As this week has seen no Sunday league action, the best lower league action was in the first round of the FA cup. In the world’s oldest competition, the first round is when we see some giant killings and some freak score lines, and the chance arises for an underdog to go far in the competition. Under this countrys new lockdown regulations, there will be no replays this year, allowing for even more possible giant killings in the tournament!
The FA cup is an English institution, as it gives sides like Chorley and Marine FC the chance to play some of the most successful sides in English history, like Sunderland AFC and Hull city.
This weekend has not disappointed, as we have seen the exact magic of the FA cup we have come to expect! Out of the 38 games played this weekend, 12 teams from non-league have made it into the next round, which in the current climate, could mean survival for the smaller sides in the competition. This is buffered by the promise of losing sides in the first round also getting a share of the prize money, a new invention for this unusual season.
Perhaps the most exciting game we’ll see this season in the competition was between Torquay United and Crawley Town. The match finished 6-5 after extra time, having been 3-3 at full time. After a 16-minute delay for a head injury, we saw a total of 21 minutes of added time! The game went to extra time afterward as well!
We also saw Bradford put 7 past Tonbridge, alongside Lincoln City’s 6-2 win over Forest Green Rovers. The lowest ranked team left in the competition in 9th tier Skelmersdale United lost to newly promoted League 2 Harrogate town. 6th tier Darlington FC also overcame professional opposition in the form of Swindon Town.
Chorley came from 2-0 down to league 1 Wigan to win 3-2 against the previous champions. An embarrassing second half from the Latics allowed the 6th tier side to progress.
Lets Hope we continue to see these lower-league teams further into the competition, as it really adds to the magic of the FA cup!
If you’re missing the football, why not check out our YouTube Channel?
By Sam Hutchison