Five potential big FA Cup First Round upsets we could see this weekend

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
There are several eye-catching fixtures taking place over the weekend.

The timing of the sad passing of a man that provided one of the great FA Cup moments this week felt especially poignant.

Fifty years have passed since Ronnie Radford’s long-range rocket screamed beyond Newcastle United goalkeeper Willie McFaul to set off iconic celebrations at Hereford United’s Edgar Street. Supporters danced across a muddy pitch, with flares (of the cutting-edge fashion kind) and platform shoes aplenty as the instantly recognisable voice of John Motson, who would go on to commentate on World Cup Finals for years to come, provided the soundtrack to one of the competition’s most memorable giant-killings.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was Ricky George that would grab the winner as the Bulls humbled the Magpies, but it was Radford’s stunning strike that has been looped on an annual basis ever since that famous day. The match-winner sadly passed away earlier this week, just days before Hereford FC prepare to host League One club Portsmouth in the first round of the FA Cup.

That tie will be shown live on BBC, with the decision-makers at the broadcaster no doubt sensing another historic upset could be on the cards at Edgar Street. There are several other ties that can be viewed as possibilities for a shock and we have identified five that could be worth keeping an eye on over the coming days.

South Shields v Forest Green Rovers

It’s not often a former European Golden Boot winner rocks up as a manager in the third level of non-league football but that is what occurred at South Shields earlier this year. Kevin Phillips is well-known to supporters in the North East after a goal-laden six-year spell at Sunderland and he returned to the region to take over at the ambitious Northern Premier League club.

A quarter of a century has passed since Kevin Phillips initially arrived in the North East determined to prove himself with a newly-relegated Sunderland.A quarter of a century has passed since Kevin Phillips initially arrived in the North East determined to prove himself with a newly-relegated Sunderland.
A quarter of a century has passed since Kevin Phillips initially arrived in the North East determined to prove himself with a newly-relegated Sunderland.

This one is admittedly a long shot - but the BBC cameras are there for a reason and they will want to see an upset. It has all of the makings of one too, with Forest Green travelling to the North East on a poor run of form that has left them in the League One relegation zone. Despite their respective form, four levels separate the two sides, so the usual factors of luck, complacency and the right players hitting form will come into play.

But this is the FA Cup…

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

AFC Fylde v Gillingham

Based on the Lancashire coast, AFC Fylde have been heavily backed by local businessmen David Haythornwaite as they marched through the non-league pyramid to move within touching distance of reaching the Football League. However, the final step remained out of reach and the Coasters now find themselves back in non-league’s second tier.

AFC Fylde celebrate Danny Rowe's winning goal against Peterborough Sports last weekend Picture: STEVE MCLELLANAFC Fylde celebrate Danny Rowe's winning goal against Peterborough Sports last weekend Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
AFC Fylde celebrate Danny Rowe's winning goal against Peterborough Sports last weekend Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

They currently sit in the play-off places, but hold games in hand on a number of clubs above them in the National League North table. They possess serious goalscoring threat with the likes of Luke Charman and Danny Rowe, and can call upon one of the most talented midfielders in non-league football in Nick Haughton.

Gillingham currently sit one point and three places outside of the League Two relegation zone and are without a win in their last five games. A visit to Mill Farm, where they have everything to lose, will be the last thing they need.

Woking v Oxford United

Memories of some of Woking’s former FA Cup glories will be conjured up once again as they prepare to host League One side Oxford United on Sunday afternoon. Thirty one years have passed since the National League club claimed a famous 4-2 win over West Bromwich Albion thanks to a stunning hat-trick from Tim Buzgalo before narrowly losing to Premier League side Everton in the fourth round.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The likes of Reece Grego-Cox, James Daly and Padraig Amond will hope to be the modern-day version of Buzgalo by firing their side to what would be a shock win over an Oxford side sat in the lower half of the League One table. History awaits!

Solihull Moors v Hartlepool United

My first thought when this tie came out of the draw was that is smacks of a potential upset. Solihull Moors are hard to beat, they currently sit in fourth place in the National League table, with only big-spending Chesterfield, Wrexham and Notts County above them. They have only suffered three defeats in eighteen games in all competitions and will be a tough nut to crack for their visitors.

Keith Curle has delivered a message to his Hartlepool United players ahead of their FA Cup tie at Solihull Moors. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)Keith Curle has delivered a message to his Hartlepool United players ahead of their FA Cup tie at Solihull Moors. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Keith Curle has delivered a message to his Hartlepool United players ahead of their FA Cup tie at Solihull Moors. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Despite last weekend’s 2-1 home win against Grimsby Town, Pools remain in the League Two relegation zone after a dismal start to the season. They are showing signs of life under new manager Keith Curle and will hope to continue that by avoiding an upset at Solihull.

Doncaster Rovers v King’s Lynn Town

High on confidence and sitting on top of the National League north table, King’s Lynn Town travel to Doncaster looking to cause a major upset against a Rovers side sat two points and four places outside of the League Two play-off spots.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite last weekend’s defeat at Gloucester City, the Linnets remain among the favourites to secure promotion into the National League and have several threats that can help them pull off an upset. The likes of Jordan Ponticelli, Gold Omotayo and Josh Coulson are all more than capable to playing significant roles at the Eco-Power Stadium.

There will have to be at their best, and Rovers will have to endure something of an off-day, but you just never know in this competition.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.