The 1st Round of the FA Cup has taken place. Here is a round up of the results, with match reports from games between Division 3, Conference and non-league sides.
Coventry City v Middlesbrough – This was non-league Middlesbrough’s first game and they came up to Division 3 Coventry City. Coventry got off to a flying start as they were awarded a penalty within the first few minutes, which they easily converted. An even contested then ensured and Middlesbrough got a bit of luck as they found an equaliser just before half-time. Middlesbrough then pushed on strongly and could of almost scored a couple of times, as they even skimmed a shot off the crossbar. Coventry stayed with the plan and soon enough got the winning goal, as Middlesbrough were left weak in defence.
Result: Coventry City 2 v 1 Middlesbrough
Wolves v Sunderland – Division 3 frontrunners Wolves took on non-league Sunderland at home. It did not take Wolves long to break down the Sunderland defence and they were quickly 1-0 up. They continued to pressure the non-league side and were duly rewarded soon after with a second. The spectators expected Wolves to keep on and increase their lead, but the team sat back and let Sunderland come at them as they defended their lead. Sunderland could not break down the defence, so it is the Division 3 side Wolves, that go through to the 2nd Round. The featured image shows Wolves scoring their spectacular second goal.
Result: Wolves 2 v 0 Sunderland
Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City – Birmingham City took on non-league Bolton in the third match and it was clear to see the difference in the two sides. Birmingham immediately took hold of the game and never looked back. They scored three simple goals and although both keepers made some good saves, Bolton were unable to score a goal. Although Birmingham’s performance in the Conference has not been great, they will be pleased to have a convincing win, to see them into the second round.
Result: Bolton Wanderers 0 v 3 Birmingham City
Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth – A thrilling encounter took place between non-league Huddersfield and Conference team Bournemouth. In a close tie, Huddersfield were the first to score, before they dug in with all their might to defend their lead. Bournemouth threw everything at them and it was only down to the Huddersfield keeper and the goalpost that kept them out. The Bournemouth keeper also made some vital saves to keep them in the tie. In injury time Bournemouth won a corner and after a shot was deflected, a Bournemouth player was near the line to tuck it in to level. In extra time Huddersfield broke forward once more and shot but the ball did not cross the line. The Bournemouth keeper went to clear the ball but only kicked it towards a Huddersfield player, who was able to thunder it back into the goal. Bournemouth tried everything to find an equaliser but ran out of time as Huddersfield become the first non-league team to make it into the 2nd Round.
Result: Huddersfield Town 2 v 1 Bournemouth (AET)
Brentford v Ipswich Town – This all non-league encounter was a great opportunity for one of these sides to make it into the second round. Brentford started off the stronger and went 1-0 up just before half-time. Ipswich did their best to fight back but Brentford remained strong. Later in the second half, Brentford found a gap between defenders and duly made it 2-0. Ipswich had a great chance to get back into the game soon after, but their chip shot went over the top of the goal. In injury time, Brentford had another shot which rebounded off a defender and into the goal to make it 3-0, which was a bit unfair on the away team who had played well.
Result: Brentford 3 v 0 Ipswich Town
Derby County v Sheffield United – Derby County from Division 3 suffered a shock defeat against non-league Sheffield United in this classic Cup tie. United took an early lead but Derby used their skill to get back into the match and scored to make it equal. Derby went on to score a second before United got their second to make it 2-2 at the end of normal time. Derby soon went 3-2 ahead in extra time and thought they were through but Sheffield Utd did not give up and scored again to make it 3-3. In penalties Derby went first and Sheffield missed theirs, giving Derby the advantage. But Derby missed their second as Sheffield got level once again. It was all even until Derby missed their 5th, leaving Sheffield with a chance to go through. After a mistaken penalty, Sheffield got a retake and cleaned slotted home to win this thrilling match.
Result: Derby County 3 v 3 Sheffield United (P.3 – 4)
Portsmouth v Blackburn Rovers – This clash of two struggling Conference sides wanting a turn-around in fortunes, had all the makings of a Cup classic. Despite Portsmouth getting off to a better start, it was the away side that scored first. The Blackburn keeper then kept his side in the tie with some incredible saves, until Portsmouth finally found a way around him to make it 1-1 after full time. In extra time, Portsmouth were quick to score almost from the kick off. Blackburn were facing elimination and pushed forward and shocked the home supporters when they got a surprise equaliser. With the game heading towards penalties, Portsmouth had one last chance attacking. The defender needed to block the shot but clipped the attacker, giving a penalty. Portsmouth hammered the ball home to make it 3-2, and with only seconds remaining, it was not enough time for Blackburn to get another chance.
Result: Portsmouth 3 v 2 Blackburn Rovers (AET)
Stoke City v Oxford United – Oxford from Division 3 got off to a lightning start as they grabbed possession from Stoke and raced up the other end to score. Non-league Stoke were shocked by this encounter but prevailed until Oxford doubled their lead later on. A fantastic save from the Oxford goalkeeper prevented Stoke from getting back into the match and Oxford were happy to play out time until the final whistle to record their first FA Cup match win since Year 1.
Result: Stoke City 0 v 2 Oxford United
Burnley v Fulham – There was the prospect of a great game between these two Conference rivals, especially after Fulham beat Burnley earlier in the season. It was a close game although Fulham had the best of the chances after they struck the post. In the second half, Burnley had a good chance to score and the defender kicked out in haste, causing a penalty. Burnley duly scored and then pressed on with their home advantage as they grew in confidence to make it 2-0. Despite Fulham fighting back, time was against them and although they too hit the post, they could not find the back of the net.
Result: Burnley 2 v 0 Fulham