By Simon Gray
The FA Cup Second Round is almost upon us with 20 ties taking place and 20 places in the Third Round up for grabs to decide who will be playing the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Looking back on the past five years, some giant killings have taken place at this stage of the competition.
Brentford 0-1 Wrexham
Conference Premier side Wrexham travelled to League One Brentford not expecting much given the gulf in between the two sides but sent their fans home happy thanks to a beautiful Jamie Tolley strike.
Brentford manager Uwe Rosler admitted after the match that Wrexham ‘out played, out fought and desired it more’ than his team.
Wrexham had beaten Cambridge United in a replay to earn the tie and would eventually lose to Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion on penalties in the third round.
This year Wrexham were on the end of an upset, losing 3-2 to Stamford in a Fourth Qualifying Round replay. Brentford will enter the competition in the next round.
Harrogate Town 1-1 Hastings United
Replay: Hastings United 1-1 Harrogate Town (Hastings win 5-4 on penalties)
Hastings United were the lowest ranked team left in the Second Round and they would continue their fine FA Cup run to set up a tie with Championship side Middlesbrough.
The Isthmian Premier League side almost did not need extra time to beat the team a division above them as Lee Carey fired them in front from the penalty spot.
But Tom Platt’s 89th minute equaliser took the game to extra time before Dee Okoje scored the decisive spot kick to take them into round three.
Hastings would go out in the next round though, losing 4-1 to Middlesbrough at the Riverside.
This year Hastings United lost in a Third Qualifying Round replay against Margate 2-1 where as Harrogate Town went out to FC Halifax Town in the Fourth Qualifying Round.
Grimsby Town 2-0 Northampton Town
Grimsby Town of the Conference Premier knocked out League Two Northampton Town three years ago to set up a home tie with Championship side Huddersfield Town.
Shaun Pearson’s header early in the second half put them in front but then they had to wait until the 95th minute to put the game to bed when Patrick McLaughlin slotted home the second goal of the game.
The win for Grimsby took them to the third round where they lost a thrilling encounter 3-2 to Huddersfield Town, a match where they led until the 86th minute.
This year Grimsby lost 1-0 in the First Round away at League One Bolton Wanderers where as Northampton will be hoping to not be on the end of another shock as they head to non-league Stourbridge this weekend.
Hartlepool United 1-2 Blyth Spartans
A Jarrett Rivers 90th minute winner provided the magic in the Second Round two years ago as Blyth Spartans of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League knocked out League Two Hartlepool United.
There were three divisions and 65 places between the two teams going into the match which was broadcasted live on the BBC.
Hartlepool led at half time thanks to a Jonathan Franks header but a stunning Stephen Turnbull free kick levelled things up before Rivers’ low drive went past Scott Flinders and jubilation erupted in the away end.
The win meant the Blyth would play Championship side Birmingham City in the next round but they crashed out at this stage despite leading 2-0 as an early second half onslaught from Birmingham produced three goals.
This year Blyth went out to Morpeth Town in the Second Qualifying Round where as Hartlepool head to Port Vale this weekend hoping to create a shock of their own.
Millwall 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Last season’s Second Round shock saw League Two side Wycombe Wanderers go to League One promotion chasers Millwall and claim a 2-1 scalp thanks to a late Michael Harriman strike.
Paul Hayes’ effort gave Wycombe the lead but a Ben Thompson equaliser cancelled that out.
The win meant a home tie against Premier League Aston Villa and although Wycombe forced a 1-1 draw, they lost 2-0 in the replay to end their FA Cup run.
This year Wycombe hope to knock out opposition in the league above as they head to Chesterfield this weekend. Millwall entertain Conference side Braintree Town hoping to avoid another shock.