FA Cup: Matt Bloomfield on how to avoid being an upset

By Matt BloomfieldWycombe Wanderers midfielder
Salford celebrate
Salford City beat League Two Notts County in one of the FA Cup's shocks from the weekend

Every year the only thing guaranteed in the first round of the FA Cup is upsets.

This year Wycombe were one of those teams travelling away to non-league opposition when we made the long trip north to FC Halifax Town.

We might not have been live on TV but having been moved to the Sunday fixtures for the BBC's special coverage, we must have been seen as a potential upset.

Mentality is key

There is so much to consider when approaching a game like this.

First of all the mentality of the Football League team is fundamental to avoiding an upset. It's going to be a battle and you have to stand up to that first test to have any chance of earning a result.

Eventually the game will settle down but it might take 30, 40 or even 60 minutes before that happens. Still being in the tie at that time is the first hurdle to overcome. From there you hope you might have a bit of quality to win the game.

Chesham United celebrate
Southern League Premier Division side Chesham went into round two of the FA Cup at the expense of League Two Bristol Rovers

Even if the mentality is right and the approach to the game is correct it still doesn't guarantee the higher-ranked team will progress.

There are many really talented footballers in the non-league pyramid and if they hit their peak at the right time they might raise their game to new heights. It's the exact reason why the FA Cup is the most magical cup competition in the world.

Wind and rain - brilliant!

We travelled north on Saturday afternoon eagerly watching the results coming in. We were excited and eagerly anticipating what we had ahead of us the next day.

We had all watched Notts County's loss at Salford on Friday and felt a certain amount of empathy for the League Two side's players.

The pitch was tight, the TV cameras were there and the watching public had mostly tuned in hoping, maybe even slightly expecting a giant-killing.

We woke up on the morning of our game in Yorkshire to wind and rain. My first instinct was to say to my room-mate Sam Wood "Brilliant, this is going to be a proper cup tie!"

Halifax might not be enjoying the most profitable time in the National League currently, lying bottom of the table, but we knew that we were in for an extremely tough test.

The first half was hard work against the wind and we were pleased to be leading 1-0 at the break. Halifax passed it well and posed us some problems. We knew we could step up a gear second half and luckily that's how it turned out.

Back on the coach we saw that Aldershot earned a replay away at Bradford and Chesham had an unbelievable result to beat Bristol Rovers at The Memorial Ground.

Rovers away is never an easy place to get a result which shows what an almighty effort it must have been from the Chesham players.