It begun on the 6th August 2016 with 736 teams in the extra preliminary round but this week brought the end of this season’s FA Cup qualifying round with seven replays taking place.
The FA Cup is known for it’s giant killings, even in the qualifying round and this year was no different as it showed in three of the six replays, with the possibility of a fourth.
Starting with possibly the shock of the replay ties and possibly even the shock of the fourth qualifying round where Stamford AFC, of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South (eighth tier) overcame a side three leagues above them in Wrexham. After drawing 1-1 at home with them on the weekend, they went over to North Wales and won 3-2 in extra time. Wrexham, who managed to reach the third round in the 2014-15 season to set up an attractive tie away at Stoke, a match which they led for a brief period of time. Stamford now head to League Two side Hartlepool United in round one. The gulf between the sides is up to four leagues but you can never write off a minnow in this competition.
Taunton Town, from the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West, which is also the eighth tier of English football managed to overcome Hemel Hempstead Town 1-0 who play two leagues above them. This set up a home tie with Barrow who are flying high in the National League (fifth tier). This is the first time in 35 years that Taunton Town have reached the first round proper.
Harrow Borough, who play in the Isthmian League, which is the seventh tier of English football managed to beat Margate who play in the league above them 3-1 in a replay. This set up a very tough away tie against League One Northampton Town.
Other shocks of the fourth qualifying round included a win for Eastbourne Borough away at Aldershot Town who play in the league above to set up a tie away at another team in the league above in Braintree. Merstham of the Isthmian League overcame Ebbsfleet United of the league above 2-1 to set up a home tie at newly promoted to League One Oxford United. Ninth tier club Westfields overcame seventh tier high flyers Leiston to set up a tie at sixth tier Curzon Ashton.
Alfreton will be hoping to pull off the final shock of the fourth qualifying round as they head to Gateshead in the final replay of the round. Gateshead play in the League above and the winner will head to the bottom side in League Two, Newport County.
Here is the updated First Round Draw:
Sheffield United v Leyton Orient
Millwall v Southend United
Dagenham & Redbridge v FC Halifax Town
Merstham v Oxford United
Taunton Town v Barrow
Southport v Fleetwood Town
Yeovil v Solihull Moors
Stockport County v Woking
Dartford v Sutton United
Walsall v Macclesfield Town
Port Vale v Stevenage
Northampton v Harrow Borough
Cambridge United v Dover Athletic
Westfields v Curzon Ashton
MK Dons v Spennymoor Town
Gillingham v Brackley Town
Alfreton/Gateshead v Newport County
Portsmouth v Wycombe Wanderers
Maidstone United v Rochdale
Bury v AFC Wimbledon
St Albans City v Carlisle United
Boreham Wood v Notts County
Mansfield Town v Plymouth Argyle
Braintree Town v Eastbourne Borough
Hartlepool United v Stamford
Bolton Wanderers v Grimsby Town
Bradford City v Accrington Stanley
Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers
Eastleigh v Swindon Town
Shrewsbury Town v Barnet
Morecambe v Coventry City
Crawley Town v Bristol Rovers
Whitehawk v Stourbridge
Colchester United v Chesterfield
Lincoln City v Altrincham
Exeter City v Luton Town
Charlton Athletic v Scunthorpe United
Cheltenham Town v Crewe Alexandra
Peterborough United v Chesham
Blackpool v Kidderminster Harriers