Category Archives: The FA Cup

Review of FA Cup Round One Action


Some people may wonder why I am only posting this now but if truth be told the FA Cup 1st round has only just finished. So we are going to look back at the 10 games that I picked out on Friday.

The biggest upset was on Saturday when Swindon Town visited Cheshire and face Macclesfield Town. An upset was forseeable but nobody saw a 4-0 score line being the result. Goals from Connor Jennings (2), Scott Boden and Peter Winn saw them put a massive upset at Mose Road.

Stourbridge will be representing the Dudley Borough in the second round with a trip to Stevenage after they hammered Biggleswade with a 4-1 win at home. Two goals from the on loan Ryan Rowe and one each from Will Richards and Luke Benbow put the Glassboys through. While Evan Key scored for Biggleswade which made it 1-1 at one point.


Hednesford Town pushed Crawley Town all the way at Keys Park. After a goalless first half The Pitmen captain Darren Campion netted an own goal to give Crawley the lead before Elliot Durrell equalized from the spot but with just minutes to go sub Emilie Sinclair scored the winner put the Surry side level.


Edger Davids took his Barnet side to Lancashire to face Preston North End, but against one of the top 4 teams in league one they came unstuck as the Lilywhites ran rampant winning 6-0.

Goals from Tom Clarke, Joe Garner two and a half hat-trick from Paul Gallagher won the Lilywhites the game who also had Stuart Beavon sent off. While the Bees lost Keanu Marsh-Brown to a 12th minute red card.


Daventry’s big day out at Chesterfield didn’t end too badly as they took a creditable 2-0 defeat.

It took over an hour for the hosts to find the back of the net with Gary Roberts scoring on 69 minutes and Jimmy Ryan on 88 minutes. As the Northamptonshire side enjoyed their day in the limelight.


Halifax Town were knocked out of this seasons competition losing 4-1 at MK Dons. MK won the game with goals from a Izale Mcleod brace, a penalty from Shaun Williams and Brendon Galloway. While Lee Gregory scored the goal for the visitors.


Bishop Stortford lost 2-1 to Northampton in front of the TV cameras on Sunday. It took until the hour mark for the Cobblers to break through with Danny Emerton scoring for the visitors before Luke Norris made it 2-0 for the Football League side. The Storts got a goal back through Reece Prestedge but it wasn’t enough to force a replay.


In the all Skrill Premier clash it was Wrexham who came out onto of Alfreton by winning 3-1.

A brace from Andy Bishop put the Red Dragons ahead before Jake Speight scored from the spot just after the hour mark. But Jay Harris made it 3-1 to kill off anymore fight backs from Alfreton.


Gloucester City went out of Saturdays competition losing 2-0 at home to League Two leaders Fleetwood Town.

Goals either end of the game from David Ball (11 minutes) and Jon Parkin (84 minutes) put the Cod Army though to the second round of the competition.


The final of our top 10 games was Shortwood United playing Port Vale in front of the BT Cameras as Vale ran out 4-0 winners.

The Vale went ahead on 15 minutes through Jennison Myrie-Williams and on 30 minutes Vale went 2-0 with Chris Birchall making it 2-0. It stayed that way until the end when on 89 minutes Williams scored from the spot, before Chris Lines it 4-0 on 90 minutes.

The Vale team had to use a local park and ride to get to the ground due to no car park being at the ground.

Watch highlights of the game here.

There were other shocks including Tamworth beating Cheltenham 1-0 at The Lamb but there were impressive wins for Kidderminster Harriers, Dover and Welling (who knocked out Luton who made last seasons 5th round.) While Gateshead, Grimsby and Lincoln City all have replays against Football League sides.


The Magic of the FA Cup 10 games to look out for.


The Magic of the FA Cup returns this week and this is when it gets really serious. (Well for the national media does anyway.) League One and Two teams come into the draw now and it has produced some fantastic ties here are out top 10 games coming up in the FA Cup.

How TV bosses over looked Daventry visit to Chesterfield as a possible cup upset I will never know. One of the lowest ranked teams playing at the Procat stadium, Chesterfield.

It is just full of cup upsets however I am sure the Northamptonshire club fans will enjoy their trip to Derbyshire in what will be a little cracker and who knows an upset could be on the cards there.

One game that could be an upset and is on TV is Bishop Storford welcoming Northampton Town to ProKit UK stadium. The Skrill South side that are famous for being placed in the Conference North a few seasons ago will enjoy hosting Northampton live on TV.

The Cobbles sit at the foot of the Football League and with the Storts 3rd in the Skrill South there is every chance of a famous upset coming from Hertfordshire.

Another game that can see a possible upset is Hednesford v Crawley Town , which is one of the games that has extended highlights on ITV. The Pitmen sit top of the Skrill North despite only being promoted last season and look a good bet to keep on their good form and win the promotion.

In Crawley Town they welcome a team no stranger to an FA Cup run themselves having made the 5th round to visit Manchester United but lost 1-0. Crawley Town, formerly of the Southern League and rivals of The Pitmen, sit 13th in League One and could this time they be on a cup upset.

You can see my FA Cup preview on Hednesford below.

Preston North End v Barnet is an interesting tie for me personally. The Bees managed by Edger Davids one of the most well known managers in the world of Non-league.

Ok he may not be at Deepdale as he doesn’t travel far north (which for me is a bit arrogant but that is beside the point.) Preston are in the top four and under Simon Grayson look set to make a return to the Championship next May and I am sure he will be looking forward to welcoming Davids to the Deepdale dugout.

Halifax Town travel to MK Dons in another FA Cup tie. The Skrill Premier side have made a fantastic start to life there and an FA Cup upset will be great for them having dispatched Nuneaton in the last round They Shaymen will be hoping to have another cup upset and get themselves on TV.

While MK Dons, the club forced AFC Wimbledon to be form, sit 8th in League One and while they expect for it to be a formality for them to progress into Sunday’s draw.

Monday’s FA Cup tie see Shortwood United welcome League One to Port Vale.

The Wood knocked out former Football League club Aldershot out in the last round and now will be looking to do the same vs Port Vale.

There is the added bonus that Shortwood joint manager Alex Sykes grew up in the area and will be looking to get one over his local club.

The Valiant have been in this place before when they faced Forest Green Rovers at this stage last season so know what to expect from Shortwood.

It is not just league v Non-league Saturday as Stourbridge v Biggleswade face each other on Saturday. The Glassboys will be a little disappointed not to be welcoming a Football League side to the War Memorial Stadium but in welcoming Biggleswade they must be happy in having a chance to progress into Round Two.

While Biggleswade will face their league rivals. The Town sits in mid table ahead of their trip to promotion chasing Stourbridge in a game, which could go either way.

Homeless Gloucester City welcomes Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup. Gloucester homeless since 2007 and the flooding and are soon hoping to return to Meadow Park their home.

Fleetwood Town are look to be getting another promotion as they sit high in League Two. Having won the two legged race with Wrexham in the Conference Premier couple of season ago they haven’t found Football League plain sailing but will hope to going up this time round.

Macclesfield Town vs Swindon is the penultimate fixture we preview. Macc haven’t had a great time this season and after a 7-0 win over Vauxhall Motors in the last round they will be hoping the FA Cup can give them some relief from the league struggle.

Swindon Town offer the Macc a stern test as they sit just outside of the play offs but will Mark Cooper, who last season at time was managing Telford United in the Conference Premier will want a distraction from the League Challenge.

The final game is another all non-league clash as Alfreton Town visit Wrexham as we are set to have at least one Skrill Premier side into the 2nd round and it is a tough one to call who makes it into through.

Wrexham have struggled this season and sit 17th in the league only having won just 5 of their games this season, which has been very disappointing for a team who won the FA Trophy and made the Play Off final last season.

While after a good start to the season Alfreton sit 9th in the league, wins over the likes of Kidderminster, Forest Green and Woking they should be favorites but this is the FA Cup and anything could happen.

That is just 10 games there are many more which you can see here. We will be you a round up of the FA Cup fixture over the weekend.

Look back at the FA Cup 4Q round.


The FA Cup has really got underway now as Conference Premier teams entered the fray for the competition on Saturday and despite a few potential upsets most of the Skrill Premier sides have made it into round One of the competition.

Barring the likes of Aldershot and Kidderminster who drew 1-1 away to Shortwood and Bradford Park Avenue away respectively we have 12 teams already in the round two with 3 more possibly joining us.

Where teams have gone out it is only due to being in an all Conference Premier ties such as Chester going out to Gateshead. While the only real upset so far came at manager less Forest Green Rovers who went out to Bishop Stortford at home.

The result means that The Skrill South side get to play the Cobblers of Northampton Town fc in the first round of the FA Cup.

But overall the weekend has been a really enjoyable one with lots of goals for example we had at 8 at Southport as they won 6-2 over Marske United from the Northern League.

To be fair to Alan Wright he could have easily rested his stars but he played a strong 11 and were 4-0 up after 15 minutes played okay they took their foot off the gas but as the end of the day it was also going to be a case of getting the first couple of goals and it kills the game.

We also had 7 goals at Macclesfield where the Skrill Premier side hammered Vauxhall Motors 7-0 at Mose Road with a bit of a strange score line.

I had seen the Motormen earlier in action this season as they knocked out Chorley fc (the team I support) 4-0 out of the competition so was a little surprised when the full time score flash up on my twitter feed.

A 15 minute hat-trick from Danny Rowe as well as goals from Connor Jennings, Danny Whitaker, Scott Boden and Scott Key put to the hosts through and was also Macc’s biggest win in over 17 years, so a good day for the Cheshire Club.

Personally for me I was the other side of Staffordshire to cover Tamworth v Solihull Moors which saw The Lambs walk all over the Moors with a 4-1 win. Goals from Richard Peniket, 2 from the birthday boy Nick Chadwick and one for sub Ben Richards-Everton made sure there was no upsets in South Staffordshire.

It was a really enjoyable game and despite the score was very end to end and the 319 Solihull fans who travelled to Staffordshire did themselves proud by singing till the end.

After the game I went to interview Dale Belford, the Tamworth fc manager for a website I work for called StaffsLive and the Tamworth press Officer filmed me doing the interview for their YouTube account and was given credit. You can see the video below.

There were also a few upsets one being Stourbridge winning at Workington, who sit bottom of the Skrill North. The Glassboys are no strangers to a cup upset having knocked out Plymouth 2-0 in the first round a couple of years back, this having drawn 3-3 in the original game.

The draw was made Sunday lunchtime and has thrown up some great games. Personally speaking I like the look of Hednesford v Crawley and Tamworth v Cheltenham Town (for StaffsLive reasons), Southport (One the closet team to where I live) have a trip to Leyton Orient.

But one of the ties of the round is Daventry being rewarded for beating Hartley Wintney 6-1 by facing Chestefield in the second round. The away end at the Proact stadium will certainly be full of fans cheering on the Southern League side.

For the full draw click here.

How to rekindle the magic of the FA Cup

This is a piece I wrote for the Atherton Colls match day programme vs Radcliffe Borough for the FA Cup game earlier this season which is reproduced below. If you want to view the whole programme you can find it on the link below.

The Football Association Challenge Cup- the oldest knockout competition in the world. Better known as The FA Cup.

For years the competition has brought upsets and magical moments which has left the fans and the players wanting more. But has the competition now being devalued as the so called big teams fielded weakened teams?

Once the FA Cup was the biggest competition for English teams after the league. But now English teams are making the latter stages of The Champions Leagues and surviving in the league becoming more important the FA Cup is being devalued by many clubs.

Wigan Athletic bucked the trend last season and managed to win the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester City. But, were sadly relegated just days later after their cup success. This seemed to be a similar story at Luton Town as they missed out on a shot of promotion as they had an excellent cup run which included them beating Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road. Before going out in the 5th round to Millwall at Kenilworth Road.

But on the whole it feels like the greatest knockout competition in the world is losing the magic touch so how can we make it better?

Well for a start the media could cover the earlier games a lot more. In the early rounds only the local media covers the cup ties such as the local newspapers and the non-league paper. I fully understand people watching BBC will not want to watch a game such as Atherton Colls v Radcliffe Borough live on the BBC but maybe the FA Cup could have a camera there and it be put on the North-West web page. As not every team can make it into round one and get on the TV.

Also the round names could be changed why is it that we play in the first qualifying round etc. Clubs have already qualified for the FA Cup so why do Non-league teams have to go through a qualifying process to make it into playing Premier League teams. Many people think the FA Cup start at round 3 when Premier League and Championship sides enter the fray. Yet some teams like Hasting United last season have been playing in the cup competition since September.

My final way that the FA Cup could be improved is by seeding the teams so a premier league and championship clubs are in one pot, league one, two and non-league clubs in the other. That way we can have a more David v Goliath ties. The FA Cup is famous for the Giant killings and it’s what everyone loves. Also it will stop the all premier-league clashes happening. We seem play each other week, so why do we want to watch them again? The FA Cup is a chance for a little side to pit their wits against the big boys. I know we may at points be imbalanced so the lower ranked teams are placed in one pot and the top teams in the other.

I doubt the FA will use these ideas and will leave it how it is, but maybe they will try for a change and will go for it and trying and make the FA Cup become the great competition a club side can play in these days.

You can read a copy of that match day programme here.

FC United’s Matt Walwyn look at the draw against former club Chorley

The FA Cup draw has thrown up some interesting ties. But, the stand out is in the first qualifying round, as FC United Of Manchester will host Evo-stik Premier Division rivals Chorley FC.

There is just over 20 miles between the two club so, a number of players have played for both sides- James Holden, Simon Garner and Chris Amadi, just three names of former players to don the Black and While stripes of Chorley and the Red of FC United of Manchester.

Matt Walwyn, now of FC United Of Manchester- formerly of Chorley FC  photo by Richard Scott

Matt Walwyn, now of FC United Of Manchester- formerly of Chorley FC
photo by Richard Scott

Another one of those players is Matt Walwyn and the Non-league scene caught up with the tricky winger after the draw was announced. Here is what Walwyn first thoughts were on the draw: “When I checked our website to see who we had been drawn against and saw that it was Chorley.

“my first thought was that it’s a tough draw, Chorley always give us a good game, proving last year when they beat us at home (3-1).”

Last season FC United made the play off final but lost out 2-1 to Hednesford Town at Keys Park while Chorley just missed out on the end of season play off but the previous season both sides made the play off met in the semi final with FC United Of Manchester winning 2-0.

As Walwyn said the game will be tough for both teams and no doubt both teams will be challenging for promotion come the end of the season once again so is this a good draw for FC United or would they have preferred a tie against a lower ranked club say Bamber Bridge or Lancaster City: “Come the end of the season I expect to see FC UTD around the top positions with the likes of Chorley and Fylde, they both have very strong teams.

“so for our progression a lower team would have been ideal but, what ever the team your against, we all know the FA CUP can bring some memorable games.”

This summer Chorley have moved to sign FC United duo Jake Cotterll and Carlos Roca from the Gigg Lane outfit. While former FC United shot stopper Sam Ashton has made the move to Victory Park from Skelmersdale United.

All three will get a great reception according to Walwyn: “I think that they will get or hopefully get a good reception, I didn’t see much of Roca because of his injured but he is a very sharp and tricky winger.

“I was sad to Jake leave because I believe he is a quality player and should be playing higher, I think Gary will be able to improve him even more and he will fit into his team perfect.”

Walwyn spent the 2011-2012 season at Victory Park, the home of Chorley FC. At Chorley they were semi finalist of the Play offs and were winners of the Lancashire Co-Operative Challenging trophy so what are Walwyn memories of being at Victory Park?

“Being able to managed by Gary Flitcroft and Matt Jansen was quality, as they know how to get the best out of you. Playing in front of 600 plus week was a good memory too, the club has an amazing fan base.

“I think the favorite memory was my first away trip with the team when we won 4-3 and I scored the winner (away at Mickleover Sports after being 3-1 down), that goes down as my best highlight I think.”

But how does this compare to playing in front of an average of 2,000 fans at FC United Of Manchester? FC is a quality club, the club is run in a very professional way throughout from match days to training to the behind the scenes. Also you have the fans, being able to play in front of them every week without fail is an amazingly feeling.

“Even our away trip to Germany in May there was around 800 fans that travelled out to watch us play. That sort of dedication from the fans and club will only move the club forward in years to come, its just up to us lads to provide the results.”

The game takes place on Saturday the 14th September and is set to take place at Gigg Lane, where FC United are ground sharing and here is how Matt sees the game going: “It will be a tough game for both teams, but its got to be an FC win hasn’t it? What ever the outcome though I am sure it will be an entertaining game like always.”

The Full FA Cup draw can be seen on the FA website