FA Cup second round: Early reunions and second chances among stories to watch

Karl Robinson, an FA Cup ball and Eastleigh's gnome
The draw for the FA Cup third round on Monday, 5 December will be live on BBC Two at 19:00 GMT

For 40 hopeful teams, a money-spinning third-round tie against one of the biggest clubs in the world could be just 90 minutes away.

The FA Cup second round will be the end of the journey for some, but will keep dreams alive for many other would-be giant-killers.

The action gets under way on Friday, 2 December when Macclesfield host League One side Oxford United, live on BBC Two at 19:30 GMT.

BBC Sport takes you through a selection of the stories to look out for as the famous knockout competition continues.

A familiar face

Charlton Athletic v Milton Keynes Dons - Saturday, 3 December, 15:00 GMT

What are the odds? It is your first game in charge of your new club and you are lining up against the side you recently left after more than six years in charge.

That is the rendezvous that awaits new Charlton boss Karl Robinson on Saturday, when his Addicks team host fellow League One side MK Dons, whom he left by mutual consent on 23 October.

"I will be forever indebted to them," Robinson told BBC Radio London.

"I'll be relishing it, but they'll be relishing knocking me out as well. I am thankful to them but this is a new journey.

"The people of Milton Keynes know what they mean to me. I want that same thing here. I want people to enjoy watching our club play."

McDonald's second chance

Luton Town v Solihull Moors - Saturday, 3 December, 15:00 GMT

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Highlights: Solihull Moors beat Yeovil on penalties

Solihull Moors enjoyed something of a rollercoaster ride in the first round, as they battled back from 2-0 down at Yeovil to earn a replay, lost manager Marcus Bignot to Grimsby and then won their replay on penalties in new boss Liam McDonald's first game in charge.

The second-round debutants will make club history when they visit Luton Town on Saturday, but their new manager has already had more than his fair share of FA Cup drama this season.

McDonald, 31, was on the receiving end of an upset on 3 September when his old side, seventh-tier Hednesford Town, were stunned by a 2-1 home loss to lower-league Belper Town.

Having gone out in the first qualifying round, could the former Redditch United boss possibly have imagined he would find himself one win from the third round less than three months later?

He says he is happy to be labelled as a "lucky manager" after their dramatic comeback win over the Glovers.

Goals guaranteed?

Millwall v Braintree Town - Sunday, 4 December, 14:00 GMT

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Highlights: Braintree 7-0 Eastbourne

If you are looking for goals this weekend then Millwall might not be a bad place to head to.

That is because the visitors Braintree have seen a plethora of goals in their games in recent weeks.

An incredible 41 have been scored in their past nine games in all competitions, including a 7-0 win over Eastbourne in the first round.

Having won a nine-goal thriller at Southport last time out as well, the Iron may well be the team to watch on Sunday - at both ends of the field.

Memories of a nasty incident

Bristol Rovers v Barrow - Sunday, 4 December, 14:00 GMT

Unless you are a fan of either side then you could be forgiven if League One Bristol Rovers at home to Barrow did not immediately catch your eye.

But in 2006, the last time these two sides met, their FA Cup fixture grabbed the attention of not only the Match of the Day cameras but also Preston Crown Court.

Rovers survived a late fightback to win 3-2 away to the non-league side in the 2006-07 season's first round, but it was an off-the-ball incident that created headlines.

The match officials did not see Barrow defender James Cotterill punch Sean Rigg and it left Rigg, who was substituted after 33 minutes to receive treatment, with a jaw fractured in two places. He did not play again for more than two months.

On 11 January 2007, Cotterill was jailed for four months for grievous bodily harm - then thought to make him the first player in recent history to be sentenced to time in prison for such an on-pitch incident.

A lot can change between rounds

Eastleigh v FC Halifax Town - Sunday, 4 December, 14:00 GMT

Eastleigh
Eastleigh had a gnome perched on the top of their bench against Swindon - but where will it be on Sunday? At home matches, the club hide the figure somewhere as part of a game in their match programme

Cast your mind back to the first round and it was non-league Eastleigh who produced one of the biggest shocks, knocking out League One Swindon Town after a replay.

A memorable result for them to savour on the pitch, but since then it has been all-change off the field at the National League club.

Manager Ronnie Moore left because of "personal circumstances" on Wednesday and has since been replaced by Martin Allen, who left League Two club Barnet to take up the post.

Allen's first match in charge will be Sunday's home second-round tie against FC Halifax Town.

Non-league's new FA Cup kings?

Stourbridge v Northampton Town - Sunday, 4 December, 14:00 GMT

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FA Cup drama: Late goal disallowed as ref blows for full-time

Northern Premier League side Stourbridge had never got beyond the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup until 2009.

However, they have now got to at least the first round on five occasions in the past eight campaigns, prompting manager Gary Hackett to tout his side as non-league football's new FA Cup kings.

That came after their 3-0 win in a replay against National League South club Whitehawk, putting them into the second round for a second consecutive year.

"We've got good players who can handle the big occasion. We really love the FA Cup and the players keep responding," Hackett told BBC WM.

They face third-tier outfit Northampton Town on Sunday, but they very nearly did not make it this far.

Their initial game against Whitehawk ended in controversy after a Whitehawk player scored a stunning last-minute volley, only for the goal to be ruled out as the referee had blown for full-time just as he struck it.

Compiled by Tom Garry.

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