated in 1st Round in each of last 3 seasons and Blackpool has lost its last four FA Cup matches.

4. Bristol Rovers (League Two) v Chesham United (Southern League Premier) – First FA Cup meeting between two clubs. The Pirates last five FA Cup campaigns have seen them knocked out in Round 1, Round 3, Round 1, Round 3 and then Round 1 again. The Generals last went beyond the 1st Round 36 years ago.

5. Cambridge United (League Two) v Basingstoke Town (National League South) – First meeting between the two clubs in the FA Cup. Basingstoke hasn’t been beyond 1st Round since 2006/07 season.

6. Mansfield Town (League Two) v Oldham Athletic (League One) – The teams have met five times before with Oldham winning 4 games to one. The clubs last met in Second Round two years ago with The Latics appropriately winning 4-1. Neither club has been knocked out in 1st Round for 3 years and 4 years respectively.

7. Altrincham (National League) v Barnsley (League One) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Altrincham have not been beyond 1st Round for 14 years whilst The Tykes have not lost in 1st Round for 11 years.

8. Crewe Alexandra (League One) v Eastleigh (National League) – First time two clubs will have met in FA Cup. Crewe have lost in 1st Round in each of the last two seasons whilst Eastleigh achieved their personal best of 2nd Round last season.

9. Northwich Victoria (Northern Premier League 1 North) v Boreham Wood (National League) – First ever meeting in the FA Cup for these two sides. Vics are one of only two Step 4 sides into this year’s First Round. It’s 18 years since Boreham Wood went beyond the First Round.

10. Coventry City (League One) v Northampton Town (League Two) – Clubs have met 3 times in FA Cup in the past with Coventry ahead 2 wins to one, although The Cobblers won 1-0 the last time the sides met in 3rd Round in 1990. Coventry were knocked out in the 1st Rd last season for the first time in 55 years.

11. Brackley Town (National League North) v Newport County (League Two) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. The Saints last three seasons have exited the Cup in 3rd Qualifying Round, 2nd Round, 3rd Qualifying Round.

12. Grimsby Town (National League) v St Albans City (National League South) – First FA Cup meeting between the two sides. St Albans has not been beyond 1st Round in 19 years.

13. Hartlepool United (League Two) v Cheltenham Town (National League) – First FA Cup meeting between the two sides.

14. Salford City (Northern Premier League Premier) v Notts County (League Two) – First FA Cup meeting. Salford are in 1st Round for the first time in their 26th FA Cup campaign, whilst County have lost in 1st Round in each of the last two seasons. Notts County also hold the distinct record of having gone the longest of all current League clubs since actually winning the FA Cup in 1894, 122 years ago.

15. Dover Athletic (National League) v Stourbridge (Northern Premier League Premier) – First meeting in FA Cup. Dover set their best FA Cup run of reaching the 3rd Round last season, whilst Stourbridge FA Cup exits in last 4 years have been 2nd Round, 1st Qualifying Round, 2nd Round, 3rd Qualifying Round

16. Stevenage (League Two) v Gillingham (League One) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Gillingham may be the higher League side flying high in League One but have been knocked out in 1st Round in each of the last two seasons.

17. Millwall (League One) v AFC Fylde (National League North) – First meeting in FA Cup. Millwall has not been eliminated in 1st Round since 1999/2000 season. AFC Fylde are hoping to make the 2nd Round for the first time ever.

18. Aldershot Town (National League) v Bradford City (League One) – First FA Cup meeting between the two sides. The Bantams became the most recent third tier side to make the FA Cup Quarter Finals last season.

19. Walsall v Fleetwood Town – These League One sides met in 1st Round five years ago with The Saddlers winning 2-0 after a 1-1 draw. Walsall have exited the Cup in the last 4 years in 2nd Round, 1st Round, 2nd Round and 1st Round.

20. Bury v Wigan Athletic – These League One sides have met twice before with Bury winning on both occasions, each time after a replay. The only 1st Round tie between two former FA Cup winners, Wigan actually the most recent winners of all teams in this year’s 1st Round. The Shakers last six FA Cup exits have alternated between Round One and Round Two.

