With 35 Football League teams now left in the FA Cup, the second round draw opened up the opportunity for 17 non-league clubs to pit themselves against their counterparts. So what balls did Tore Andre Flo and Perry Groves pull out of the bowl?
The shoe-in for television is the Tamworth v Bristol City match which opens up as much history as a drab new town on the outskirts of London. Cheltenham will be disappointed not to have beaten the Staffordshire outfit to open up a tie against their League 1 neighbours, which would have probably just as likely been picked for television. In addition, Stourbridge will be frustrated that Portsmouth could not have overcome a Stevenage.
With so many of the other ties undecided due to replays, which take place during the week of the 18th of November, it is hard to pick out other ties which might get the juices flowing of the ITV and BT executives. A lot of ifs and buts, however, with the expectation that Gillingham will overcome Brackley in their replay, this could offer the opportunity for Macclesfield to pit their wits against Peter Taylor’s side; an interesting tie that may bring with it justification for BT to put it on a cold Friday night. In addition, if Oxford can overcome Gateshead, this will offer the opportunity for giant-killers of old, Wrexham, to challenge themselves against football league opposition. The same may be of said of Cambridge, who, if they beat Bury – abandoned due to the rain – will play Sheffield United, arguably one of the larger teams in the competition at this stage.
Of the all Football League ties to be bestowed upon us, there is little to get the blood pumping. A trip to the West Midlands for Mansfield to see their team up against the 4 time winners, Wolverhampton, will definitely be one of excitement for the Stags. However, this will only be the case if Wolves can overcome the giant-killers of last year, Oldham. With the possibility of 7 ties involving two football league teams from the same league, it does beg the question of whether seeding, similar to what is used in the Capital-One cup, may attract the ties that the neutral may be more enticed by.
What are we expecting on TV?
The television executives are most likely going have to do some waiting to see what ties may behold us in the second round, however if I was to hazard a guess of the three ties to be chosen for the second round, they would be Tamworth vs Bristol City, Wrexham vs Oxford United and Macclesfield vs Gillingham. Excited yet?
For the full FA Cup second round draw in full, see the official draw.