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Photo by Amy Gilson

Needham Market produced the shock of the FA Trophy’s fifth round - and have been rewarded with a plum tie against National League leaders Stockport County in the quarter finals.

By Steven Oldham

Needham Market vs Stockport County 

The side’s lowest and highest ranked sides meet in the tie of the round.  The home side progressed after knocking out Step 2 promotion chasers over the weekend.  A much-changed Hatters team were made to work hard for a 1-0 win over Cheshunt at Edgeley Park in order to progress.

Kevin Horlock’s side have moved into the last eight for the first time - in a dream Trophy run that started in the third qualifying round in October. 

Few at the Southern League Premier Central side could have hoped back then that they’d make it this far - moving into the first round after a 2-0 win at St Ives Town.

Further victories over Margate and Welwyn Garden City followed, but more people began to take notice after they knocked out Step 1 Wealdstone in round three.

A penalty shootout victory over Yeovil Town in round four, and Saturday’s win over Dartford saw the Marketmen extend their run of upset wins. 

County impressed in their third round game - beating National League rivals Grimsby Town 4-0 - before being handed back-to-back draws against Step 3 opposition in Larkhall Athletic and Cheshunt. 

Dave Challinor’s side remain on target for an impressive double, sitting top of the National League after a midweek win at Bromley. 

Notts County vs Wrexham

Both sides must be cursing their luck after being handed another tough draw in the quarter finals.

The Magpies and The Dragons had to negotiate fifth round fixtures against National League promotion rivals Halifax Town and Boreham Wood respectively. 

Indeed, Notts have done it the hard way in every round to date, coming on top in all-National League fixtures against Altrincham and Eastleigh before their win over Halifax.

Wrexham hit five goals in consecutive rounds against lower ranked opponents in Gloucester City and Folkestone Invicta. 

Both sides remain in contention for promotion back to the EFL via the playoffs, separated by one point and two positions. 

 

 

Dagenham & Redbridge vs York City 

Daryl McMahon’s Daggers will again host a side facing a long journey south after knocking out Spennymoor Town last weekend. 

While their promotion push has stalled somewhat since the start of the season, Dagenham continue to quietly make their way through the rounds in this competition. 

After needing penalties to overcome Truro City in the third round, they have recorded back-to-back 2-0 wins at Victoria Road over Southend United and Spennymoor. 

Two-time winners York entered a round earlier, where they defeated National League North rivals Blyth Spartans.

Now the only Step 2 side left in the competition, The Minstermen have ended the hopes of Matlock Town, Slough Town and most recently Morpeth Town.

John Askey’s side came back from the dead on Saturday and were 2-0 down with 20 minutes to play. A Mitch Hancox brace and Matty Brown’s late winner secured passage into the last eight. 

York find themselves in 11th place in the league, but only three points short of the playoffs. 

Bromley vs Solihull Moors 

Bromley are two games away from reaching the final once more, as they did in 2018 - albeit eventually losing to Brackley Town on spot kicks. 

The National League promotion chasers needed penalties to progress past National League South outfit Tonbridge Angels at the weekend after a 1-1 draw. 

Andy Woodman’s side had made light work of Dover Athletic and Aldershot Town in the previous rounds, progressing without conceding a goal.

Solihull Moors are into the quarter finals for the first time and have efficiently made it into the last eight without conceding a goal. 

They have yet to play a home game in the competition this season, with this being a first trip to a fellow National League side. 

Neal Ardley’s side have knocked out AFC Fylde, Southport and Stourbridge to reach this stage. 

The FA Trophy quarter finals will take place on March 12. 


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