Bigger fish in grasp of minnows

With the honourable exceptions of Woking and Sudbury Town, the first round of this season's FA Cup was remarkable only for its failure to produce the usual bulging catalogue of giant-killing upsets. Bearing in mind the Cup's habit of throwing both reputation and formbook out of the window, the odds must surely be against this weekend's second round producing another set of largely predictable results.

This alone should give the nine Second and Third Division clubs facing non-League opposition reason to go into their games with trepidation. However, all those playing today will also be thinking of the glamour - not to mention the potential riches - that could lie around the corner if they win a place in the third round alongside the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, last season's finalists.

This weekend's winners will also have the chance to savour their victories and relish the prospect of what may be in store for them in the new year. In some previous seasons the draw for the third round has been held on the Saturday evening of the second round, giving the victors barely time to open their celebratory champagne, but this year's draw will be held shortly after 10pm on Monday evening, with the BBC broadcasting it live.

Predicting upsets in the Cup is always a risky business, but Woking, who travel today to Cambridge United, must be as good a bet as any to upstage their superiors.

What was most remarkable about Woking's first-round victory over Millwall was the way in which they won. Having more than matched the Second Division promotion challengers in the first game, the GM Vauxhall Conference side might have been expected to exit quietly in the replay at the New Den. Not a bit of it: the 39-year-old Clive Walker gave Woking an early lead and they rarely looked like losing it.

Cambridge are going well in the Third Division, lying in second place six points behind the runaway leaders Fulham, but Woking care little for reputations. Since 1990 they have played 13 FA Cup matches against League opposition and have lost only four times.

Sudbury, who beat Brighton in a replay, were the first round's other giant-killers, but they face a much tougher prospect today when they entertain Brentford at Colchester United's Layer Road ground.

Stevenage Borough, the Conference champions, are more likely to provide an upset when they travel to Leyton Orient. Although Orient have been reinforced in their last two games by the arrival of Peter Shilton, the east London club lie only four places off the bottom of the Third Division table and have managed only 16 goals in 21 league matches this season.

Enfield, who entertain Peterborough, will also fancy their chances of causing a shock, while in historical terms there would be no greater upset than a win for Hednesford Town at Blackpool, winners of one of the most famous Cup finals of all in 1953. The Conference side will have the backing of around 2,000 of their fans at Bloomfield Road.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing