Goals galore as Emirates FA Cup preliminary round throws up thrillers

Sunday 13 Sep 2020
136 teams entered at the Preliminary Round stage

Emirates FA Cup debutants Newark pulled off one of the best results of the preliminary round, marching into the first qualifying round after a thumping 4-0 victory over Maltby Main. 

Goals from Kevin Bastos, Ben Hutchinson, Craig Westcarr and captain Nathan Stainfield saw the Midland League side dispose of their North East Counties opponents.

Westcarr has history in the FA Cup, notching twice for Conference side Kettering Town at Fulham in 2009 and scoring to help Notts County past Premier League Sunderland in 2011.

It was a tough weekend for other FA Cup debutants as Wythenshawe Amateurs were beaten 4-1 by north-west neighbours Trafford. Ollie Ford, Matty Morgan, Astley Mulholland and Michael Elstone were on target for the Northern Premier League outfit, who have reached the second qualifying round in the last two seasons.

Chatham Town beat debutants Westside 2-0, and Stansfeld threw away a 2-1 half-time lead to lose 3-2 at the hands of Little Common.

It was the end of the road for Long Crendon in their first FA Cup campaign, losing 3-0 to Aylesbury United despite the victors going down ten men in the second half. 

Alfold came closer than most to making it through, but were beaten on penalties after a late spot-kick handed Erith & Belvedere a lifeline with moments to go in normal time.

The BBC cameras were in Sheffield at lunchtime on Saturday as Stalybridge Celtic beat hosts Stocksbridge Park Steels – the former club of Jamie Vardy – at the Echo Power Stadium.

Celtic, who reached the first round proper and faced Doncaster in 2016, went ahead through Mike Burke, but Scott Ruthven’s stunning free-kick drew the hosts level. Krisel Prifti turned home a rebound to restore the visitors’ lead before Keano Deacon sealed the deal in stoppage time.

There were no shortage of thrillers up and down the country, with Haverhill Rovers atoning for recent FA Cup struggles with a dramatic 4-3 triumph over Wisbech Town. Rovers took the lead twice in the first half, including a fine finish from Ben Bradley, but they lost it again as Dylan Edge levelled after the break. Joe Rider then tapped in at the back post 20 minutes from time to regain the advantage and Bradley struck again to settle the tie.

There was a breakneck clash between Bridgwater Town and Bitton as the hosts went down 3-2 and had Tom Ellis and Josh Wadham sent off in injury time after a scuffle.

Elsewhere, AFC Dunstable downed Thatcham Town by five goals to one, and Wantage Town edged out Windsor 3-2.

Kingstonian beat Horley Town 4-1, Sheffield FC put four past Holbeach without reply and Cray Valley PM hit VCD Athletic for six.

Sunday's action saw another competition debutant, Hashtag United, squeeze into the first round qualifying by virtue of a 13-12 shootout win over step-four Felixstowe United.

The Essex side, founded by YouTuber Spencer Owen, were one of a number to see off higher-division opposition. Step-six Saltash United beat Paulton United from two divisions above them, while fellow sixth-tier teams New Salamis and West Allotment also pulled off shock wins.

There is one preliminary round still to be played, with Basingstoke Town facing Chichester City – who reached the second round proper in 2019-20 – on Monday evening, with the first round qualifying draw due to be made earlier in the day.

By FA Staff