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Boston battle to beat shock while FC United of Manchester face tough task – FA Cup preview

FA Cup

By Matt Bishop

After another exciting weekend of FA Cup action, tonight sees all but one of the 13 second round qualifying replays take place as clubs from across the country look to take a step closer to the first round proper.

There are some mouthwatering ties, made even more interesting after Saturday’s games produced a number of shocks – most notably South Shields sweeping Darlington aside – and many sides will be wary of being on the wrong side of such a result this evening.

One club who will be keen to avoid a huge shock are Boston United, after the National League North side were held at home by Midland League side Haughmond.

Boston bossed the first half of Saturday’s encounter, and led shortly after the break as Jan Yeomans headed home to continue his side’s dominance. However, the Step 5 visitors refused to give up, and highlighted how cup football can so quickly change.

After Scott Ryan pounced 11 minutes from time to haul Haughmond level, Steve Hole nearly snatched a stunning away win, but he was denied by Pilgrims ‘keeper George Willis.

At home, Haughmond will have a lot of confidence, and Boston cannot refuse to coast tonight, as they did after taking the lead on Saturday. If they do, they could easily on the end of an early exit.

Another side who will have to battle a lower league side if they are to continue their FA Cup journey this season are FC United of Manchester, as they host Handsworth Parramore at Broadhurst Park.

After four straight defeats, Karl Marginson’s side entered Saturday’s encounter against their Northern Counties East League opponents low on confidence, and that was clear to see as they struggled to break down a resolute Ambers side.

A Steve Irwin penalty on the cusp of half-time did put FC United ahead, but for much of the second half, more wasteful finishing meant the Red Rebels got more and more nervous as Handsworth remained in the game and hunted for an equaliser.

That leveller eventually came, as captain Pat Lindley scored for the side three divisions below FC United, and the momentum is with them heading into tonight’s game.

Can they produce one of the biggest shocks of the round and knock out the struggling Rebels?

Hyde United and Warrington Town will also replay their tie this evening, after Karl Jones’ last-gasp equaliser earned the Tigers a draw, and Rushall Olympic play AFC Mansfield once more after their 0-0 stalemate on Saturday.

Alfreton Town came dangerously close to a shock defeat as they came from 2-0 down to draw with AFC Rushden & Diamonds, so will be hoping for a better performance tonight, while underdogs Royston Town fully deserved their replay against Braintree Town.

Bostik Premier side Wingate & Finchley were the latest lower league side to give Hemel Hempstead Town problems in the FA Cup, so that could be a tough replay for the National League South side tonight with the winners playing Bath City.

Met Police were also forced to a replay after an entertaining 2-2 draw with Heybridge Swifts, and Adrian Stone earned his Glebe side a replay with Phoenix Sports in what was a great advert for cup and non-league football.

Burgess Hill Town welcome Colney Heath to Leylands Park for the 19:30 kick-off tonight, after their thrilling 3-3 draw on Saturday, Duncan Culley scored to take Hampton & Richmond to a replay against Potters Bar Town and Enfield will host Hanwell tonight after their 0-0.

Second Round qualifying replays:

Hyde United v Warrington Town

FC?United of Manchester v Handsworth Parramore

Haughmond v Boston United

Rushall Olympic v AFC?Mansfield

AFC?Rushden &?Diamonds v Alfreton Town

Royston Town v Braintree Town

Wingate &?Finchley v Hemel Hempstead Town

Heybridge Swifts v Metropolitan Police

Phoenix Sports v Glebe

Burgess Hill?Town v Colney?Heath (7.30)

Potters Bar Town v Hampton &?Richmond Borough

Enfield Town v Hanwell?Town

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