“One more win” was the phrase on the minds of the fans of all twelve surviving teams who had made it to the second round of the FA Cup, just one game away from the promised land of the Third Round and the chance to come up against one of the Premier League teams. There was £27,000 on offer for the winner s at this stage and the chance of a six figure payday should they get through and be shown on TV, and with five all non-league ties, there would be a healthy number participating in the next stage.
With the Barrow v Macclesfield tie postponed hours before kick-off due to a frozen pitch, and three games ending in draws, only Luton Town could guarantee their place in the next round. The Hatters beat Blue Square South side Dorchester Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road thanks to goals from Andre Gray and Alex Lawless. Aaron Pugh gave the visitors hope but they couldn’t find that extra goal despite ending the game pressurising the hosts defence.
The lowest ranked team still in the competition – Hastings United- earned their right to a replay after coming from behind in the second half after Tom Platt had put Harrogate Town ahead. Tom Crellin equalised on the hour to make sure Harrogate had to travel down to the South coast to try again. Lincoln City and Mansfield shared six goals at Sincil Bank with Matt Rheads injury time goal causing a replay after a 3-3 draw. Matt Green put the Stags ahead before Alan Power and Jamie Taylor swung the game in Lincolns favour. Louis Briscoe equalised but Alan Powers second of the game looked to have given Lincoln the victory until Rhead’s late input. Hereford United came from behind after four first half minutes produced the games talking points as the game finished 1-1. Shaun Harrad put the hosts ahead only for Josh O Keefe to quickly restore parity. Alfreton and Chelmsford bowed out of the competition losing to Leyton Orient and Crawley respectively, Orient winning 4-2 away at Alfreton and Chelmsford succumbing 3-0 away at Crawley.
The plum draw of the round will fall to the side that emerges from the Lincoln City / Mansfield replay, the winner of which will come up against Liverpool at home in the Sunday afternoon ESPN game. Hereford United also getting their chance to host a Merseyside giant if they get past Cheltenham in their replay, with the winner facing Everton. Barrow and Macclesfield got a potentially money spinning draw too, the winner of their tie facing Cardiff at home, whilst Luton Town face Wolverhampton Wanderers and the other remaining non-league teams Harrogate and Hastings will replay for the right to travel to Middlesbrough for their game.
Third Round Draw
Barrow AFC / Macclesfield vs Cardiff
Middlesbrough vs Harrogate Town / Hastings United
Lincoln City / Mansfield Town vs Liverpool
Cheltenham Town / Hereford United vs Everton