This weekend sees the 1st Round Proper of The FA Trophy as National League sides embark on the road to Wembley. 64 sides play across Saturday and Sunday for their chance to reach the 2nd Round and claim £6,000 in the process.
Saturday 16 December
Solihull Moors vs Tranmere Rovers @15:00
The hosts are bottom of the National League and took two bites to get past Evo-Stik Northern Premier North Ossett Town in the FA Cup. In fact The Moors have only won twice at home all season, but one of those did come against Leyton Orient two weeks back. Tranmere have won their last two in the League without conceding, scoring seven, to find themselves 9th in the National League. They were, however, heavily beaten by Peterborough in the FA Cup. This fixture will be settled on the day with extra time and penalties, no replay.
Blyth Spartans vs AFC Telford Utd @15:00
Blyth are 4th in the National League North, having won six and lost four at home. They have, however, faced a long break after last weekend’s match, like many, fell foul of the weather. Despite a good run in the FA Cup a couple of seasons back, they struggled this season, losing to Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Shaw Lane. The visitors, and fellow National League North side Telford find themselves mid-table and have faced an even longer break, having not played since beating Droylsden to get here on 25th November. They have won five and lost four away in the League and got to the first round of the FA Cup before losing to giant killers Hereford, beating FC United and Stafford Rangers in the process.
Kidderminster Harriers vs York City @15:00
Another all National League North affair sees Harriers host the reigning champions. The hosts are 7th and have only lost once at home in the League. They are also seven unbeaten in all competitions and beat Chester in the FA Cup in a run to the 1st Round. York have struggled since relegation last season and are in 10th, but were improving before Boston United ended their four game unbeaten run on 2nd December. Things haven’t gone too well in the cups either, having lost out to Northern Premier League North South Shields in the FA Cup.
Chorley vs Marine @15:00
The hosts are 8th in the National League North, having only lost once at home in the League. A tight defence is the order of the day with only the top two having conceded fewer than Chorley’s 18. The Magpies have also had a good run in the FA Cup, making it to the 1st Round before losing to Fleetwood. Visitors Marine are 21st in the Northern Premier League Premier and lost in their first match in the FA Cup, but have saved their best for the FA Trophy, making it through three qualifying rounds to get here, including a victory against National League North FC United.
FC Halifax Town vs Macclesfield Town @15:00
Halifax have struggled in the National League, sitting 16th. However, things are starting to look up with last week’s victory against Aldershot breaking a run of 12 without a win. They have it all to do though as league leaders Macclesfield visit. The Silkmen have won eight from 12 away in League and are six undefeated in all competitions.
Spennymoor Town vs Gainsborough Trinity @15:00
This is a rerun of the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round tie which the hosts lost 2-1. Spennymoor are 5th in the National League North, but have lost their last two, conceding seven. The visitors are 19th in the same division, but have had a great FA Cup run, albeit losing to Southern Premier Slough Town in the 1st Round.
Chester vs AFC Fylde @15:00
An all National League affair sees both sides keen to get this game out the way on the day, with extra time and penalties if this is level after 90 minutes. Chester are 21st, having scored only 22 goals in 23 League matches. They were also shocked by Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, but thinks are looking up with a win over Solihull Moors last time out. Visitors Fylde are 17th, but with games in hand on their rivals. They have excelled in the FA Cup this year, finally losing to Wigan in a 2nd round replay, but not before beating the likes of Wrexham and Chester’s conquerors Kidderminster.
Wrexham vs Harrogate Town @15:00
Talking of Wrexham, The Dragons are 3rd in the National League, but have lost their record of having the tightest defence in the division having suffered a 4-1 humiliation against Macclesfield in their last match. The defence will be tested further this weekend as National League North top scorers Harrogate Town (50 goals in 20 matches) visit. Harrogate are 3rd in the division having won seven from ten away League games, but have only picked up one point in their last two and lost to lowly Gainsborough in the FA Cup.
Leamington vs Stourbridge @15:00
Hosts Leamington are 17th in the National League North, with only three home wins. This match has giant killing written all over it with visitors Stourbridge 10th in the Northern Premier League Premier with games in hand on their rivals and with great cup form. So far they have beaten Alfreton Town in making it to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and have made it through three rounds of qualifying to get this far in the Trophy, knocking out National League North Bradford PA.
Lancaster City vs Stockport County @15:00
Another game with a potential for an upset, hosts Lancaster reside in the Northern Premier League Premier, where they sit 13th, but with games in hand on those above and only one home League loss to their name. Visitors Stockport are 9th in National League North, but have only won two away in the competition. They did, however, snap a poor recent run with a victory against Spennymoor Town last time out.
