Rochdale and Bury out at first attempt but Latics cruise to the Second Round

Today saw few shocks at this stage of the competition, but the shocks which came were fairly significant. There was only one League scalp with potential for a second one this Sunday, and another three in a fortnight’s time.

Cod Army Kipper Chairboys In Two Goal Thriller

The only league scalp belonged to Fleetwood Town. Over the last five years, the Cod Army have come up in leaps and bounds on and off the field. The Lancashire club has made a determined push towards Football League status with a £2.5 million main stand with executive boxes and banqueting facilities. In the Football Conference Premier League, they are second to Wrexham on goal difference. Today, they demonstrated this further by beating NPower League One side Wycombe Wanderers 2 – 0, in front of 2,711 fans.

Andrew Mangan opened the scoring for Town in the 27th minute. By the end of the first half, they were down to ten men. A difficult 50 or so minutes awaited the Cod Army. One where the NPower League One could have potential got the better of them.

Not on your life! Town dominated the game with 10 men and put the tie beyond Wycombe Wanderers’ reach in the 80th minute. Former FC Halifax Town player Jamie Vardy made it 2 – 0.

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Never a Frown with Stefan Brown (if you support The Stags, that is)

On the other side of the Pennines, Bradford Park Avenue didn’t have the same luck as Fleetwood Town. Their trip to Hampshire saw the Avenue trounced 8 – 1 against AFC Totton. The visitors were down to ten men in the 12th minute and shortly after, Jonathan Davies opened the scoring for the Stags a minute after. A penalty by Mike Gosney in the 29th minute was followed by Adam Clayton’s 30th minute goal for Bradford Park Avenue; 2 – 1. Two minutes later, 3 – 1, this time scored by Michael Charles.

Then it all went to pot for the Avenue; Mike Gosney scored his second goal for the Stags in the 52nd minute, 4 – 1 to AFC Totton. An inspired substitution in the form of Stefan Brown made the chance of a replay for Avenue a mere pipe dream. He opened his goal account in today’s match with a 64th minute goal. A second booking for Martin Drury saw the Avenue reduced to nine men. Mission: impossible? You bet.

Ten minutes after, Stefan Brown scored his second goal, then five minutes later, came his hat trick. Just to rub salt in the wound, Jonathan Davies made in 8 – 1, wrapping up a momentous occasion for the Stags and a Ground Record Attendance of 2,315. For Bradfordians of a green and white persuasion, this was one match they would wish to exorcise as early as possible.

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Just to make things worse, their rivals beat Rochdale 1 – 0 at Valley Parade. What’s more, another inspired substitution made sure of The Bantams’ progress to the Second Round. An 84th minute 25 yard volley by Nahki Wells put paid to the ‘Dale’s F.A. Cup aspirations.

Also leaving the competition early doors are Bury. The Shakers lost 2 – 0 at Gigg Lane to Crawley Town. Tyrone Barrett opened the scoring for the NPower League 2 side in the 49th minute. Their lead was doubled in the 81st minute, by means of a goal by Michael Doughty.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for one of our sides east of the M60 motorway. Oldham Athletic cruised to a 3 – 1 victory in the Battle of the Real Ale Brewery Sides against Burton Albion. The Brewers were down to 10 men inside the first ten minutes. Latics were awarded two penalties: Shefki Kuqi scored the first one in the third minute and missed a second one. A goalkeeping howler ensured a second goal in the 13th minute by Robbie Simpson. Latics’ third goal came in the 35th minute. 3 – 0 up at the interval. Calvin Zola made it 3 – 1, but it wasn’t enough for Burton Albion.

Facing replays are Stourbridge, who drew 3 – 3 at Home Park against Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town (a 0 – 0 draw at Vale Park against Port Vale) and Hinckley United (2 – 2 at the Greene King Stadium against Tamworth).

