This weekend is a big weekend for all sides below the National League.
Teams put their league season so far behind them as they compete for a spot in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup and a step closer to a big money tie. Here’s what to look out for.
The Three Big Ties
Salford City v York– Arguably one of the tastiest ties is this all National League North clash. Moneybags Salford are one of the favourites for promotion. 13 signings were made by the Ammies in the summer and have made a great start to the season, sitting second. York are one of the bigger clubs in the competition at this stage. The side just two seasons ago were in the football league but back-to-back relegations mean they are in the seventh tier of English football.They currently sit 7th in the National League North as they look to return to the National League.
Deeping Rangers v Kidderminster– Every round, all the way to the final, the BBC will select one game to be shown on their website. This weekend, they have chosen this game. Deeping Rangers currently sit 6th in the United Counties League Premier Division, the 5th step of the non-league pyramid. They will be hosting Kidderminster, now in the National League North, and one of the bigger clubs in the cup at this stage. With the opponent and it being shown live on BBC, it is sure to be the biggest game in Deeping Rangers’ history.
Darlington v South Shields– It’s been an incredible journey for both of these sides over recent years. After being a former member of the Football League, the side entered administration in 2012 and had to start the 2012-13 season in the ninth tier of English football. After three straight promotions, the side are now in the National League North and will be hoping for an FA cup run, being one of the more recognizable names at this stage. Last season, South Shields completed a historic quadruple. They won the Northern League after going on an incredible 32 game winning run. As well as this, they won The FA Vase, The Durham Challenge Cup and The Northern League Challenge Cup. It was one of the most successful seasons ever for any club, winning every competition they entered (other than FA cup) as well as having that incredible winning run.
Other Ties To Note
Ware v Leatherhead– The Football Forecast’s new partners Leatherhead of the Ishtamin League face a trip to Ware FC. Ware are a division below their opponents in the Ishtamin North league.
Dartford v Barking– Dartford currently sit top of the National League South and as a result are one of the strongest teams in the competition at this stage. They host a Barking side two divisions below them and it will be a very big game for the visitors who will look to cause an upset.
Thamesmead v Billericay– After large investments from Glenn Tamplin into Billericay’s side they will certainly be looking for an FA cup run coupled with promotion to really show to others what they can do. They are certainly at the centre of a lot of controversy and criticism currently but will be looking to keep the haters quiet with a win at Thamesmead. A side in the division below Billericay.
Chelmsford v Ramsgate – After missing out in the National League South playoff final, Chelmsford are one of the strongest teams in the competition at this stage and will certainly be looking to put an FA cup run together. They host Ramsgate who are struggling in the Bostik South Ishtamin League.
Baldock v Aylesbury United – Baldock are currently the joint lowest ranked team in the competition. The side are one of just three teams to be from step 6 of non-league. They play in the Spartan South Midlands League and have only played two league games due to their FA cup run! They’ll look to continue their fanatic run with victory over Aylesbury United who compete in the Southern League Division 1 Central, step 4 of non-league.
Feature Image credit: Cushdy