Warrington Town vs Altrincham @15:00
An all Northern Premier League Premier tie which sees 4th placed Warrington take on top of the table Altrincham. It promises to be a close game with the hosts winning seven from 10 home League games and the visitors only losing two away games in the division. Both beat National League North teams to get this far in Tamworth and Alfreton respectively.
Gateshead vs Guiseley @15:00
Another all National League tie, another game with the sides opting to finish it on the day. Hosts Gateshead are 15th in the National League, and have only conceded 22 in 23 League matches. They also made it to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup where they were taught a lesson by high scoring Luton Town. Visitors Guiseley are struggling in 23rd with only one away League win and a League low 19 goals scored. They did, however, make it through to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup as well, as they overcame Accrington Stanley on penalties in Round 1.
Nuneaton Town vs Barrow @15:00
Nuneaton haven’t pulled up any trees this season, sitting 20th in National League North and losing to Northern Premier League Premier Nantwich Town in the FA Cup. They are, however, three without defeat. National League Barrow have picked up under Ady Pennock and have won three of the last five in the League, to find themselves 19th. They also lost to Northern Premier League Premier opposition in the FA Cup, with Shaw Lane doing for them.
Workington vs Hartlepool Utd @ 15:00
Another Northern Premier League Premier side to make it this far, Workington are 5th in the division. They are on a great run of form, undefeated in their last eight in all competitions. They face National League Hartlepool at the perfect time, the visitors having lost the last three in the League, conceding nine and scoring only one. In fact Hartlepool have found goals hard to come by this season, scoring 24 in 24 League matches.
Haringey Borough vs Leyton Orient @15:00
One of the ties of the round when it was drawn, Haringey are 7th in the Isthmian North, the fourth step of non-league. They have had to go through four rounds of qualifying to get this far and also made it through four rounds of qualifying in the FA Cup before falling to Heybridge Swifts. This is a real banana skin for the O’s, but would look even worse had they not snapped a run of 15 without a win in the League with victory against Sutton Utd last time out. Defence has been a problem with 41 goals conceded in 24 League matches, as has away games with only two wins in the League.
Dover Athletic vs Eastbourne Borough @15:00
Hosts Dover are 4th in the National League, but could be even higher had they not won only one of their last five in the League. Defence is the strength, conceding a League low 17 in 24 matches, but The Whites come into the match in good scoring form, beating Hartlepool 4-0. Visitors Eastbourne are 15th in the National League South, and have struggled in the cups, losing at home to lowly Bognor Regis Town in the FA Cup (a side with only one away win in the League) and stuggling through against Southern Premier Royston Town in the last round of this competition.
Wealdstone vs Wingate & Finchley @15:00
The Stones are 11th in the National League South and have a good home record winning seven from 10 in the division. They face Isthmian Premier Wingate & Finchley having lost to a side at this level in the FA Cup. Wingate are 9th in the division but have a poor away record, losing seven from 10 in the League. They have, however, made it through three qualifying rounds to get this far.
Billericay Town vs Havant & Waterlooville @15:00
Another tie with the potential for fireworks, hosts Billericay are one of the stories of the season, rarely out of the press. They sit 2nd in the Isthmian Premier, with four games in hand on top of the table Dulwich Hamlet. They have conceded a League low 13 from 18 matches, scoring 48 (the joint highest). The Blues made it to the 1st Round of the FA Cup before losing to League rivals Leatherhead, but beating National League South Hungerford (who they also beat in this competition) and National League North high flyers Brackley Town to get there. Standing in their way are National League South Havant. The visitors are 4th in the League, but with a game in hand on the three above. They similarly have a good defensive record, conceding only 19 in 22 League matches.
Chesham Utd vs Weston Super Mare @15:00
Chesham Utd of the Southern Premier sit 11th in the League, but have had a great run in this competition, counting a victory against National League South Gloucester City amongst three so far. Could their run continue against Weston Super Mare, the seaside club sitting 13th in the National League South, having won only two away in the division? They also lost to lowly Bognor Regis Town in the FA Cup.
Sutton Utd vs Truro City @15:00
Sutton arrive for this fixture having lost top spot in the National League with their loss to Leyton Orient last weekend. They are, however, still second, but haven’t had their usual FA Cup run, for once not shocking League opposition as they lost to Cambridge Utd. Truro were one of the stories of the FA Cup, being the first Cornish side to make it to the 1st Round since 1969. The South West side have also not taken their eye off the League, sitting 7th in National League South. One to watch.
