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The FA Cup First Round Preview

Sunday was a day of expectation for many non-league fans; well it was for those whose teams who had made into the hat for the first round proper of the FA Cup sponsored by Budweiser.

On the whole it has to be admitted that a bit of a boring draw with only one or two tasty ties for Non-league fans to get their teeth into.

The game I have been talking about is that of FC Halifax Town v Charlton Athletic. The game has been put back to Sunday at 12:30pm for ITV and quite rightly so it should get massive coverage. FC Halifax are a former Football League club and their last couple of seasons on their quest to get back into the Football League have been quite remarkable: two successive promotions through the Evo-stik Northern premier division and they are back in the Blue Square North. While Charlton have been in this stage before- the former Premier League club were on Television against Northwhich Victoria two seasons ago and a trip Victoria Park saw the Addicks being knocked out one-nil. I can see the Shayman progressing to the second round.

The second tie I am looking forward to see the outcome of is Nantwich’s trip to MK Dons. The Cheshire side beat Nuneaton Town on Saturday at the Weaver Stadium 1-0 and despite their cup run sit 10th in the Evo-stik Premier and should not fear the Dons, even though they currently sit fifth in the League One table (at the time of writing). But unfortunately it will be the dons who will progress into the second round.

It will make it an added incentive for both Mansfield Town and Fleetwood Town to try and win the replay for the right to entertain Wycombe Wanderers at their home ground. Both look on good form; The Cod sit second in the Blue Square Premier with Mansfield just outside the play off zone.  The Wanderers aren’t doing well at the present time and sit one from bottom in League One, though they will be looking for a good cup run to ease the woes. But somehow I think that who ever gets through the replay will be the winners in this game.

The last game I want to look at as a possible tie of the round is Luton v Northampton Town. The Hatters have been known in the FA Cup over the last few years thanks to their performance a few years ago against Liverpool in the third round and at one stage were leading 2-1 before succumbing to a 5-2 lose, but the way they played captured many hearts and will be hoping for another cup run as such. Northampton currently sit 18th in league two and are only eight points off the foot of the league. So  an interesting game will be in store at Kenilworth Road and I am going for a Luton win.

So there are four games whose results I am going to look out for. The full draw can be found on the FA website http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/FACompetitions/TheFACup/Fixtures

Good luck to all non-leagues teams and hope we can have many progressing into the next round.

Holdsworth Back In Management

Ex-Mansfield manager David Holdsworth has been appointed manager of Blue Square Premier outfit Lincoln City. Holdsworth, out of work since his departure from Mansfield in November 2010, has a contract until the end of the season with City, currently in the bottom four of the table.

Holdsworth had also had a short spell in charge of Ilkeston Town before moving to Field Mill. He spent most of his playing career at Watford, making over three hundred appearances in ten years for the club in the eighties and nineties. He also enjoyed spells at Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Gretna before retiring from playing in 2005 after making more than five hundred appearances.

His appointment at Lincoln sees the club fill the vacancy left by Steve Tilson, who was dismissed on October 10th. Tilson had been in charge of The Imps for a year, but relegation from the Football League and a poor start to this season sealed his fate.