It was FA Cup Third Qualifying this week and we start the round-up with a review of our FA Cup Six of the Best matches.
Shildon held Stourbridge to a 0-0 draw in the North-East and now face a long trip on Tuesday for the replay. Warrington also held higher placed opponents, Colwyn Bay, to a 1-1 draw in Wales. Biggleswade lost their first home game since August, going down 2-0 to Maidstone. Flackwell Heath’s hopes of a giant-killing were dashed by 3 second half Weston-Super-Mare goals in their 4-1 win. In the Conference North v South battle at Clarence Park, the South came out on top as St Albans beat Brackley 2-0. Finally, Shortwood United continued their run of cup form when they held Bath City 2-2 at Twerton Park.
Cup team of the day, however, has to go to Burgess Hill Town who travelled to Conference South Sutton United and came back with a 3-1 win.
Whitehawk and Chelmsford will try again on Tuesday after sharing 8 goals while Norton United ended Runcorn Town’s run with a 5-2 away win. Lost ranking side left, Willand Rovers, came back from a goal down to defeat Aveley 3-2 and earn a place in the hat.
Midland Regional league top two AFC Bridgnorth and Black Country Rangers kept up their high-scoring seasons, the former adding 5 more at home to Dudley Town, the latter hitting seven at Bilston. Clipstone made it 10 out of 10 in a local derby against AFC Mansfield. A bumper crowd of over 300 watching the home side win it 2-1. Welwyn Garden City and Atherton Collieries both also remain at 100%.
That is not the case for the last remaining 100% record in Step 5 though where Sleaford held Huntingdon Town 2-2 to end their perfect record. The battle of the pointless teams in the Eastern Counties Premier finished Ely City 1 Diss Town 2, making it 12 defeats in 12 for City. Their record, however, is eclipsed by Cheltenham Sara’s in the Hellenic Premier. Despite only going down 1-0 to leaders Ascot Town, they have now lost all 13 games this season.
Nothing seems to be able to stop Stratford Town. Coming back from a goal down at Mangotsfield they went on to win 4-2. Merthyr matched them exactly at Taunton and Didcot remain third after beating Yate Town 2-1. Larkhall pushed themselves back into the playoff places with a superb 6-1 win at Fleet Town. At the bottom, Bishop’s Cleeve grabbed only their third point of the season, drawing 0-0 with Sholing.
In the Central Division leaders Kettering were unexpectedly beaten 1-0 at home by Uxbridge. Just behind them, Potter’s Bar, Hanwell and Bedworth all scored four goals and won three points. The gap at the top is now 2 points. Beaconsfield, beaten by Potter’s Bar, remain rooted to the bottom on 8 points.
In the Ryman South, with leaders Burgess Hill in FA Cup action, second placed Whyteleafe and third placed Faversham both won to close the gap. At the bottom, Hythe Town’s 3-0 defeat of Three Bridges sees them climb out of the relegation spots.
While Needham Market were getting knocked out of the FA Cup, Harlow Town ere winning 2-1 at Barkingside to go top of the Ryman North. Thurrock climbed to third win a 5-1 demolition of bottom club Burnham Ramblers. Wroxham, however, claimed performance of the day, thrashing Romford 8-0.
Newcastle Town moved up to second in the Evo-Stik South, still 2 points adrift of leaders Sutton Coldfield, who didn’t play. Loughborough lost 4-2 at home to Gresley, who climbed to fourth, just a point behind their hosts. Kidsgrove couldn’t build on last week’s result, going down 3-1 at Carlton Town to remain bottom.
In the North, Darlington took over at the top after beating Prescott Cables 2-0. They leap-frogged Salford City who drew 1-1 with third placed Farsley. Brighouse Town, trailing 3-1 with 90 mins on the clock, somehow managed to score three to claim an unlikely win against second-bottom New Mills.
The big game of the day in the Southern Premier saw second placed St Neot’s inflict a first defeat of the season on leaders Poole Town. The home side coming from a goal down to win 3-2. Third placed Dunstable and fourth placed Corby shared four goals at Steel Park. Meanwhile, Redditch inflicted a heavy 7-1 home defeat on Slough Town.
Only Dulwich and Leiston from the top 8 in the Ryman Premier had games but neither of them could gain any significant ground. Dulwich losing 1-0 at home to Bognor Regis and Leiston drawing 2-2 with Enfield.
Leaders Skelmersdale opened a 3 point gap in the Evo-Stik Premier after beating Frickley 3-2. Ramsbottom beat bottom side Belper 4-2 whilst Matlock, second from bottom, heaped more woe on The Nailers by winning 3-1 at Witton.
Only 4 games were played across the Conference North and South. In the North, Bradford PA beat Barrow 2-1, Hednesford beat bottom side Hyde 4-1. Oxford City, despite great away form, continue to be less impressive at home losing 4-1 to Solihull Moors. In the South Farnborough were beaten 1-0 at home by Bishop’s Stortford.
Barnet remain top of the Conference despite being pegged back to 3-3 by two late Kidderminster goals at the Hive. Second placed Woking are now only 3 points adrift, with a game in hand, after beating Altrincham 3-0. Lowly Alfreton surprised Torquay by winning 4-2 but there was no such luck for bottom side Telford who lost 2-0 at Lincoln. Halifax’s bad run continued as they went down 4-1 at Eastleigh.
Teams with a 100% record
Toolstation Northern Counties East Div. 1 – Clipstone
Spartan South Mids 1 – Welwyn Garden City
North West Counties Division 1 – Atherton Collieries