21. Portsmouth (League Two) v Macclesfield Town (National League) – First FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Pompey have not won a Cup match since the 2010 Semi Final victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

22. Sheffield United (League One) v Worcester City (National League North) – One previous FA Cup meeting between the two sides in the 4th Round in 1959 with the Blades winning 2-0 to bring City’s best ever Cup run to a halt. The Blades haven’t been eliminated in the 1st Round for 34 years and were the last third tier side to appear in an FA Cup Semi Final.

23. Barwell (Northern Premier League Premier) v Welling United (National League) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Barwell are into the First Round for the first ever time in their 24th campaign.

24, FC Halifax Town (National League) v Wycombe Wanderers (League Two) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. FA Halifax Town are into the 1st Round for the 3rd successive season and will be hoping to reach the 2nd Round for the first time. The Chairboys have made the 2nd Round in the last two seasons.

25. Crawley Town v Luton Town – The first FA Cup meeting between these two League Two sides, the last two clubs to make it to the 5th Round as non-league clubs.

26. Doncaster Rovers (League One) v Stalybridge Celtic (National League North) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Rovers have not been knocked out in First Round for eight years whilst Celtic has not been in the First Round for 12 years, and a further four years since making the 2nd Round.

27. Didcot Town (Southern League 1 South and West) v Exeter City (League Two) – First FA Cup meeting as The Railwaymen are in the 1st Round for the 1st time ever in their 26th FA Cup campaign. Didcot are also only one of two Step 4 sides in this year’s First Round. The Grecians have been eliminated in the 1st Round in each of the last five seasons.

28. Dagenham and Redbridge v Morecambe – First FA Cup meeting between these two League Two clubs. The Daggers have lost their last 3 1st Round matches, The Shrimps have lost in their last two.

29. Leyton Orient (League Two) v Staines Town (Isthmian League Premier) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides.

30. Gainsborough Trinity (National League North) v Shrewsbury Town (League One) – Two previous FA Cup meetings both, surprisingly, won by Trinity in 1910/11 and 1933/34. However, Trinity has not been beyond the 1st Round for 63 years.

31. Maidstone United (National League South) v Yeovil Town (League Two) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, although Yeovil did lose 2-1 to the previous Maidstone club in 1989/90 season. The current Stones club set their best ever Cup run last season reaching the 2nd Round.

32. Braintree Town (National League) v Oxford United (League Two) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Braintree are into the 1st Round for the fourth successive season, but still yet to make it to Round Two. Oxford were last knocked out in the 1st Round four years ago.

33. Whitehawk (National League South) v Lincoln City (National League) – First FA Cup meeting between the clubs. Whitehawk are into the 1st Round for the first time ever in their 34th campaign. The Imps have lost in the 1st Round in each of the last two seasons.

34. Accrington Stanley v York City – First FA Cup meeting between these two League Two sides. Stanley’s last five FA Cup exits have been 2nd Round, 1st Round, 2nd Round, 1st Round, 2nd Round. York last went beyond the 1st Round five years ago.

35. Scunthorpe United v Southend United – First ever FA Cup meeting between these two League One clubs.

36. AFC Wimbledon (League Two) v Forest Green Rovers (National League) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides.

37. Plymouth Argyle v Carlisle United – First ever FA Cup meeting between these two League Two sides separated by 390 miles.

38. FC United of Manchester (National League North) v Chesterfield (League One) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs with FCUM into the 1st Round for only their second ever time.

39. Rochdale v Swindon Town – One previous meeting between these two League One clubs, a 1st Round meeting 103 years ago, with The Robins winning 2-0. The Dale have made the 4th Round in the last two seasons, but also hold the record for most 1st Round exits on 51 separate occasions. Swindon has been knocked out in the 1st Round in each of the last three seasons.

40. Wealdstone (National League South) v Colchester United (League One) – These two clubs have met twice in the FA Cup with one win apiece. Wealdstone won 1-0 in 49/50 season, Colchester won 4-0 in 2nd Round 1983/84, the last time The Stones made it beyond the 1st Round.

FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Tie-by-Tie Review

1. Step 2 Worcester City beat Step 1 Gateshead by appropriately 2 goals to 1 and will be hoping for the opportunity to claim another League 1 scalp as they did last year at Coventry City.

2. Another Step 2 side AFC Fylde  beat another Step 1 club Barrow and by reaching the 1st Round they will at least equal their best ever Cup run. With a Cup record this season of 11 for and 0 against there is every chance they can go even further.

3. Yet another Step 2 side Gainsborough Trinity beat yet another Step 1 club Wrexham, winning 1-0, and avenging last season’s FA Trophy semi-final defeat in the process. The win also means Trinity will be in the 1st Round for the 1st time in eight years.

4. Step 4 Northwich Victoria will get another chance to overcome Step 2 Chorley after their goalless draw, whilst Chorley get another chance to make the 1st Round for 1st time in 25 years. Following their 2-1 win in the replay, The Vics become only the second side from Step 4 to make it into this year’s 1st Round.

5. Step 1 side Grimsby Town (Step 1) made certain not to be another victim of Step 2 side Harrogate town with a convincing 4-1 victory.

6. Barwell and AFC Rushden and Diamonds will have to go again, after drawing two each, to find out which of them will make the 1st Round for the 1st time in their history. A 1-0 replay win means it is Barwell that make history by reaching the 1st Round for the first time, although AFC Rushden & Diamonds set a personal best by being in the 4th Qualifying Round anyway.

7. Step 3 Salford City triumphed 1-0 over Step 1 side Southport to reach the 1st Round for the first ever time in their 26th FA Cup campaign

8. Sporting Khalsa may well have fallen at the 6th fence, going down 3-1 to FC United of Manchester from three leagues above them, but competing in that 6th tie is the equivalent of a Premier League side making it all the way to the final itself. A fantastic adventure that began way back o  15th August, the club, players, management and fan can all be proud of this season’s achievement.

9. Following the 1-1 draw between Step 2 sides Stalybridge Celtic and North Ferriby United the North Eastern club has another opportunity to reach the 1st Round for the first time ever. The replay went to penalties after a goalless 120 minutes and Stalybridge triumphed 8-7 to make the 1st Round for first time in 12 years. North Ferriby United exit at their best Cup run level for third successive year.

10. National League sides FC Halifax Town and Guiseley will have to replay following their 2-2 draw. FC Halifax Town won the replay 2-1 in extra time to at least equal their best ever FA Cup run.

11. Likewise National League sides Tranmere Rovers and Lincoln City will have to go again following their scoreless draw. Tranmere have another chance to avoid being knocked out before the 1st Round for the first time in 91 years. With Lincoln City winning the replay 2-0 Tranmere do exit the Cup in the Qualifying Rounds fro the first time since 1924/25 season.

12. Stourbridge overcame a 2 step gap to defeat local rivals Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 to close the gap in FA Cup victories between the two sides to 3 wins to five.

13. Macclesfield Town finally proved too strong for Alfreton Town from one Division below winning 3-2 and defeating their opponents in the FA Cup for the third time in three meetings.

14. Whilst Brackley Town made sure they were not victims of a 2 step giant-killing act from Bamber Bridge by winning 3-0 and setting up a chance of emulating their best ever FA Cup run of the 2nd Round.

15. Altrincham beat fellow National League side Chester 1-0 to reach the 1st Round for the third time in 4 seasons.

16. Whitehawk beat Poole Town 2-0 to reach the 1st Round for the first time in their history whilst preventing their opponents from achieving the same feat for the first time in 32 years.

17. Maidenhead United is another club producing a Step 2 victory over a Step 1 side beating Woking 3-0 and take a two to one advantage in terms of FA Cup wins over each other.

18. Likewise Basingstoke Town who beat Torquay United by the same 3-0 scoreline and avenging their defeat by the same opponent 26 years ago.

19. Another potential giant-killing will have to be on hold as Step 3 Grays Athletic were unfortunate not to beat National League side Welling United, the game ending 1-1. Four goals from Xavier Vidal sealed a 4-0 win for the National League side in the replay.

