FC Halifax take a break from the Vanarama National League this weekend as The FA Cup returns to action this weekend. This weekend marks the beginning of the first-round proper with a massive 40 games taken place.
The action starts on Friday night with seventh tier side Haringey Borough take on League One side AFC Wimbledon and finishes on Monday night with Hampton & Richmond Borough taking on Oldham Athletic.
The Shaymen face an away trip to the seaside to face League Two side Morecambe. The Shrimps have been a regular mid-table side in League Two since their play-off final win in 2007. Although they flirted with the danger of relegation last season finishing 22nd in the league with only nine league wins the lowest in the league. The Shrimps survived by the skin of their teeth surviving only on goal difference.
This season Morecambe have already won over half as many games as they did this season already with five wins in the league.
Morecambe will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s first round, as they beat National League side Hartlepool 3-0 to progress to the second round.
After missing out on last year’s first round proper The Shaymen make a happy return to the first round. The last time they were at this stage was November 2016 against Dagenham & Redbridge beating them 2-1 in a replay at The Shay.
A win against Morecambe would equal FC Halifax’s best performance in The FA Cup making it to the second round as they did in the 2016/17 season as they lost 2-0 to Eastleigh.
The pick of the tie of the round for me personally apart from Morecambe vs FC Halifax, obviously. Is Chorley taking on Doncaster Rovers. Chorley currently sitting on top of The National League North have what it takes to cause the potential upset of the round on Sunday lunchtime at Victory Park. I mean how can they not win with a ground with that name. Yes, I know all the non-league boffins will be saying they’ve lost their last three haven’t won it five but it’s the cup! Anything can happen, and Doncaster have lost their last three as well so both teams are coming into the game with shoddy form. This is the tie to keep an eye on!
The lowest team still in The FA Cup is Hitchin Town, they take on Solihull Moors on Sunday in a lunchtime kick off. Currently in the relegation zone of the seventh tier of English Football, having won one game of football in the league the odds are certainly stack against them. But with home advantage and a sprinkling of FA Cup magic who knows what is going to happen.
Metropolitan Police are another seventh-tier side along with Hitchin and Haringey Borough. The Met take on Welsh side Newport County. With the Met just qualifying for the first round they have already equalled their record in the competition, qualifying for this stage for the first time since 2012. Their opponents Newport were one of the giant killers of last year’s FA Cup. They beat Leeds United 2-1 and forced Spurs to a replay in the fourth round. Currently they sit in sixth in League Two and will be wanting to turn some heads again in this year’s competition.
Portsmouth the highest ranked team top of League One take on Maidenhead United. Pompey are flying at the top of League One with only really Sunderland close for company in the fight for top spot in that division. Maidenhead however are struggling. They’ve lost their last five games and have now dropped into the relegation places. This should be a simple formality for Pompey in the early Saturday game but now I’ve said that I bet it won’t.
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