FA Cup: Non-league sides look to create upsets and history in second round

Leatherhead fans during the FA Cup first round
Leatherhead fans will travel in numbers to Wycombe Wanderers as their side bid to create another upset

Ten non-league clubs go into this weekend's FA Cup second round knowing they are 90 minutes away from potentially being drawn against a Premier League or Championship side.

BBC Sport assesses the chances of five of them who face Football League opposition and have already created their own bit of history with upsets in previous rounds.

Among the stories to look out for are the younger brother of an England international looking to set up a dream tie in the third round, while a seventh-tier club hopes to emulate their 1970s giant-killing days.

Tanners look to emulate 1970s heyday

Wycombe Wanderers v Leatherhead, Sunday 14:00 GMT

Player-manager Sammy Moore thinks Leatherhead's run to the second round has put them "back on the map".

The Surrey side reached this stage four times in the 1970s, with their best run seeing them beat Colchester and Brighton en route to a fourth-round defeat by Leicester in 1974-75.

Ex-AFC Wimbledon midfielder Moore is in his first season at the Isthmian Premier Division club, having succeeded former Fulham player Jimmy Bullard in the summer, and hopes to recreate those giant-killing days when they travel to League Two Wycombe.

"For me as a manager learning my trade and building my reputation, it's been absolutely phenomenal," Moore, 30, told BBC Surrey.

"It has made me hungrier to bring success to this club."

Leatherhead
Leatherhead player-manager Sammy Moore is dreaming of a trip to Wembley to play Tottenham in the third round, but the Tanners' biggest FA Cup game in their history was at Leicester in 1975

Mid-table in the league, Moore has taken inspiration in the FA Cup from a "lucky" inflatable dolphin, which has been with them for every tie this season.

"It was actually given to my little girl when we played Cray Valley in August," he said. "I'm quite superstitious so I've kept it in my office, nice and fresh to go to war."

Eleven goals from Moore's assistant Jack Midson have been crucial and Leatherhead beat big-spending Billericay 3-1 in a replay to reach the second round for the first time since 1978.

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Highlights: Billericay Town 1-3 Leatherhead

"Looking at the pictures on the walls, all the history is the 70s; the FA Trophy and the FA Cup," Midson said.

"If we were to get a picture which is there in 40 years' time, then I'd be more than happy."

Younger 'Ox' hopes to meet big brother in third round

Notts County v Oxford City - Saturday 12:30 GMT

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Oxford City look to make FA Cup history

National League South club Oxford City have already made their own bit of FA Cup history this year after knocking out League Two Colchester United in the first round.

On top of that, one of their players is particularly keen to reach the third round and set up the chance of a meeting against his older brother.

Christian and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) hopes to set up a third round meeting against older brother Alex

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19, on loan from Portsmouth, says a trip to face England international and sibling Alex, 24, at Anfield would be "a dream".

"We don't tend to talk too much about each other's performances in football, but there would be some interesting chat if we were drawn against each other," he told BBC South Today.

"There would be some friendly banter at least. More than anything, it would be a great experience and I'd love it.

"In the meantime, it's been great to be part of something big here."

Oxford City are in round two of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history. Victory at Colchester United in the first round was the first time the club had beaten league opposition in the competition.

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Highlights: Colchester United 0-1 Oxford City

Mark Jones' side face another League Two club away from home in Notts County in their bid to set up a historic third-round tie.

"It's a fantastic opportunity, clubs like us at our level still get the old romantic magic of the cup," Jones said.

"We'll be giving it everything on Saturday, a place in the third round could really save this club's fortunes off the pitch and help move it forward."

82 league places separate the sides

Slough Town v Rochdale - Monday, kick-off 19:45 GMT

Slough Town made light work of higher league opponents in the first round with a thumping 6-0 victory at Gainsborough Trinity.

But, a home draw against League One Rochdale features the biggest gap in the footballing pyramid between sides in the second round at 82 places.

Joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood have turned the Southern League club into promotion contenders since arriving four seasons ago from Godalming Town, as well as being present for their long-awaited return to the town.

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FA Cup Highlights: Gainsborough Trinity 0-6 Slough

Arbour Park hosted its first Slough game in August 2016 after 13 years playing "home" games in nearby Windsor and then Beaconsfield.

The borough council owned 2,000-seater stadium features a 3G pitch and "future-proof" facilities for a potential step up to the football league.

"There are still little bits being added to it to make it even better and the playing surface is top drawer," joint manager Baker told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"If we can progress as a club, it's there to allow us to increase capacity and hopefully move on."

After emphatically winning the all non-league tie at Gainsborough, Baker said he was delighted Rochdale's name came out of the hat.

