The oldest cup competition in the world is back and while the Premier League and Championship don’t enter until the third round, that didn’t stop several non-league teams causing upsets or replays against their higher tier opposition. There were injured officials, last-minute goals, and big shocks so let’s have a look at everything that unfolded!
Injured officials overshadow Crewe’s win at Accrington
Two teams with contrasting campaigns faced off as League Two Crewe Alexandra progressed with a 2-0 victory away at League One Accrington Stanley. A result that’s somewhat of a shock, but the officials were the biggest talking point from an incident-packed game.
Referee Neil Hair limped off after 22 minutes and was replaced by fourth official Alan Clayton, only to then be injured at half-time. The interval lasted over an hour as both teams discussed solutions for the situation, with qualified officials supporting both teams volunteering their services. That was rejected by both teams as there was a worry of a bias towards a particular side.
The game was restarted 70 minutes after the intended time, with assistant referee Danny Gratton taking over as referee and Conor Brown being the sole linesman. A coin toss was then decided on which end Brown would officiate on, while Clayton was deemed fit enough to at least be the fourth official.
On the pitch, Crewe had taken a 1-0 lead into the delayed interval thanks to Andy Kirk’s low finish. The visitors doubled their lead on 67 minutes courtesy of Chris Porter’s penalty. There was further misery for the hosts as 10 minutes later Mark Hughes was sent off for bringing down Owen Dale.
Accrington must now focus on steering clear of the League One relegation zone when they travel to Rotherham United. Meanwhile, Crewe travel to Northampton Town and can potentially move to the top of League Two.
Leyton Orient crash out at home to eighth-tier Maldon & Tiptree
The biggest upset in recent first-round history came at Brisbane Road when Maldon & Tiptree knocked out League Two Leyton Orient. Despite being separated by four divisions and 78 places, the minnows deserved their 2-1 victory.
The visitors took the lead just before half-time when Danny Parish cut across before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Sam Sargeant into the bottom corner. Parish then ran to the other end of the pitch to celebrate with the 600 travelling supporters. Jammers striker Jorome Slew also ran the length of the pitch in the 64th minute, only this time in possession of the ball before curling past Sargeant.
The hosts pulled a goal back less than three minutes later when James Dayton capitalised on a defensive mistake and lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Ben McNamara. The final five minutes were nervy for the eighth-tier visitors when Parish was shown a second yellow card for simulation. Despite waves of pressure, the Jammers managed to hang on and claim arguably the biggest victory in their history.
Maldon & Tiptree are currently in second place in the Isthmian League Northern Division with eight wins out of eight, and 20 wins in 21 games in all competitions. Their FA Cup journey began in the preliminary round against Saffron Walden Town back in August, and now they’ve reached the second round for the first time in their history.
Leyton Orient are still without a win under Carl Fletcher, and they’ll look to put this embarrassing result behind when they host Scunthorpe United. The cup games don’t end for the Jammers as they host Folkestone Invicta in the FA Trophy on Wednesday night.
Kingstonian take advantage of Macclesfield’s off-field issues in convincing upset
It has been a torrid week for those connected with Macclesfield Town. Ongoing financial issues resulted in players going on strike due to not receiving October’s wages. There was a possibility that the tie with Kingstonian wouldn’t go ahead, a decision which would’ve affected their participation in next season’s competition, but those concerns were quickly alleviated.
Kingstonian are currently 16th in the Isthmian League Premier Division but they controlled their League Two opponents from start-to-finish. The Ks took advantage of the turmoil surrounding Macclesfield to secure a comprehensive 4-0 victory. The non-league side were two goals ahead inside the opening 10 minutes courtesy of Dan Hector and Louie Theopanous.
The atmosphere was toxic at Moss Rose after fans staged protests towards owner Amar Alkadhi before the game, and what they saw on the pitch didn’t help. Kingstonian extended their lead early in the second half courtesy of Dan Bennett’s close-range rebound. Theopanous then added his second with 20 minutes remaining to complete a memorable day for the seventh-tier visitors.
The victory was the biggest for a non-league team against EFL opposition since 1973 when Walton & Hersham beat Brighton & Hove Albion by the same scoreline. It was a day that’ll live long in the memories for those connected with Kingstonian.