Stourbridge almost recorded a Football League scalp against the Pilgrims. Warren Feeney opened the scoring for the beleaguered Devonshire side in the fourth minute. Stourbridge pulled one back with Aaron Drake’s equaliser coming in the 37th minute. Then the Glassboys took the lead in the 53rd minute thanks to a goal by Ryan Rowe. Their lead would last for 17 minutes; by then Carl Fletcher equalised for the home side – and their lead was short lived, thanks to a penalty by Sean Geddis in the 82nd minute. Stourbridge were on the verge of a historic scalp. Alas this wasn’t so as the Pilgrims arrested any potential embarrassment by an 88th minute goal from Onismor Bhasera.

And it was goodbye from Nantwich Town who faced The Club Formerly Known as Wimbledon. The Dabbers were trounced 6 – 0 by Milton Keynes Dons in what was the Cheshire side’s first ever trip to the First Round Proper. Mathias Kouo-Doumbe opened the scoring in the 28th minute, closely followed by Dean Bowditch’s 30th minute and 54th minute goals. Their lead was doubled by the time Daniel Powell (66th minute), Jay O’Shea (76th minute) and George Williams (89th minute) ensured a place in the F.A. Cup Second Round draw.

Barrow AFC also bowed out to Football League opposition losing 2 – 1 to Rotherham United at Holker Street. A late penalty put paid to a replay at the Don Valley Stadium. The Cumbrian side were 1 – 0 up with a 16th minute goal by Paul Rutherford. The lead lasted till the 82nd minute when it became a Smash and Grabban Raid for the Millers. Literally, as Lewis Grabban scored the equaliser, followed up by a late penalty.

Another Lancashire side robbed of a potential League scalp was Southport. Barnet opened the scoring after a goalless first half. Clovis Kamdjo scored in the 59th minute, a lead which was cancelled out by Steve Akrigg in the 71st minute. A trip to Underhill loomed large for the Sandgrounders, but this was stymied by Charlie Taylor’s injury time winner.

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Blue Square Bet North sides in the F.A. Cup First Round Proper

Only a handful of Blue Square Bet North sides entered the First Round Proper, with one of them set to play tomorrow.

Hinckley United drew 2 – 2 in a match marred by poor refereeing and numptiness from visiting fans. The Knitters were down to 10 men for most of the game. A last minute goal denied Hinckley United a straight passage to the Second Round.

Blyth Spartans ended their F.A. Cup campaign with a 2 – 0 defeat against Gateshead. John Shaw and Micky Cummins scored in the 14th and 54th minute for the visitors at a packed Croft Park.

Also knocked out were Corby Town,who made the trip to the War Memorial Ground, losing 3 – 1 to Bristol Rovers. Scott McGleish opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a penalty. The Steelmen equalised in the 65th minute thanks to a goal from Callum Reynolds. Alas for Corby, their lead was short lived when Carayol made it 2 – 1. Chris Zebroski’s 90th minute goal confirmed the Gasheads’ place in the Second Round draw this Sunday.

First Round Proper results (12 November 2011):

  • Milton Keynes Dons 6 – 0 Nantwich Town (att. 4,110);
  • Port Vale 0 – 0 Grimsby Town (att. 4,450);
  • Southport 1 – 2 Barnet (att. 1,939);
  • Blyth Spartans 0 – 2 Gateshead (att. 2,763);
  • AFC Totton 8 – 1 Bradford Park Avenue (att. 2,315);
  • Barrow 1 – 2 Rotherham United (att. 3,030);
  • Hinckley United 2 – 2 Tamworth (att. 1906);
  • Plymouth Argyle 3 – 3 Stourbridge (att. 6,173);
  • Bristol Rovers 3 – 1 Corby Town (att. 3,787);
  • Bradford City 1 – 0 Rochdale (att. 3,579);
  • Bury 0 – 2 Crawley Town (att. 2,436);
  • Oldham Athletic 3 – 1 Burton Albion (att. 3,102).

Next Time on East of the M60’s Road to Wembley:

The F.A. Cup Second Round draw. Also, could Stourbridge or FC Halifax Town pull off a league scalp? We shall see.

S.V., 11 November 2011.

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