Just one more step to the first round proper of the 2012 / 13 FA Cup, and this is where the money starts to play a big part in the proceedings. There is £12,500 for each of the winners at this stage and the chance of TV money appears on the horizon for getting through to the next round as well as the obvious spin offs from ticket sales and merchandising for the teams lucky enough to get the plum ties of the round. But first they had to negotiate one final qualifying round, and the introduction of the top flight teams from the non-league system.
First up is the ‘Road To Wembley’ game where Boston United fell at home to Altrincham 3-1 after three second half goals from the visitors spoilt the day for Boston who had taken the lead in the eleventh minute. The biggest upset happened at Rodney Parade where Newport County lost to the Yate Town (now the lowest ranked team in the competition). The teams had drawn 3-3 at Yate, and had ended 90 minutes at 1-1 in the replay, but goals from Scott Thomas and Matt Groves in the first period of injury time lead the Bluebells to the First Round for the first time in their history.
There was eight all Blue Square Bet Premier ties. Goals in the last minute of both halves ensured Wrexham continued in the cup with a 2-0 win at home to Southport. Luton Town also won 2-0 away at Cambridge United with Andre Gray and Jon Shaw finding the net. League strugglers Kidderminster Harriers found some form to beat Grimsby Town 4-2 with five of the six goals coming in a frantic first half. Forest Green Rovers need a replay before overcoming Dartford with a convincing 4-1 win away at Princes Park. On loan striker Louis Almond and Adam Boyes helped ensure Barrows recent run of good form continued with 2-0 win at home against Tamworth and Nuneaton need a replay to beat AFC Telford 1-0 after a 2-2 draw in the first game. A late goal from Moses Ashikodi was enough for Ebbsfleet United to send Woking out of the cup with a 1-0 win and in the other all BSBP ties two second half goals saw Afreton Town beat Gateshead 2-0.
In the other ties, Lincoln City saw off FC Halifax 2-0 ending the run of all the ‘phoenix ‘ clubs left in the competition, with FC United also falling at this stage losing 2-0 at home to Hereford United in front of another large enthusiastic crowd of over 2000. BSBP bottom club Hyde lost away at Harrogate Town after the replay finally went ahead at the third time of asking after two previous postponements. Mansfield saw off a determined Workington Town 2-1 at Derwent Park thanks to a brace from Jake Speight whilst Stockport edged an eight goal thriller at Edegeley Park 5-3 with eight different scorers providing a night full of entertainment.
Braintree scraped past Lowestoft with a 3-2 win a t home whilst Cambridge City earned bragging rights against their higher level city rivals by beating AFC Totton in another tight 3-2 victory. Hastings cruised past Blackfield & Langley 3-0 and Bradford Park Avenue earned their spot in the First Round with a convincing 4-1 win at home against Ossett Albion.
The First Round Draw as always threw up some interesting ties, with Cambridge City playing the Friday night game live on ESPN against Milton Keynes Dons before the round resumes over the weekend. There are plenty of decent opportunities for giant killings and at least six non-league teams will get through to the Second Round and the following ties contain non-league significance.
First round draw
Hereford United vs Shrewsbury Town
Boreham Wood vs Brentford
Kidderminster Harriers vs Oldham Athletic
Chelsmford City vs Colchester United
Metropolitan Police vs Crawley Town
Luton Town vs Nuneaton Town
Bishop’s Stortford vs Hastings United
Fleetwood Town vs Bromley
Forest Green Rovers vs Port Vale
Torquay United vs Harrogate Town
Cheltenham Town vs Yate Town
Coventry City vs Arlesey Town
Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford Park Avenue
Aldershot Town vs Hendon
Wrexham vs Alfreton Town
Southend United vs Stockport County
Mansfield Town vs Slough Town
AFC Fylde vs Accrington Stanley
Guiseley AFC vs Barrow AFC
Carlisle United vs Ebbsfleet United
Braintree Town vs Tranmere Rovers
Gloucester City vs Leyton Orient
Burton Albion vs Altrincham
Dorchester Town vs Plymouth Argyle