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Non-league minnows eye big FA Cup pay day

Wigan Athletic players including their captain Emmerson Boyce, centre, celebrate after their 1-0 win over Manchester City in the English FA Cup final. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Roar Guru
2nd December, 2015
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Round 2 of the 135th edition of football’s greatest competition kicks off this weekend. But that doesn’t necessarily mean this the only the second round of the competition.

The competition started off on the 15th August with an extra preliminary qualifying round, the first game of which ended in a 2-1 win for Jarrow Roofing BCA over Penrith in front of 110 fans.

The 48 teams from Leagues One and Two joined the fun in Round 1 proper of the FA Cup in early November, and the inevitable and anticipated upsets were supplied – starting with Salford beating Notts County on the Friday night TV game.

The big teams from the EPL and Championship are waiting when Round 3 kicks off in early January, and for a non-league side to get to that stage can mean a financial windfall that can set them up for a season and beyond.

Not only the prize money from winning in Round 2, but a share of the gate entices, and it could be a large amount if they get draw the biggest teams. The payday already collected for an upset in Round 1 is 18K and another decent inflow awaits in Round 2 where a win gets the team another 27K. Barely a week’s wages, even for a second tier Championship player, but lifeblood for the non-league sides.

For the teams outside the Football League the FA Cup is not only a great cash cow, but there’s always the appeal of pulling off that great upset in the third round and going down in infamy like many of the big upsets that are still discussed for a long time afterwards.

Thankfully for fans of minnows progressing in the FA Cup, there is a non-league clash between Stourbridge and Eastleigh, which means guaranteed David versus Goliath potential for Round 3.

There are six other non-league teams that remain in the FA Cup, and you would think that at least two of them will get through. We predict Salford City to beat Hartlepool and Whitehawk to beat Dagenham and Redbridge. Forest Green Rovers have been accused of being the Manchester City of non-league teams, so their progression wouldn’t surprise also.

Below is a quick bit on some of the Non League teams in action this weekend.

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Salford City FC
Formed: 1940
From: Manchester Area
Current League: Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division (Tier 7) – third of 24
Got plenty of airtime after their first round defeat of League Two side Notts County due to their connection to Manchester United. Five of the Class of 92 including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have a 10 per cent share in the side from Salford after being involved in a takeover in 2014. Their involvement plus good results guarantees airtime for Round 2.

Stourbridge
Formed: 1876 (as Stourbridge Standard)
From: Birmingham Area
Current League: Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division (Tier 7) – ninth of 24
Known as the Glassboys, they have never risen too far in the non-league pyramid, but have made the first round of the FA Cup a few times in the last few years, saving their best for a Cup run.

Northwich Victoria
Formed: 1874
From: Cheshire
Current League: Evo Stik Northern Premier League Division One North (Tier 8) – first of 22.
The club was a founder member of the Football League Second Division, in which it competed for only two seasons, 1892-94, but resigned and have only managed to get as high as the fifth tier since. No stranger to the second round of the FA Cup having made it seven times since 1979.

Whitehawk
Formed: 1945
From: Brighton area
Current League: National League South (Tier 6) – fourth of 22.

Having spent all their existence in some low tiers of the pyramid, Whitehawk had three promotions in four years to reach their current pinnacle. Their first season was last season, where they just survived on the last day if the season

Fixtures (NL = non-league sides)

Friday, Dec 4 2015
Salford City (NL) vs Hartlepool

Saturday, Dec 5 2015
Portsmouth vs Accrington
Stourbridge (NL) vs Eastleigh (NL)
Yeovil vs Stevenage
Leyton Orient vs Scunthorpe
Millwall vs Wycombe
Chesterfield vs Walsall
Northampton vs Northwich Victoria (NL)
Sheffield United vs Oldham
Barnet vs Newport

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Sunday, Dec 6 2015
Rochdale vs Bury
Peterborough vs Luton
Cambridge U vs Doncaster
Welling (NL) vs Carlisle
Colchester vs Altrincham (NL)
Dag and Red vs Whitehawk (NL)
Oxford vs Forest Green (NL)
Bradford vs Chesham United (NL)
Exeter vs Port Vale

Monday, Dec 7 2015
Grimsby (NL) vs Shrewsbury

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