The 2nd round of the FA Cup kicks off on Friday as Notts County take on Shrewsbury Town and York City host Wigan. With some teams hoping for some more cup magic, and others looking to move onto the next round where the big teams begin to join, and we are here to look at some previews of the games.
Walsall’s recent run of form has certainly left questions among the fan base to as whether boss Matt Sadler is the right man for the job. They have failed to win six games in a row in league two and their only win in the last 8 games came in the FA Cup against non-league side Sheppey United. The side reached the fourth-round last year, where they lost to then Premier League side Leicester City 1-0.
The Saddlers will be hoping that their poor stretch of form will be soon changing as they travel to their National league North Division opponents Alfreton Town. Alfreton beat South-Coast outfit Worthing in the first round of the cup, and this fixture will certainly be one for their fans to remember as they are in front of the BBC cameras with the chance to reach the third round for the first time in the club’s history.
Alfreton will likely sell out their 3,600-capacity stadium, which has been their home since the club was formed in 1959. Having the fans in their corner could prove to be a huge advantage, as Walsall have won just two of their first ten away games, and managed to conceded in every single one of them. This game is certainly going to have the feel of a proper cup tie, and with the magic of the cup anything can happen.
Horsham FC currently sit 9th in the Isthmian Premier League, sitting on the same points as the well-known Hashtag United, however they find themselves facing off against a league 2 opposition on Saturday at 3pm. The Horsham side did actually lose in the first round of the cup, in a replay against Barnsley, however due to Barnsley fielding an ineligible player, Horsham were given a reprieve.
Sutton’s start to the season couldn’t have be any worse, despite a 5-2 win against Notts County, they have managed just two wins since then and sit in rock bottom of league two in 24th spot.
Sutton have only once previously reached the third round, which was seven years ago when they hosted Arsenal as a non-league team. Horsham have actually managed to reach this stage once before, where they lost to Swansea in 2007 after a replay.
Horsham will certainly be up for this game, as they were when they travelled to Barnsley and scored three times to take the game to a replay and will feel the momentum could be in their favour as underdogs against a very low confidence Sutton side.
After playoff heartbreak last season in the National League final for Chesterfield, where they lost on penalties to Notts County, the Spirites have responded in the best way possible and currently sit 11 points clear at the top of their league, winning 17 out of their first 21 games.
Leyton Orient play two divisions above Chesterfield in League 1, however the O's have yet to muster a win since the first round of this competition when they beat Carlisle 3-1. Their away form has been rather poor, scoring just nine times in ten games, but they have managed two wins and five draws in that time also. Goals have been the main issue, with only one player managing more than three goals in the opening 17 games, Ruel Sotiriou, with six.
Chesterfields defence has been a slight problem conceding 28 times, but they make up for it in attack, having scored 53 league goals already this year, and are on pace for over 150 if things keep going the way they are.
There is no doubt that the gap between the top teams of the National league and League 2 teams is miniscuke as we’ve seen with the likes of Stockport, Wrexham and Notts County all impressing once returning to the Football League. Leyton Orient will certainly be hoping to avoid any upsets and try to still be at their best against the National League highflyers.
In another TV game, National League South side Yeovil make the trip to Wales to face off against the globally famous League 2 side Wrexham. The Red Dragons broke all sorts of record last season as they won the National League with a staggering total of 111 points. They have continued that form into this season, finding themselves in second spot, just five points away from league leaders Stockport.
Wrexham’s attacking prowess at home has been a big reason as to why they have been so successful this year. They are averaging 3.30 goals per game at the Racecourse Ground and have scored in every single game this year. However, on the flip side, they are averaging 1.9 goals against while at home, which is the worst for any home side in the division.
Their opponents Yeovil were in the Championship less than 10 years ago but now find themselves all the way down in the National League South after relegation last year. However, things aren’t all bad at the moment, they are six points clear at the top of the table, as they look to rebound straight back up to the National League
The two sides faced each other twice in league action last year, one was a 1-1 draw, and the other was a convincing 3-0 win for Wrexham at home towards the end of the season. This is undoubtably a very tough away trip for Yeovil, maybe one of the worst they could have got, but will certainly make it an interesting game as it always is when Wrexham are at home.
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