The last two rounds of The Emirates FA Cup have seen some huge upsets with teams looking to reach the third round, giving them the opportunity to face Premier League opposition.
It is a magical competition where non-league sides can come up against professional teams but now the Championship and Premier League teams enter.
Previously for Back Page Football, I looked at The Emirates FA Cup first round draw – The ties to watch out for, but now their will be more interest in the competition with bigger sides entering. Yes, the FIFA World Cup may still be on but the next round of the FA Cup is coming up – could some more teams cause an upset in the third round?
Rewinding back to the first round and there was a number of upsets. Firstly, Vanarama National League South side Chippenham Town beat Lincoln City of League One 1-0 courtesy of a Joe Hanks goal to book their place in the second round. King’s Lynn Town of the sixth tier overcame Doncaster Rovers and another League Two side was on the end of an upset when Sutton United lost to Farnborough. Also, one of the biggest upsets of the round, Alvechurch, occupants of the Southern League Premier Division Central, beat Cheltenham Town 2-1 with two goals from Danny Waldron.
Onto the second round now and the non-league sides were becoming fewer as a potential Premier League encounter was one win away. National League side Chesterfield beat AFC Wimbledon of League One to become one of only a handful of non-league teams that have guaranteed their place in the next round.
Another non-league side that will feature in the third round is Boreham Wood who secured a 2-0 away victory over Bristol Rovers. When they were in this competition last season, they got to the fifth round and were eventually beaten by Everton. Chippenham Town were unable to follow up their heroics from the previous round as Burton Albion beat the Bluebirds 6-1.
Wrexham avoided a slight scare against Farnborough but the Red Dragons won 4-1. Farnborough equalised with around 30 minutes remaining but a Paul Mullin brace and a strike from Elliot Lee secured the win. Alvechurch were unable to cause another upset as they lost 2-1 to Forest Green Rovers and Buxton also couldn’t progress against higher opposition with defeat to Ipswich Town. Ebbsfleet United are flying in the National League South and they came very close to causing an upset against Fleetwood Town but the Fishermen won 1-0.
Onto the ties that are set to be played in the third round and a host of Premier League teams have been tied against each other. Manchester United and Everton will meet as well as Manchester City and Chelsea who have already faced each other in the Carabao Cup this season. League Two side Stevenage have progressed and face an away trip to Aston Villa after avoiding an upset against Kings Lynn Town in the last round. Wrexham will be hoping for a Hollywood story to be written as they travel to Coventry City while another non-league side, Boreham Wood have the visit of Accrington Stanley.
Chesterfield will have West Brom coming to the Technique Stadium and they will be looking to have a similar run to last season where they played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Oxford United have a home tie against Premier League leaders Arsenal while Championship side Cardiff City face the visit of Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United. The winner of Dagenham & Redbridge and Gillingham will have a home tie against Leicester City and Portsmouth will be making the trip to north London to face Tottenham Hotspur.
The FA Cup is a special competition. The upsets, the bigger sides going to compact non-league grounds is what this competition is all about. There are some notable third round ties, they are taking place from January 6 to January 9, and there could be many upsets. But which ties are you most looking forward to?