20. Boreham Wood avoided the banana skin of losing to AFC Hornchurch from three leagues below them with a tight 2-1 victory and avenged the defeat by the same team back in 2006/07 season.

21. Wealdstone beat Bognor Regis Town from one league below 2-1 to reach the 1st Round for the first time in six seasons, and preventing their opponents from doing the same for the first time in 20 years.

22. Didcot Town came from two goals down to beat Brentwood Town 4-2 to become the team from these two to reach the 1st Round for the first time in their history. The Railwaymen are also the first club from Step 4 in the non-league pyramid to make this year’s 1st Round. Brentwood can console themselves with creating a personal best in the FA Cup.

23. There was a sense of deja vu as Eastbourne Borough lost to Dover Athletic in the 4th Qualifying Round as they did last season, but this time 2-1 instead of 1-0.

24. Chesham United make the 1st Round for the first time in 21 years after beating fellow Step 3 side Enfield Town 2-1.

25. Staines Town not only defeated Gloucester City from one League above them 2-1 but also avenged the 3-2 defeat they suffered at the hands of the same opponents last season.

26. Aldershot Town won 1-0 against Sutton United from one league below making it two wins out of two for them against their opponents in the FA Cup.

27. Eastleigh beat their National League opponents Bromley 2-1 to give themselves the chance of equalling their best ever Cup run of the 2nd Round as achieved last season.

28. Margate gave National League leaders Forest Green Rovers a good run but the higher League side eventually triumphed 2-1 putting to rest their current trend that had predicted they should have lost this 4th Qualifying Rond tie

29. Braintree Town have made it to the 1st Round for the fourth successive season after winning 2-0 against Harlow Town from three divisions below them. Can the club now go further for the first time ever?

30. Step 2 side Havant and Waterlooville and National League outfit Cheltenham Town played out an entertaining 3-3 draw giving the lower league side a second opportunity to be the first team to knock Cheltenham out of the Cup in the Qualifying Rounds for 20 years. A 1-0 replay win means the National League side will maintain that long record of always being in the 1st Round.

31. Step 2 side Maidstone United defeated Step 3 side Chippenham Town 2-0 to give them the chance to equal their best ever Cup run of 2nd Round set last season.

32. St Albans City won the battle of the Step 2 sides by beating Weston-super-Mare 2-1.

FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Tie-by-Tie Preview

Club Badges 15-16 Q4 Round-page-001

1. Gateshead (Step 1) v Worcester City (Step 2) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Gateshead’s best performance was reaching the 3rd Round, which they did for the first time last season, whilst City has made it as far as the 4th Round, although that was 57 years ago.

2. AFC Fylde (Step 2) v Barrow (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides, AFC Fylde has two Cup wins this season F10 A0 and last season equalled their best Cup run by reaching the 1st Round. Barrow best is 3rd Round achieved 11 times, the last three times as a non-league side.

3. Wrexham (Step 1) v Gainsborough Trinity (Step 2) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Wrexham hasn’t been knocked out in Q4 round for five years whilst Trinity hasn’t made 1st Round for eight seasons. Wrexham made Quarter Finals twice in the Seventies and once in the nineties. Trinity’s best is 3rd Round achieved 129 years ago.

4. Northwich Victoria (Step 4) v Chorley (Step 2) – One previous FA Cup meeting between the two sides saw The Vics triumph 4-1 in a 3rd Qualifying Round tie six years ago. That was also the last time The Vics went beyond 4th Qualifying Round, but the club did make the Quarter Finals in the 19th Century. The Magpies have made the 2nd Round twice, but the last time in 1990/91 was also the last time the club made it beyond the 4th Qualifying Round.

5. Harrogate Town (Step 2) v Grimsby Town (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Harrogate made 2nd Round as recently as 2011/12, whilst Grimsby Town have gone further in the Cup than any other side in this 4th Qualifying Round making it all the way to the Semi Finals twice in the late 1930s.

6. Barwell (Step 3) v AFC Rushden and Diamonds (Step 4) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. This tie guarantees at least one side will be in the 1st Round for the first time ever. Barwell are equalling their best Cup run by being in 4th Qualifying Round (achieved twice before most recently last season), whilst AFC Rushden and Diamonds is already in uncharted territory having previously only made it as far as the 3rd Qualifying Round in their short history.

