Woodford Town grabbed a memorable maiden Emirates FA Cup win on home soil with a brilliant 4-1 triumph over Hertford Town under the Friday night lights.
The Woods, who compete in the Essex Senior League, toppled their higher-ranked Southern League opponents as goals from Dimi Christou and Yemi Adelani helped them navigate their way through the extra preliminary round in front of an electric atmosphere at Ashton Playing Fields.
The game was one of 10 Emirates FA Cup clashes played on Friday as fellow Step 5 sides Stansted and Moneyfields also lowered the colours of opponents higher up the pyramid.
- Extra preliminary round
- Saturday 5 August
Jack Mitchell’s pair of penalties hauled Stansted, who play their league football in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Southern League Stotfold while elsewhere in the weekend’s opening games, James Franklyn’s first-half strike fired Moneyfields to a 1-0 victory over Westbury United.
And there was also a slice of history served up on Friday night as Jay Malshanskyj scored the earliest ever Emirates FA Cup goal in a season during Bishops Cleeve's pulsating 3-3 draw with Thornbury Town, while John Mills' dramatic 97th-minute winner secured Studley a preliminary round date with Coleshill Town after a last-gasp 3-2 win against Coventry United.
There were no shortage of further shocks in Saturday’s raft of fixtures as Sasha Markelic’s hat-trick helped clinch a thriller for Heanor Town at Bedworth United.
The United Counties League hit their Northern Premier League opponents for six as Jack Taylor, Kieron Debrouwer and an Elliot Parrott own goal capped a scintillating 6-3 triumph.
Elsewhere, Bishop Auckland breezed past Bridlington Town 3-0 as strikes from Marcus Giles, Dean Thexton and Craig Gott secured an eventually comfortable win for the Northern League club.
And in the north-west of the country, West Didsbury & Chorlton secured a similar shock as they beat Vauxhall Motors 2-0.
Benjamin Elliott and Darren McKnight both netted as the Step 5 side stunned their Northern Premier League visitors at the Step Places Stadium.
There was another big win in the north-west for Prestwich Heys as the North West Counties League side toppled Bootle 3-1.
Elsewhere around the grounds, Tyrease Palmer’s treble propelled United Counties League side Melton Town past Step 4 hosts Winterton Rangers in a heart-thumping 4-2 triumph.
Stourport Swifts beat Step 4 opponents Coventry Sphinx 2-0, while Harleston Town’s long-awaited Emirates FA Cup debut ended in a 3-2 defeat at home against Kempston Rovers.
The Norfolk club, founded back in 1885, had waited 138 years to finally compete in the famous competition but were unable to battle past their Southern League opponents after Arel Amu’s double at the Recreation Ground.
Wroxham put seven past Yaxley away from home while in one of the day’s most chaotic clashes, Joe Thomas’ dramatic late leveller earned Rugby Town a replay in a 5-5 thriller against Malvern Town.