Cambridge City 0-0 Milton Keynes Dons
The FA Cup with Budweiser
First Round Proper
7.30pm, Friday 2 November 2012
Pro-Edge Stadium, Cambridge City FC
Live on ESPN
Winning clubs receive £18,000 from The FA's prize fund
Click here for fixtures
By Chris Hatherall
Cambridge City produced an incredible defensive display as they held MK Dons to a goalless draw in The FA Cup even though their opponents hit 37 shots on goal - more than half of them on target - as they attempted to beat goalkeeper Zac Barrett.
The incredible result earns Gary Roberts' side - who play in the Southern League Premier Division - a lucrative replay.
And it kicked off the First Round of this year's competition in trademark fashion.
City went into the match believing they had the firepower to pull off an upset; especially with the prolific Craig Hammond (who had already banged in 17 goals this season) in their attack and new signing Adam Marriott - just arrived from Cambridge United - on the bench. But in the end it was their defensive qualities that shone through.
Boss Roberts had a fully-fit squad to choose from at the City Ground and he was up against an MK Dons side captained by Luke Chadwick, who was playing against his hometown club (although the former Man United man is actually a Cambridge United supporter).
Even so, MK Dons started at a cracking pace, with James O'Shea, twice, and Chadwick taking early shots at goal - and in fact the visitors put huge pressure on goalkeeper Barrett's goal in the first half.
Joey Abbs perhaps had Cambridge's best opportunity to go ahead; sending a header narrowly wide after 37 minutes. But by half-time the Dons - who are promotion-chasers in League One - had racked up 14 shots in all, five of them on target, without being able to hit the net against a determined City defence in which David Theobald and Lee Chaffey were outstanding as they made block after block.
The highly-rated Barrett then made a stunning save from a Steven Williams shot after the break as the Dons continued to press forward - and City boss Roberts responded by bringing on new boy Marriott for Abbs on the hour mark.
By this stage the visitors' shot tally had risen to 22 - with Barrett also denying Ryan Lowe and then Anthony Kay. And when he wasn't able to keep out his opponents the woodwork came to City's rescue - Stephen Gleeson sending a header thumping against the base of the post after 74 minutes from an Adam Chicksen cross.
By the time MK Dons took their shot-tally past the 30 mark it was a case of Cambridge hanging on - especially when Chadwick's effort from outside the area bounced off the post again with Barrett beaten.
It was just about Chadwick's last action of the match as Dons boss Karl Robinson brought on former Man United, Leeds and Newcastle star Alan Smith in his place with four minutes to go.
There was still time for the outstanding Barrett to tip a Lowe effort over the bar and for Smith to head narrowly over seconds later. But City held on for a famous draw.
Barrett, Pepper, Thoebald, Chaffey, Brighton, Allen, Cambridge, Prada, Abbs (Marriott 60), Hammmond, Bryant (Lester 80). Subs not used; Ordonez, Midgley, Nightingale, Death, Stynes
Martin, Otsemobor, Williams, Kay, Lewington, Gleeson, Chicksen, Potter, O'Shea (Ali 64), Chadwick (Smith 86), Rowe. Subs not used: McLoughlin, Kouo-Doumbe, Galloway, Hickford, Rasulo.