7. Salford City (Step 3) v Southport (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. The Ammies are in the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time ever in their 26th FA Cup campaign, whilst Southport made it as far as the Quarter Finals as a third tier side 85 years ago.

8. Sporting Khalsa (Step 5) v FC United of Manchester (Step 2) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, unsurprisingly really as Sporting Khalsa had only ever made it as far as the Preliminary Round in their previous two FA Cup campaigns. Reaching the 4th Qualifying Round after starting in the Extra Preliminary Round is the equivalent of a Premier League club reaching the Final itself. FC United of Manchester made it as far as the 2nd Round just five years ago.

9. Stalybridge Celtic (Step 2) v North Ferriby United (Step 2) – These National League North sides met in the FA Cup in the 2nd Qualifying Round in 1980/81 season with Celtic winning the replay 3-0 after a goalless first match. Celtic has made the 2nd Round on three separate occasions, most recently at the turn of the Century, whilst North Ferriby United are equalling their best ever Cup run achieved three times before including in each of the last two seasons.

10. FC Halifax Town (Step 1) v Guiseley (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between this two National League sides. Both sides have made the 1st Round in the past, Halifax three times (most recently last season) and Guiseley on six separate occasions.

11. Tranmere Rovers (Step 1) v Lincoln City (Step 1) – The two sides met as League clubs in the 1st Round 1964/65 with The Imps winning 1-0 in a replay. Tranmere made the Quarter Finals three times at the start of the 21st Century, but this is their first appearance in a Qualifying Round tie for 91 years. Lincoln City’s best performance was a 5th Round appearance 129 years ago.

12. Stourbridge (Step 3) v Kidderminster Harriers (Step 1) – These two Central Engoand clubs have been drawn together seven times in the FA Cup in the past, the first time a 1st Qualifying Round match in 1895/96 won by The Harriers 2-1 in a replay after a goalless draw. Kidderminster has won five of the previous encounters, Stourbridge just two but they did have the biggest win 5-2 in a 1st Qualifying Round tie in 1900/01. The Glassboys have made the 2nd Round twice in the past four seasons, whilst The Harriers made it as far as the 5th Round 22 years ago.

13. Macclesfield Town (Step 1) v Alfreton Town (Step 2) – Two previous meetings in the FA Cup have both been won by Macclesfield in 1966/67 (1st Qualifying Round) and 2004/05 (1st Round). The Reds have made the 2nd Roynd twice in the last seven seasons whilst The Silkmen were in the 4th Round in 2012/13.

14. Brackley Town (Step 2) v Bamber Bridge (Step 4) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Brackley made the 2nd Round just two seasons ago, whilst Brig also made the 2nd Round in the year 2000, the only time they have been beyond the 4th Qualifying Round.

15. Altrincham (Step 1) v Chester (Step 1) – First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Chester set a personal best in the Cup last season by reaching the 2nd Round, whilst Altrincham famously made the 4th Round 30 years ago.

16. Whitehawk (Step 2) v Poole Town (Step 3) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. The Hawks are equalling their best ever Cup run achieved just once in the 1988/89 season, whilst Poole made it to the 3rd Round in 1926/27, but hasn’t gone beyond 4th Qualifying Round in 32 years.

17. Maidenhead United (Step 2) v Woking (Step 1) – The clubs have met twice before in the FA Cup with one win apiece. Woking won a 1st Qualifying Round tie 1-0 in 1972/73 whilst The Magpies won 4-1 in a 3rd Qualifying Round four years ago. Maidenhead are a former Quarter Finalist three times in the Cup’s formative years whilst the cards made the 4th Round in 1990/91.

18. Basingstoke Town (Step 2) v Torquay United (Step 1) – One previous meeting in the FA Cup resulted in a 3-2 win for the Devon based side in a 2nd Round encounter in 1990. That was one of the three occasions Basingstoke made the 2nd Round, the last time in 2006/07. Torquay has made the 4th Round seven different times, but last season was the first time they failed to make the 1st Round in 90 years.

