- Published by Zach Homer on 05/12/2015 at 12:34 @Zach_cafc
‘The magic of the FA Cup’ is a phrase that has been used to describe the 144 year old competition for as long as the modern football fan can remember and when the 2015 tournament kicked off nearly a month ago in Manchester on a cold Friday night, it really did kick off with a bang!
Salford City Eyeing Success
Salford City stunned Nott’s County at Moore Lane as the non league side, who bridged a then 59 place gap between the two sides, marched on to the second round of the cup for the first time in the club’s history with help with goals from Danny Webber (45) and then Richie Alan (73) who’s strike really wouldn’t look out of place in your average football league side. It was only fair to say on the night that the Evo-Stick north side were by far the better team.
It wasn’t just The Ammies who provided a shock over that weekend as National Premier League side Altringham FC managed to pull of yet another cup giant killing over their 124 year history that includes wins in the FA Cup vs the likes of Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, Blackpool and Rotherham United just to name an unfortunate few. However another name was added to that fateful list when League 1 side Barnsley visited Moss Lane last round. The Robbins were put ahead when Ryan Crowther’s parried shot fell to the feet of 29 year old, non league veteran, Damian Reeves who tapped the ball home just after half time break (46). Despite having large spells of dominance throughout the tie and seventeen shots to Altringham’s nine the Tykes were sent back to Yorkshire not in the hat for Round 2 as they became the seventeenth league side (a non league record) to crash out of the FA Cup to Lee Sinnott’s men.
The Generals March Into Round 2
If you had thought we had got to Sunday and the excitement had diminished you would be wrong as Conference South side Chesham United provided yet another FA Cup shock as they traveled two hours across the M4 and got to the second round for only the second time in their history at the expense of League 2 side Bristol Rovers. Despite dominance and their fair few shots on the Chesham goal Rovers failed to find the back of the net as they found United ‘keeper Shane Gore in inspired form throughout the 90 minutes which showed to be crucial as the side from Buckinghamshire took a shock lead at the Memorial Stadium through an impressive 25 yard strike from striker Ryan Blake (77) which caught the Rovers back line off guard. However The Generals could of, and perhaps should of, been a goal to the good at half time when Rovers centre half Tom Lockyer fouled attacker Brad Wadkins in the penalty area. However Rovers’ shot stopper Lee Nichols remained unfazed as he saved the resulting penalty. Despite all this it was Chesham who found themselves in the hat for this weekend’s second round match ups while the side that sat 75 places above United at the time are left to wonder what went wrong.
This Weekends Match Ups…
Salford City were rewarded with another home tie to yet another League 2 side in Hartlepool United as they look to continue there impressive display in this years FA Cup. The match finished 1-1, keeping alive Salford’s dream. Altringham travel to south Essex to face Colchester United (Sun 14:00 KO) and then Chesham United play away to another Yorkshire team that go by the name of Bradford City (Sun 14:00 KO). Other notable games to look out for include:
Sat: Northampton vs Northwich Victoria
Sat: Stourbridge vs Eastleigh
Sun: Rochdale vs Bury
Sun: Dag & Red vs Whitehawk FC
Sun: Oxford United vs Forest Green
Sun: Welling vs Carlisle
For more great pieces on the lower leagues and Crewe Alexandra specifically, check out Zach’s blog!