Macclesfield return to League Two action this Saturday when they host Mansfield Town. Kingstonian will be hoping for similar heroics on their travels in another cup competition in midweek as they travel to Blackfield & Langley in the FA Trophy.
Last gasp equaliser gives Darlington replay against League Two Walsall
Walsall have been in horrendous form in League Two having picked up six consecutive defeats. A first-round tie at home against non-league Darlington was an opportunity to get back on track, but the visitors had other ideas in a thrilling encounter.
Darlington opened the scoring on 17 minutes courtesy of a low finish from Omar Holness. Both teams created chances, but it looked like the tie was over after Walsall’s Dan Scarr was shown a second yellow card on 82 minutes.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Walsall equalised less than five minutes later after Coalan Lavery tapped in a close-range rebound. Another mistake from goalkeeper Liam Connell saw Alfie Bates’ corner get punched into his own net in the last minute of normal time, but the drama didn’t end there.
The game was level in personnel after Ben Hedley was shown a second yellow card for an off-the-ball incident. Even with the crazy proceedings, there was still one more twist to come deep into injury time. Darlington’s Joe Wheatley tapped in from close range to earn a replay, the least they deserved from an enthralling cup tie.
Walsall will have to put this result behind them when they host Cambridge United this Saturday. Attention for Darlington now switches to the National League North as they travel to Brackley Town.
Southend United slip up at National League Dover as nightmare season continues
Southend United have made the worst start to a league season in their history. Five points from 17 games sees them eight points adrift from safety, and they’ve now fallen victim to a cup upset at the hands of National League Dover Athletic.
There was little to suggest that Southend’s fortunes would change as they struggled to create chances in the first half. The best chance for the hosts was Jai Reason’s long-range effort being tipped away by Nathan Bishop. Shrimpers striker Tom Hopper cleared Paul Rooney’s header off the line to keep the score level.
The Whites controlled the second half without breaking the deadlock, with Reason again coming close with a shot off target. Dover finally scored the winning goal on 84 minutes when substitute Ruel Sotiriou outmuscled Harry Lennon before unleashing a powerful strike from a tight angle.
Southend manager Sol Campbell is yet to see his team win since taking over in October, with the Shrimpers losing 18 of their 22 games in all competitions. Dover’s victory was the only cup tie that saw a League One team crash out to non-league opposition.
Southend United were due to face Burton Albion this weekend but that game has been postponed due to international call-ups. Dover will be looking to move further up the National League table when they travel to Yeovil Town.
FA Cup 1st Round Results (8th– 11th November)
Dulwich Hamlet 1-4 Carlisle United
Sunderland 1-1 Gillingham
Accrington Stanley 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
Blackpool 4-1 Morecambe
Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
Cambridge United 1-1 Exeter City
Carshalton Athletic 1-4 Boston United
Cheltenham Town 1-1 Swindon Town
Colchester United 0-2 Coventry City
Crawley Town 4-1 Scunthorpe United
Ebbsfleet United 2-3 Notts County
Forest Green Rovers 4-0 Billericay Town
Grimsby Town 1-1 Newport County
Ipswich Town 1-1 Lincoln City
Maidenhead United 1-3 Rotherham United
Maidstone United 1-0 Torquay United
Mansfield Town 1-0 Chorley
Milton Keynes Dons 0-1 Port Vale
Nantwich Town 0-1 AFC Fylde
Oxford City 1-5 Solihull Moors
Salford City 1-1 Burton Albion
Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Bradford City
Stevenage 1-1 Peterborough United
Stourbridge 2-2 Eastleigh
Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Walsall 2-2 Darlington
Yeovil Town P-P Hartlepool United – postponed due to waterlogged pitch.
Dover Athletic 1-0 Southend United
Barnet 0-2 Fleetwood Town
Bristol Rovers 1-1 Bromley
Chippenham Town 0-3 Northampton Town
Gateshead 1-2 Oldham Athletic
Leyton Orient 1-2 Maldon & Tiptree
Macclesfield Town 0-4 Kingstonian
Wrexham 0-0 Rochdale
York City 0-1 Altrincham
Hayes & Yeading United 0-2 Oxford United
Harrogate Town vs Portsmouth yet to play at the time of writing.