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Tough Tamworth: Lambs’ Late Show Denies Stalybridge Win

Another eventful Matchday Adventure, this time taking in Tamworth’s Lamb Ground for their National League North encounter with Stalybridge Celtic. Read the rest of this entry

West Midlands Non-League in the FA Cup: Do the three remaining non-league sides stand a chance?

With Stourbridge, Tamworth and Kidderminster all still standing in the FA cup, all three sides face possible league opposition, so do they all have a chance of a possible giant killing?

Kidderminster – Their first round tie was a comfortable 4-1 over Conference South’s ‘Original Giant Killers’ Sutton United, but it looked like they might have been on their way out, as Sutton United took the lead 10 minutes in thanks to Charlie Clough. However, goals from Amari Morgan-Smith, Callum Gittings, Joe Lolley and Anthony Malburn sealed the win for Kiddie and put them into the 2nd round draw. Now, though, they have an incredibly tough tie against League rivals Braintree Town or the team that went up instead of them last season, League Two’s Newport County.  The game will be played at Aggborough, so if Newport County beat Braintree, then victory will be expected from Kiddie…

Stourbridge –  Stourbridge are the lowest-ranked side left in the competition and they made easy work of league rivals Biggleswade Town as they cruised to a 4-1 victory at the War Memorial Ground.  The Glassboys did take the lead thanks to Ryan Rowe, but the lead only lasted two minutes as Evan Key equalised for the Waders. However, it didn’t take long for Stourbridge to regain the lead as Rowe grabbed his second of the game three minutes later. Stourbridge guaranteed their place in the second round with two goals in the second half, as Will Richards and Luke Benbow got themselves onto the scoresheet. The Glassboys now have a tough away tie at League One outfits Stevenage and so with the spirit that Stourbridge have, there might be a surprise in store here…

Tamworth – Tamworth reach the second round for the third consecutive year as they beat League 2’s Cheltenham Town at the Lamb Ground. Tamworth scored the only goal of the game 20 minutes into the second half as Nick Chadwick scored the goal to put them into the hat for the second round. The Lambs got themselves another tie at home, this time against League One’s basement side Bristol City and with the strength and sheer power of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas up front for the Robins, this will be an incredibly tough affair for the Lambs, but anything is possible in the FA Cup.

So with the ties being announced, all three sides have tough opposition, and Stourbridge and Tamworth have a challenge with two of League One’s relegation flirters, while Kidderminster have, looking at the statistics, the easier tie out of the three, even though that cant really be said in a competitions with as many shocks as this.

Non League Sides In The FA Cup – Is The Romance Dead?

As I was sat at my computer I happened to notice that the ITV had released their TV schedule for the FA Cup third round which looks like this –

Saturday 7 January

Birmingham City v Wolverhampton Wanderers (12.30pm) – Live on ESPN

Bristol Rovers v Aston Villa (5.30pm) – Live on ESPN

Sunday 8 January 2012

Manchester City v Manchester United (1.00pm) – Live on ITV1

Peterborough United v Sunderland (3.30pm) – Live on ITV1

The draw for the Fourth Round Proper will follow this tie at approx 5.30pm on ITV1

Monday 9 January 2012

Arsenal v Leeds United (7.45pm) – Live on ESPN

No Non league sides in sight which for me seemed very peculiar since Tamworth have a huge tie against Premier League Everton and Wrexham will play Brighton and Hove Albion but apparently these weren’t seen as big enough ties.

Is that not what the FA Cup is about ? The David and Goliath stories ?

ITV is quite happy to remind us and show us footage of Non league sides doing the impossible in the 80’s but now when it comes to screening a potential giant killing such as Everton Vs Tamworth they turn it down.

Perhaps this is because ITV’s commentators don’t understand Non League football and as such they have to throw up the same fact that Non league players are part time every five minuets but I’d like to remind them that Non league football is the back bone of English football and should be treated with respect not hidden away in a corner.

The English people love a David and Goliath story and its well documented that we love cheering on the under dog so are ITV perhaps worried that Everton vs Tamworth wouldn’t pull any viewers ? If they are then they are sadly mistaken as I can only speak for myself but I’d much rather watch a Non league side with a potential giant killing than a match between Sunderland and Peterborough.

I shall finish this little rant by sending my best wishes to Tamworth and the other Non League sides still in the FA Cup and say thank you as you are representing real football in a good light and if ITV are either to stubborn or stupid to understand then it is their loss.

This article has been duplicated with permission from The Matlock Fan, a great site for lower league news, and news and reports from Matlock Town FC.