Colchester United to win 3-1
AFC Sudbury v Colchester United
As Friday nights go, this promises to be a momentous one for AFC Sudbury.
The club that was formed as recently as 1999 as an amalgamation of Sudbury Town and Sudbury Wanderers have only once previously reached the FA Cup 1st Round, losing 6-1 at Darlington.
This time around, not only have the Suffolk outfit got to this stage, they are in action on national TV – and they are more than deserving of their spot, too, having defeated four sides to get here, most recently 6th-tier Dartford, who have plenty of league experience.
Victory will be by no means a formality, therefore, for Colchester, with Hayden Mullins’ side struggling in League Two.
Teenage right-back Junior Tchamadeu, all-action left-back Ryan Clampin, box-to-box midfielder Brendan Wiredu, skilful wide man Armando Dobra and on-loan Fulham finisher Sylvester Jasper could all have too much quality for the hosts.
What a week it’s been already @AFCSudbury , LIVE press conference, interview after interview , filming our training tonight . Running my own business. Busiest week of my life. BUT I wouldn’t change it for the world ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/A451Xw6zTf
— Angelo Harrop (@HarropAngelo) November 2, 2021
Horsham to win 2-1
Carlisle United v Horsham
Horsham’s FA Cup run, which has given them an opportunity to equal their best ever performance in this competition with a victory, represents an antidote to their season overall rather than a reflection of it.
Dom Di Paola feels his players are better than the league position suggests and that his side have been unlucky with injuries, and the Hornets boss will be looking to use the cup victories over higher league sides like Eastbourne Boro and Woking can be used as a springboard for better things domestically.
Now might not be the worst time to play Carlisle, who produced a lackadaisical defensive performance last time out in a 3-0 loss at Northampton, despite the presence of new manager Keith Millen.
On top of that, the Cumbrians often play long balls without having a reliable, aerial focal point, so there is every chance that Danny Dudley and Will Miles will be able to do the basics for the visitors.
Notts County, Swindon Town, Swansea City, and…@officialcufc will become just the fourth Football League club we’ve ever played in the FA Cup, this weekend. #HorshamFC #EmiratesFACup 💛💚 pic.twitter.com/zQWeNaEwaI
— Horsham FC (@HorshamFC) November 3, 2021
Charlton Athletic to win 5-0
Charlton Athletic v Havant & Waterlooville
Havant & Waterlooville have scaled great heights in the FA Cup previously, earning a famous draw at Liverpool in 2007-08 and leading twice in an honourable 5-2 Anfield defeat.
The south coast outfit, though, will have to defy the odds once again at the Valley, because hosts Charlton are resurgent under Johnnie Jackson.
Had Paul Doswell’s side hitched up in South London two weeks ago, when the Addicks were underperforming under Nigel Adkins, they might have had an outside chance: but the hosts are now a different proposition.
Jackson has overseen a return of seven points from three games, including a gutsy victory at Sunderland, a dominant display against Doncaster and a competitive showing against Rotherham.
The caretaker may rotate here but he had the luxury of leaving left-sided forward Charlie Kirk, one of Crewe’s best players in League One last season, on the bench along with a proven Championship midfielder Ben Watson.
Either could do major damage here to National League South opposition, especially when combined with the searing pace of Corey Blackett-Taylor.
Couple of stats I've just worked out for a piece – since Johnnie Jackson has come in we've gone from conceding 2.25 a game (last eight games) to one in three games. Plus we're having 34% more shots per game and 61% more shots on target. The Jacko effect. #cafc
— Louis Mendez (@LouisMend) November 3, 2021
Lincoln City to win 4-0
Lincoln City v Bowers & Pitsea
Lincoln City are hoping for a smooth route to victory against Bowers & Pitsea, a club that were only formed as recently as 2003.
The Imps, though, would be naïve to think progression to the 2nd Round a formality: after all, they themselves made unlikely waves in this competition in 2016-17, when they became the first non-league club to reach the quarter-finals since 1925.
Bowers, though, are not exactly flying in the Isthmian Premier Division, having taken nine points from their first 10 games.
Rob Small’s troops might have gained some encouragement from their performance in the 0-0 draw with Bognor Regis, but even a rotated Lincoln side will have far superior quality and athleticism.
Defender TJ Eyoma, left-back Cohen Bramall and wide man Hakeeb Adelakun, whom we can expect to come into Michael Appleton’s XI, all have searing pace that will allow them to dominate any one-on-one scenarios against part-time opposition.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) October 18, 2021
Portsmouth to win 4-0
Portsmouth v Harrow Borough
No chance of complacency creeping into the Portsmouth camp: at least, not the management team.
Danny and Nicky Cowley – the masterminds behind Lincoln’s aforementioned cup run in 2016-17 – not only have great respect for the competition but are also meticulous in their work.
So much so, that Nicky Cowley went to Earlsmead Stadium late last month to watch their 1-0 win over Gosport Borough and gain a feel for what to expect from the Boro.
The Cowley brothers will be prepared and so should the players: Gassan Ahadme forged an excellent strike-pairing with John Marquis in pre-season and the young forward may have a great opportunity to prove his worth to Pompey.
