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FA Cup: Five potential first round upsets

It's FA Cup first-round weekend, when non-league clubs the length and breadth of the land get to dream about making history in the world's most famous club knockout competition.

There are 40 ties across three days and here are five that could well result in upsets.

Scarborough Athletic v Forest Green information

  • Where is Scarborough Athletic v Forest Green? Flamingo Land Stadium, Scarborough
  • When is Scarborough Athletic v Forest Green? 15:00, Saturday 4th November
  • What are the odds for Scarborough Athletic v Forest Green? Scarborough Athletic 3/1, Draw 13/5, Forest Green 10/11

Emerging from the embers of Scarborough FC, a club synonymous with cup upsets back in their heyday in the 1970s, now it's the turn of Scarborough Athletic to have a go at claiming a shock win. 

It’s the first time in their short 16-year history that the Seadogs have reached round one and on the face of it their prospects shouldn't appear that rosy. 

After all, Athletic, managed by ex-Manchester United, West Brom and England Under-21 midfielder Jonathan Greening, are towards the bottom end of National League North and have a 43-place gulf in the pyramid to overcome against Forest Green. 

But this is the FA Cup, where dreams happen and reputations count for nothing. And since Forest Green are themselves enduring a terrible time at the foot of League Two, maybe Greening can add the scalp of Forest Green to the Champions League winner's medal he picked up with United back in '99.

Hereford v Gillingham information

  • Where is Hereford v Gillingham? Edgar Street, Hereford
  • When is Hereford v Gillingham? 15:00, Saturday 4th November
  • What are the odds for Hereford v Gillingham? Hereford 9/2, Draw 10/3, Gillingham 4/7

Almost a year to the day since Ronnie Radford's passing, wouldn't Hereford love to remember the man who put their club on the FA Cup map with another famous day at Edgar Street?

Radford's goal against Newcastle 50 years ago is one of the most iconic in the rich history of the competition, and now it's the turn of the current Bulls' generation to follow his lead. And the 9/2 shots will fancy their chances. 

The National League North side have lost only one of their last eight matches under ex-Birmingham defender Paul Caddis and have won five in a row at home, including a 1-0 triumph over Rochdale in the last qualifying round. 

They'll have a passionate crowd right behind them and League Two Gillingham, on a run of four losses in their last five, will need to be right on their game.

Sutton Utd v AFC Fylde information

  • Where is Sutton Utd v AFC Fylde? Gander Green Lane, Sutton
  • When is Sutton Utd v AFC Fylde? 15:00, Saturday 4th November
  • What are the odds for Sutton Utd v AFC Fylde? Sutton Utd 3/5, Draw 15/4, AFC Fylde 15/4

Sutton United produced one of the great FA Cup shocks once upon a time at Gander Green Lane, but the boot may well be on the other foot on Saturday when AFC Fylde arrive in south-west London. 

The Yellows will always have a place in FA Cup folklore for beating then holders Coventry City in 1989. But last season, as a league club, they saw an upset in a very different light when they fell at the first at home to non-league Farnborough, and lightning could easily strike twice. 

AFC Fylde couldn't buy a win until Chris Beech entered the dugout and now they are unbeaten in four and head to London on the back of a 3-0 win over Oldham and a 4-0 win at Gateshead in the National League, and are therefore a tempting 15/4 quote.

Chesterfield v Portsmouth information

  • Where is Chesterfield v Portsmouth? SMH Group Stadium, Chesterfield
  • When is Chesterfield v Portsmouth? 12:15, Sunday 5th November
  • Where can I watch Chesterfield v Portsmouth? bet365 Live Streaming & ITV1
  • What are the odds for Chesterfield v Portsmouth? Chesterfield 16/5, Draw 13/5, Portsmouth 17/20

Portsmouth have one goal and one goal only this season and that's winning promotion to the Championship which means a thankless trip to National League pace-setters Chesterfield is very much an inconvenience. 

Pompey boss John Mousinho won't want to fall at the first and would no doubt enjoy keeping his side's unbeaten run going. 

But he will make changes at Chesterfield, managed by Paul Cook, who enjoyed a promotion-winning campaign in charge at Fratton Park in 2016/17.

Charlton v Cray Valley (PM) information

  • Where is Charlton v Cray Valley (PM)? The Valley, Charlton
  • When is Charlton v Cray Valley (PM)? 17:30, Sunday 5th November
  • Where can I watch Charlton v Cray Valley (PM)? bet365 Live Streaming & BBC2
  • What are the odds for Charlton v Cray Valley (PM)? Charlton 1/9, Draw 9/1, Cray Valley (PM) 18/1

So how about the biggest of all upsets in what looks like the ultimate round one mismatch? Just a couple of miles on the map separates Charlton from Cray Valley but these clubs are worlds apart in pretty much everything else. 

A whopping 117 places in the pyramid stands the 1947 FA Cup winners apart from the Isthmian League South East Division part-timers, who are 18/1 to spring the maddest of surprises on Sunday night. Impossible? 

Perhaps, but the FA Cup has a happy and illustrious knack of making the most impossible of dreams come true.


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