By Simon Gray
The First Round of the FA Cup has now come to an end. 40 ties were played on the weekend of the 4th November but only 24 fates were sealed there and then.
16 replays were needed, the joint highest this century! Stories were written and magic was made.
Déjà vu for Gillingham
In November 2013, Brackley Town of the then Conference North, took League One Gillingham to a replay and beat them at St James’ Park, Brackley to cause a huge First Round shock.
In November 2016, Brackley Town of the now Vanarama National League North, took League One Gillingham to a replay and beat them at St James’ Park, Brackley to cause another huge First Round shock.
Hat-trick hero James Armson helped the non-league side to a dramatic 4-3 win over Gillingham, who have now failed to reach the FA Cup Second Round for the past four seasons.
Stourbridge’s dream continues
Stourbridge reached the Second Round for the fourth time in six seasons as they beat Whitehawk 3-0 in a replay.
The Northern Premier League side and the National League South side played out a 1-1 draw before a Chris Lait strike and two goals from Luke Benbow helped set up a mouth-watering tie at home to League One side Northampton Town!
Stourbridge were knocked out of the competition at the Second Round stage last year at the hands of National League side Eastleigh but have faced League One opposition at this stage before. In the 2013-14 season they faced Stevenage but were beaten 4-0 and two seasons before that they were beaten by the same side 3-0.
Curzon to face past winners on TV
National League North side Curzon Ashton overcame 9th tier outfit Westfields in a replay to set up an intriguing tie with AFC Wimbledon, who won the competition in 1988.
The Dons, overcame their League One rivals Bury 5-0 in a replay of their own to progress to Round Two. The match will be played in front of the BT Sport camera’s on Sunday 4th December.
It will be the first time the two sides have ever met and a place in the Third Round is at stake. Curzon are set to receive £72,000 from the FA as part of the broadcasting fee which is set to help the club in the long run.
Moors progress on penalties
Solihull Moors set up an away tie with Luton Town after defeating Yeovil Town 4-2 on penalties. The Moors drew the first match 2-2 before an extra time penalty from Akwasi Asante took the match to a shootout.
In the shootout, Ryan Dickson and Tom Eaves both missed for Yeovil where as Solihull scored all four of their attempts.
It means that the Moors, who were only founded nine years ago, are in the Second Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Heartbreak for Taunton
Taunton Town of the eight tier took National League side Barrow to a replay but sadly lost 2-1 in what can only be described as a courageous run.
Barrow took the lead thanks to a terrific strike from Jordan Williams but were pegged back by a wonderful free kick from Taunton’s Ed Palmer but moments later, Ryan Yates scored the goal that would knock out the lowest ranked side in the competition.
Taunton began their FA Cup story in a Preliminary Round against Tiverton Town back in August and managed to reach the First Round Proper. The replay was their ninth match in the competition and they bow out with their heads held high.
The win for Barrow sets up a Second Round match with League One side Bristol Rovers who needed extra time to progress against Crawley Town, winning 4-2. Barrow were knocked out by Rovers in the First Round of the 2006/07 season.
Here is the now updated Second Round Draw: