FA Cup Fourth Round Draw – Not Great for NL Clubs
Just two Conference Premier clubs remain in this season’s FA Cup as we enter the fourth round stage, and by the time the ties get played, even they might not be left in the tournament.
Both Kidderminster Harriers and Macclesfield Town got excellent home draws to take their third round ties to replays, but in truth the draw for the fourth round hasn’t exactly given them reason to dream. In fairness to Kiddie, a potential trip to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light awaits should they be able to see off Peterborough at London Road after a goalless draw at Aggborough. While it is always better for the smaller side to get drawn away at a bigger club due to the 50-50 split in gate receipts, I’m sure Wearside probably wasn’t too high on the Harriers’ list of dream destinations.
Meanwhile, Macclesfield have a potentially winnable game if they can somehow find a way past Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in their third round replay. Steve Williams’ well taken goal late on in the first match rescued a 1-1 draw for the cash strapped Silkmen. Manager John Askey even admitted to not going all out for the win towards the end of the game, stating that the club were desperate for the potential earnings from a replay. Assistant manager Efe Sodje has since said that the money generated will only keep the club going for the next couple of months. A trip to Rochdale in the fourth round would seem to vindicate the manager’s decision. A winnable tie? Absolutely, but would have been near the bottom of their wishlist in terms of paydays.
Here’s hoping that one or both of our nonleague sides can get through not only their replays, but also the fourth round too. It would be a shame for our presence in the cup to end with a whimper.