‘I can see a replay at Fratton Park on the horizon’ – Cup agony for Portsmouth? Our panel discuss the FA Cup First Round

Tomorrow is one of the most exciting days on the fixture calendar for clubs in League One and Two; FA Cup First Round day. 

Amongst the collection of sides facing off tomorrow will be a big story waiting to happen; a Newport ready to go to the third round and knock out Leeds United, or a Sutton hoping to get to the fifth round and play host to Arsenal.

The magic of the cup is alive and well and although it won’t apply to every team, this season it could be your side. With a huge amount of all League One clashes, the chances of sides from the basement division and beyond getting through to play the big boys is as exciting as ever.

Short of doing an analysis of every game, it’s tough to do justice to all of the games. There will be plenty of patronising red tops proclaiming that plumbers and postman have humbled big boys, but anyone who has been in the National League knows that the sides in there are dangerous and respring srping a surprise.

Where are the giant-killing acts amongst tomorrow’s fixtures? We turn to our panel of writers to see where they think the big news news stories will come from.

Gary H says…..

“I’ll tell you where there won’t be one; Portman Road. My team are up against Ipswich Town and the last time we were there was one of the best away days I’ve ever had. It’s an all League One tie tomorrow and hardly epitomises the glamour and grit of the FA Cup.

“It pains me to say this because I still have an intense dislike of them from our National League days, but Dover look to be a good bet to turn over Southend. The shrimpers are not in good form and although Sol Campbell will have a positive effect there, it might be too early.

“Dover are 12th in the National League and are always strong, organised and dangerous. If I were a betting man, that’s where my upset would come.”

James G says…..

“After getting a few pelters from Bolton fans this week, I won’t mention them….

“I agree with Gary that Dover look good, but I’ve got to go with Gateshead to beat Oldham. I can see Oldham slipping up, they’re not a good side at the moment and I’m convinced they’re in a relegation battle for the rest of the season.

“Gateshead are two leagues below them and have endured a horrible time over the past twelve months, but this will only provide great context for a solid cup run. I can see them being resilient, they’ve had to be to keep focused on football recently.

“If Oldham underestimate their opposition for a second, it could be curtains. Get your money on it!”

Harry F says……

“I’ve got a feeling about Chippenham Town. I don’t know why, they’re not flying high in their division or anything like that, but I can just sense that they’ve got something Northampton won’t be expecting.

“Failing that, keep a good eye on Harrogate Town. I’ve seen them twice this season and they’re a really good side; they’ve been growing as a club over the last seven or eight years and Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth haven’t been at their best.

“Maybe a win is a bit out of reach, but I can see a replay at Fratton Park on the horizon.”

Gary H is a lifelong Lincoln City fan and has worked as a sport’s journalist for the past three years. He’s the editor of the popular Lincoln City site ‘The Stacey West’ and has written for Football League World as well.

James G is a Luton Town fan who has helped build the Real EFL into the successful site it is today, approaching 1m views for the year. He still watches the Hatters, but feels comfortable in the lower leagues and loves the passion on the terraces without money ruining it all.

Harry F is a Sunderland fan and journalist student hoping to forge a career in the world of football writing.

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