Also coming in could be likes of right-back Kieron Freeman and cultured left-footer Shaun Williams, with both possessing plenty of experience in the top two divisions of English football, chiefly with Sheffield United and Millwall respectively.
The 2008 FA Cup winners might still be finding their identity as a League One side with top six aspirations, but should have enough in their armoury to defeat Southern League Premier Division South (seventh-tier) opposition.
— Harrow Borough F.C. (@harrowboroLive) November 2, 2021
Rotherham United to win 2-0
Rotherham United v Bromley
Having been unlikely Play-Off outsiders for much of Neil Smyth’s reign, Bromley are hoping to go up another level under Andy Woodman.
The Ravens made waves in the summer to sign striker George Alexander, somebody many Millwall fans wanted to see get an opportunity at Championship level, while athletic right-back Haji Mnoga joined on loan from Portsmouth.
With these improvements to the squad, the Londoners have lost just two in 13 in the National League, sitting a mere three points off leaders Boreham Wood.
With that in mind, Bromley can justifiably hope to make a good account of themselves in South Yorkshire, but if striker Will Grigg comes into Paul Warne’s XI, the Northern Irish goalscorer may only need one chance.
Match to end in a 2-2 draw
Wigan Athletic v Solihull Moors
Even with the lack of financial governance rendering the National League an extremely difficult league to get out of via the right end, Solihull Moors are growing steadily.
Under the excellent, patient ownership of Darryl Eales, the Moors have built the best squad they have ever had because, even when they challenged strongly for promotion in 2018-19 under Tim Flowers, it was a group largely punching above it’s weight.
Neal Ardley’s best sides always have a target man and the West Midlanders have just that in 6’9” (yes, 6’9”) Kyle Hudlin – on loan at 11th-tier Solihull United just one year ago, and has more recently been the subject of surprise interest from Manchester City.
Hudlin’s unique stature makes him an extremely difficult player to defend against and it could prove that way for Wigan this weekend.
If we can't sign Kane I'm fully game for us to sign Kyle Hudlin from Solihull Moors.
— Lewis & Jordan | City Xtra (@CityXtraPod) August 16, 2021
Barrow to win 3-1
Banbury United v Barrow
Banbury are enjoying an excellent season in the Southern League Premier Central, with Andy Whing’s charges having accrued a whopping 29 points from their first 11 games.
The Puritans, of course, still face an uphill task to defeat EFL opposition in Barrow, so key to their chances is the organisation nous of defender Kelvin Langmead.
The indications are that Whing likes a flat back-four, so it is vital for Langmead that left-back Sam Brown does not venture too far upfield and risk leaving the veteran isolated in a one-on-one scenario against a speedy Barrow forward like Josh Gordon.
That is the danger with Mark Cooper’s side: other than regista Ollie Banks, none of their midfielders or forwards dwell on the ball too much and the result is quick, incisive approach play which could unhinge their Southern League Central hosts.
Tonight’s result means our unbeaten start to the season extends to 19 matches.
— Banbury United FC (@BanburyUnitedFC) November 2, 2021
Match to end in a 1-1 draw
Stratford Town v Shrewsbury Town
Stratford supporters are hoping the romance of the FA Cup will blossom for Ashley Sammons.
The midfielder represented England at Under-17s level back in 2007, and scored a memorable, 30-yard strike for Birmingham City’s academy side at Anfield in the 2008-09 FA Youth Cup.
For various reasons including injuries, Sammons has unfortunately not been able to live up to the promise he once showed as a youngster, but the natural ability hasn’t gone and there is no reason why he cannot still have his moment in this competition.
The Bards are up against a Shrewsbury side struggling in League One under a rather less popular former Birmingham employee in Steve Cotterill.
Salop have an imbalanced squad – evidenced by the fact that three left-backs by trade started in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Lincoln – and if they do not apply themselves in the Midlands, there is every chance Sammons could rise to the occasion.
🏆 What a night! We want to thank every single fan for last night as over 1200 spectators filled up the @ArdenGarages Stadium.
We hope to see even more of the “Bardy Army” in the next round against @shrewsweb
— Stratford Town FC (@StratfordTownFC) October 20, 2021
Dagenham & Redbridge to win 2-0
Dagenham & Redbridge v Salford City
After a 12th-placed finish last season, Dagenham are hoping to push on to bigger and better things this term under Daryl McMahon.
The Daggers are certainly in the Play-Off mix this term, despite a brief drop in form and could cause problems for their hosts with their wide play.
McMahon has favoured a classic 4-4-2, with the quick and unpredictable Mo Sagaf stretching the game, while Paul McCallum is called upon to be their chief source of goals.
At the back, meanwhile, Callum Reynolds aims to catch the eye against League Two opposition, having in recent years having thrived in the National League for Aldershot and Dagenham but not quite got his break in the EFL.
The East Londoners have been a streaky side in the National League this season, in terms of performances as well as results, but they have every chance if they can bring their best to the table.
McMahon’s troops are hoping to cause what would, just about, be considered an upset with victory against their well-backed visitors, with Salford coming into this match off the back of successive defeats in League Two.
The Ammies were expected to challenge for promotion this season but they have never truly threatened to put a run together, so the hosts may smell blood.