19. Grays Athletic (Step 3) v Welling United (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two clubs. Grays made the 2nd Round in 2005/06 but has not been in the 1st Round for seven years. The Wings made the 3rd Round in 1989.

20. Boreham Wood (Step 1) v AFC Hornchurch (Step 4) – One previous meeting in the FA Cup was won 2-0 by AFC Hornchurch (2nd Qualifying Round 2006/07), but this three step gap is the largest between confirmed clubs in this 4th Qualifying Round and the club has not reached its best Cup run of the 1st Round for seven years. Boreham Wood made two 2nd Round appearances in the late 1990s.

21. Wealdstone (Step 2) v Bognor Regis Town (Step 3) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Wealdstone did make the 3rd Round in 1977/78 but has not appeared in the 1st Round for six seasons. The Rocks has made the 2nd Round four times, the last time of which, 1995/96, was the last time the club made it beyond the 4th Qualifying Round.

22. Didcot Town (Step 4) v Brentwood Town (Step 3) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides in a tie that will see one club making it to the 1st Round for the 1st time in their history. Didcot has only been this far once before three years ago, whilst Brentwood are in the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time ever in their 16th FA Cup campaign. History will be made.

23. Eastbourne Borough (Step 2) v Dover Athletic (Step 1) – Sports will be hoping to avenge the 1-0 defeat by Dover in a replay at this same stage last season, but they haven’t equalled their best Cup run of reaching the 1st Round for seven seasons. Dover, on the other hand, equalled their best of reaching the 3rd Round last season.

24. Chesham United (Step 3) v Enfield Town (Step 3) – First ever FA Cup meeting for these two sides. The Generals have made 3rd Round in the past in 1979/80 season but have not made the 1st Round for 21 years. Enfield Town are into the 4th Qualifying Round for the first ever time at their 13th attempt, so some form of history will be made for the winner of this tie.

25. Staines Town (Step 3) v Gloucester City (Step 2) – The clubs met last season in 3rd Qualifying Round with The Tigers beating The Swans 3-2 after a replay. Staines has made the 2nd Round twice in the last eight seasons, whilst Gloucester City’s best is also the 2nd Round but not achieved for 26 years.

26. Aldershot Town (Step 1) v Sutton United (Step 2) – Clubs have one previous FA Cup meeting, a Q3 Round tie in 2001/02 won 3-0 by Aldershot. Both sides have made 4th Round in the past; The Shots three years ago, Sutton United twice, most famously in 1989.

27. Bromley (Step 1) v Eastleigh (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting for these two National League sides. Both have made the 2nd Round in the past, Bromley three consecutive Cup seasons either side of the 2nd World War, Eastleigh for the first time last season.

28. Margate (Step 2) v Forest Green Rovers (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Both have reached the 3rd Round in the past. Margate has been there twice, but has not gone beyond the 4th Qualifying Rd for 13 years. Rovers has made it in 2008/09 and 2009/10 but last five seasons have seen an ominous pattern in their Cup exits: R1/Q4/R1/Q4/R1

29. Braintree Town (Step 1) v Harlow Town (Step 4) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Braintree has made the 1st Round four times in total and has done so in each of the last three seasons. Harlow has actually been as far as the 4th Round in the past, in the 1979/80 season, but hasn’t gone beyond the 4th Qualifying Round for seven years.

30. Havant and Waterlooville (Step 2) v Cheltenham Town (Step 1) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. Havant and Waterlooville famously made it to the 4th Round in 2007/08, whilst Cheltenham has been as far as the 5th Round in 2001/02, and primarily by virtue of being a League side, hasn’t been knocked out as early as 4th Qualifying Round for 20 years.

31. Chippenham Town (Step 3) v Maidstone United (Step 2) – First ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides. The Chips have made it as far as 1st Round twice before, the last time 10 years ago, whilst The Stones set their best Cup run of reaching the 2nd Round last season.

32. St Albans City (Step 2) v Weston-super-Mare (Step 2) – First ever FA Cup meeting of these two National League South clubs. Both have made the 2nd Round in the past, St Albans three times (most recently 1996/97) and The Seagulls just the once in 2003/04.