December 2, 2022

EMIRATES FA CUP THIRD ROUND QUALIFYING: UPSETS TAKE CENTRE STAGE

Four Step Five teams kept their Emirates FA Cup adventures alive while there were a string of upsets on an action-packed day in the third qualifying round.

The first of Saturday’s ties saw the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, Congleton Town, come within a whisker of knocking out National League North side AFC Fylde.

Dan Needham’s strike gave the North West Counties League side the lead in the televised early kick-off but Nick Haughton’s last-gasp free-kick spared the visitors’ blushes and set up a midweek replay on the Lancashire coast.

Ashington also let an advantage slip as a late Mitch Langton’s equaliser earned Stocksbridge Park Steels a 2-2 draw in South Yorkshire.

Bury AFC are another ninth-tier side facing a replay after their clash with Clitheroe ended 1-1.

There was no such trouble for Anstey Nomads, who beat fellow Step Five outfit Shefford Town & Campton 5-0 to continue their best-ever run in the competition.

The two other remaining ninth-tier sides, Helston Athletic and Romford, slipped to 7-2 and 5-0 defeats against Weston-super-Mare and Chelmsford City respectively.

Both victorious sides contained a hat-trick scorer, Reuben Reid netting a treble for Weston and Chelmsford’s Khale Da Costa also taking home the match ball.

Several National League North and South sides saw their progress end at the hands of lower division opponents, the biggest shock coming at Twerton Park as eighth-tier Sevenoaks Town won 1-0 at Bath City courtesy of Jordy Ndozid’s first-half goal.

Ade Yussuf’s strike proved decisive as Folkestone Invicta were victorious by the same scoreline at Dulwich Hamlet while Lewis Powell was Merthyr Town’s hero, scoring the only goal in their win at Gloucester City.

Hornchurch are no strangers to a cup upset, having caused several surprises on their way to winning the 2020/21 FA Trophy, and claimed their latest scalp by easing past National League South outfit Braintree Town 3-0, Liam Nash bagging a brace.

Jack Redshaw netted the winner as Hyde United knocked out Darlington while an all eighth-tier thriller brought eight goals as Beckenham Town beat Binfield 5-3 to advance to the fourth qualifying round for the first time in their history.

Two divisions separate Chester and Hanley Town but nothing could divide them at the Deva Stadium as the Northern Premier League side earned a replay following a goalless draw.

Kettering Town became the competition’s all-time leading scorers in this year’s second round qualifying with 908 goals but they had an afternoon to forget at King’s Lynn Town, going down 6-1.

The leading scorers in this year’s competition, meanwhile, Walton & Hersham, were unable to add to their tally of 17 as they were beaten 1-0 at Taunton Town.

Source: The Football Association