"It's exciting while also having an element of being daunting," he said. "But, if I'm brutally honest, it's a game of football. It's 90 minutes, all the old clichés.

"Advantages are in our corner, the pitch being one of them. Last year, Rochdale almost got knocked out by Maidstone United in the first round on a 3G pitch.

"There's every reason for an FA Cup shock. We've been playing really well at home this year while Rochdale haven't quite been up to the standards they were last season."

Sleeping giant against a club on the up

Coventry City v Boreham Wood - Sunday, kick-off 14:00 GMT

Unless you are a keen follower of lower league football you will probably be surprised to hear only one division separates League Two Coventry and National League side Boreham Wood.

As recently as 2009-10 there were five tiers between the teams - the Sky Blues in the Championship and Wood down in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Luke Garrard, manager of the underdogs, has been there for the journey.

"We were a small club. I joined 10 years ago and the infrastructure's changed immensely," he said.

"The staff have changed immensely - we've grown as a club and I feel we're making small steps, but year-on-year we're progressing.

"The fact that we are only a league away from Coventry speaks volumes about what we've done as a club, and how the chairman's taken us in his 19-year history from where he received the club to where it is now is just fantastic."

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Highlights: Boreham Wood stun Blackpool in FA Cup

The Hertfordshire club are still striving for more despite the strides they have made - they are in the National League play-off places and, having beaten their first ever EFL side in round one, are looking to reach the third round of the competition on what is arguably the biggest day in their history.

"You look at what Lincoln and Sutton did last year - no disrespect, but this weekend there's going to be an upset," Garrard told BBC Sport.

"Where that upset will be will depend on if we turn up, Coventry don't play at their best and we can catch them on the hop - or is the upset going to be somewhere else?

"Hopefully the stars align on the day and we come away as the underdog having won a cup tie, with the lure of potentially pulling out a big boy."

The Cod Army meet the Bulls

Fleetwood v Hereford FC - Saturday, kick-off 15:00 GMT

As a club who have not even celebrated their third birthday yet, Hereford FC are comfortably the newest team left in this year's FA Cup.

But, having been formed from the ashes of the old Hereford United's demise in the London High Court in late December 2014, the Bulls are not short on cup history.

The heroic tale of Ronnie Radford's equaliser and Ricky George's extra-time winner against top-flight Newcastle United in 1972, put Edgar Street's mudbath on the map.

Now the new Hereford meet Football League opposition for the first time with a visit to League One Fleetwood, a club who have passed them by on their own rise up English football's pyramid.

It is now 46 seasons since Ronnie Radford and Ricky George (right) put the old Hereford on the FA Cup map
It is now 46 seasons since Ronnie Radford and Ricky George (right) put the old Hereford on the FA Cup map

Yet, even before the Bulls' first-ever meeting with the Cod Army, the seventh-tier Southern League Premier side have already caused ripples in this year's competition.

"We've played five games already and beaten two teams from a high league, which is a huge achievement," said manager Peter Beadle.

The Bulls won 2-1 at National League Eastleigh in the fourth qualifying round, then beat AFC Telford United, another famous old non-league name with a new identity, in the first round.

"Regardless of what league you're in, if you have a winning mentality, you go into every game with some form of confidence," said midfielder Rob Purdie, who also played for the old Hereford United.

"There's part of me that knows, if they turn up, we'll have a battle on our hands, but there's also a small part of me that cannot see us losing."

FA Cup second round draw in full

Friday 1 December:

AFC Fylde v Wigan Athletic - live on BBC Two 19:55 GMT & 19:40 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

Saturday 2 December (kick-off 15:00 GMT unless stated):

Notts County v Oxford City - 12:30 GMT

Bradford City v Plymouth Argyle

Fleetwood Town v Hereford FC

Forest Green Rovers v Exeter City

Gillingham v Carlisle United

Milton Keynes Dons v Maidstone United

Port Vale v Yeovil Town

Shrewsbury Town v Morecambe

Stevenage v Swindon Town

Sunday 3 December (all games kick-off 14:00 GMT):

AFC Wimbledon v Charlton Athletic

Blackburn Rovers v Crewe Alexandra

Coventry City v Boreham Wood

Doncaster Rovers v Scunthorpe United

Gateshead v Luton Town

Mansfield Town v Guiseley

Newport County v Cambridge United

Woking v Peterborough United

Wycombe Wanderers v Leatherhead

Monday 4 December:

Slough Town v Rochdale (kick-off 19:45 GMT)

Reporting by Rob Stevens, Adam Williams, James Law & Ged Scott.

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