Written by Carlo Simone (@CSimoneJourno)
One upset, a 6-2 extra time thriller, and a 7-0 thumping were all highlights from the first set of replays for the First Round of the 2018/19 FA Cup.
The surprise of the evening saw National League side FC Halifax Town earn a 1-0 win over League Two strugglers Morecambe.
Despite the 18-place league position difference between the clubs, Halifax largely controlled proceedings and an early effort from Cameron King was enough to settle the tie. Halifax will go onto play Football League opposition again in the Second Round when they host AFC Wimbledon.
All the other ties went according to the form book, especially Doncaster Rovers’ 7-0 thumping of National League North Chorley. Rovers had been lucky to scrape a 2-2 draw in the original fixture but showed their professionalism with a ruthless display.
They raced into a 5-0 halftime lead with a hat-trick from Alfie May complemented by strikes from Matty Blair and Liverpool loanee Herbie Kane.
Even having Tom Anderson sent-off in the second half for two bookable offences and John Marquis missing a penalty didn’t prevent Rovers from adding to their tally, as May added his fourth of the evening while Marquis made up for his miss with their seventh of the game.
Doncaster will be up against fellow League One side Charlton Athletic in the second round after they put five past League Two Mansfield Town.
Much like Rovers, the Addicks had needed a late equaliser to stay in the competition in the first round but were clinical in the replay, putting away five of their seven shots on target. Lyle Taylor notched a hat-trick while further efforts from Mark Marshall and Nicky Ajose added gloss to a confident display.
Crawley Town’s game against Southend United was also goal-packed. After Southend had gone 2-0 up in the first half through a Josh Doherty own goal and Harry Bunn, the Red Devils took the game to extra time after two efforts from Ollie Palmer.
Southend then found their scoring touch in the those extra 30 minutes as Simon Cox, John White, Sam Mantom, and Sean McLaughlin all got on the scoresheet to incredibly run out 6-2 winners.
National League outfit Aldershot took Bradford all their way in their tie, fighting back to equalise with an effort from Luke Howell in extra time after a George Fowler had inadvertently given the Bantams the lead in the 101st minute with an own goal.
However, Bradford goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell prevented a major upset, as he saved two spot-kicks to keep the League One side in the competition after a 4-1 win on penalties.
The other tie to go to penalties involved National League South Slough Town against National League Sutton United. A late equaliser from George Dobson forced the affair into extra-time after Sutton’s Josh Taylor opened the scoring in the 9th minute. No goals could be found in those additional 30 minutes, so penalties were needed.
After 14 successful kicks Sutton defender Dean Beckwith blazed his effort over the bar leaving it for George Wells to send Slough through 8-7 on penalties. Sutton had famously reached the fifth round of the FA Cup in the 2016/17 season, but no such exploits would be able to be repeated as Slough went through to the Second round for the 9th time in their history.
The other games involving non-league sides against Football League opposition saw National League South outfit Oxford City head out of the competition after a 2-0 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers, thanks to goals from League Two’s leading scorer James Norwood and Paul Mullin.
Meanwhile National League Ebbsfleet also went down 2-0 to another League Two side, Cheltenham Town. A second half header from Tyrone Barnett and a tap-in from Alex Addai were enough to settle a battling encounter. Sam Magri was sent off with the score at 1-0, which made it much more difficult for the Fleet to come back.
In the other encounters a hat-trick from Tom Denton saw Chesterfield overcome lower-league opposition away at Billericay Town in a 3-1 victory.
Forest Green also suffered a home loss by going down 3-0 to League One Oxford United. The U’s made the most of their chances with goals from James Henry, Jamie Mackie and Marcus Browne, which rectified the 0-0 draw with the League Two in the original tie.
The other First Round replays, which involve Bristol Rovers vs Barnet, Hartlepool United vs Gillingham and Shrewsbury Town vs Salford City, take place on the evening Wednesday 21st November.