Woking vs Maidenhead Utd @15:00
The Cards have struggled in the National League of late, winning only one of their last six, but have still only lost two at home. The FA Cup has been a source of joy this season, after beating Bury in Round 1 before taking Peterborough to a replay. Maidenhead sit only one place below Woking in the League in 13th, but arrive eight without a win in all competitions and have only won three away in the League.
Whitehawk vs St Albans City @15:00
Whitehawk are having a nightmare. Bottom of National League South without a win in the League and only four points, having conceded a hefty 58 goals. In fact, the only win for the home side this season came in the last round of this competition against Chippenham Town. It would take a monumental effort to overcome visitors St Albans who are 8th in National League South and are three without defeat.
East Thurrock Utd vs Aldershot Town @15:00
The Rocks sit 10th in National League South, but have only three home wins in the division. They did, though, take Ebbsfleet to a replay in the FA Cup. Aldershot are 6th in the National League, but wold be higher were they not two without a win, having not scored a goal.
Hendon vs Bath City @15:00
Isthmian Premier Hendon are 7th in the League, with eight wins from their 11 home League games and will be happy to get to this stage, having won through three qualifying rounds. There is, however, reason to be optimistic they can go even further with Bath City having drawn their last four and sitting 12th in National League South.
Ebbsfleet Utd vs Eastleigh @15:00
Ebbsfleet’s draws were the story earlier in the season, but they have found a way to win matches, picking up victories and clean sheets in their last two in the National League. In fact The Fleet have conceded only 24 in 23 League matches. They sit eight places ahead of opponents Eastleigh, The Spitfires floundering down in 18th with only two away League wins. They have gone seven without a win in all competitions and the FA Cup hasn’t been a welcome distraction either following a loss to giantkillers Hereford in the 4th Qualifying Round.
Torquay Utd vs Maidstone Utd @15:00
22nd in the National League, but that only tells half the story of a Torquay side reborn under Gary Owers with only one loss in the last five in the League, picking up two valuable victories. Maidstone are 11th in the same division and are four without a win, but have good cup form, beating Cheltenham Town in the 1st Round of the FA Cup.
Hartley Wintney vs Bromley @15:00
One of the sides to watch in this years competition, Hartley Wintney of the Evo-Stik Southern League East have come through all four previous rounds to reach this stage, including victories against two Southern Premier opponents. They have won six of nine home League matches. Visitors Bromley are 8th in the National League, but have gone three without a win in the division, conceding eight, including a 4-4 draw with Eastleigh last weekend.
Braintree Town vs Brackley Town @15:00
A reverse of the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round tie which Brackley won 4-1, the hosts are 2nd in National League South, with only the leaders having scored more than their 42 in 21 games. Brackley are 2nd in National League North having only conceded 18 in 21 league matches, but will want to have a good cup run having lost to Billericay Town in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round.
Taunton Town vs Bognor Regis Town @15:00
Another one of the sides to have gone through four ties already to get to this point Evo-Stik Southern League West table toppers Taunton have eight wins from nine home League games, and have scored a massive 46 goals, conceding only 19 across all their League matches this season. They also beat National League South Concord Rangers to get this far, and will hope to add another with Bognor sitting 21st in National League South, with only one away League win. There has been respite for them in the Cups though, beating higher placed Weston Super Mare, Eastbourne Borough and Hemel Hempstead.
Hampton & Richmond Borough vs Heybridge Swifts @15:00
Another one to watch on Saturday is this tie between Hampton & Richmond and Heybridge Swifts. The Beavers are 3rd in National League South, having lost only one at home in the League and conceding 19 from 21 matches in the division. Heybridge Swifts of the Isthmian North are turning into real cup specialists this season. Swifts have made it through four rounds to get to this point and also made it all the way to the 1st Round of the FA Cup where they lost to Exeter City. As a result of these cup exploits, the visitors have played only 11 League games, but have a great record in them, scoring 29 and conceding only nine.
Dartford vs Boreham Wood @15:00
Another game where the odds could be upset, Dartford are top of the National League South, scoring the highest number of goals in the division (43 from 21 matches), only conceding 23. Opponents Boreham Wood are 7th in the National League, and also have a great defensive record in League action, conceding 22 from 23 matches. They have won the last three in the League, conceding only one and caused a shock in the FA Cup by beating Blackpool.
Sunday 17 December
Hereford vs Dagenham & Redbridge @15:00
Giantkillers Hereford hope to continue their good run in the cups. The Southern League Premier side made it all the way to the 2nd Round of the FA Cup, losing to Fleetwood Town in Thursday’s replay and are also in great League form, winning eight from 11 at home, conceding only 14 in 18 games, scoring a massive 47.