Football / FA Cup: Halifax handed dubious reward of a trip to Stockport

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The Independent Online
THE MEN with the numbered balls and the cloth bag did last weekend's non-League giant- killers few favours in yesterday's draw for the second round of the FA Cup. Sutton United, Macclesfield, Halifax and Bromsgrove Rovers were all given away ties.

Halifax Town, who beat West Bromwich Albion at The Shay on Sunday, were given arguably the toughest task of all. They must travel to Edgeley Park to tackle the formidable Second Division leaders, Stockport County.

'It's not a place that many sides come away with anything from,' Peter Wragg, the Halifax manager who lives close to Stockport, said last night. Wragg was in charge of Macclesfield when they lost 2-0 at Edgeley Park at the same stage last season. On that occasion his side kept Kevin Francis, County's 6ft 7in centre-forward, off the scoresheet, but Wragg knows that he represents the biggest threat to his new team.

'We've got no 6ft 1in, let alone 6ft 7in, centre-halves,' Wragg said. 'We'll work something out and try and get them back to our place, though.'

Halifax's chances of success must be considered remote - unlike those of Sutton United. Having won 4-3 at Colchester on Saturday, the Diadora League team from Gander Green Lane will not be overawed by a journey to another inconsistent Third Division side, Torquay United, who were thrashed 5-2 at home by Yeovil last season.

Sammy McIlroy's Macclesfield, the conquerors of Hartlepool, face a local derby at Crewe Alexandra, while Bromsgrove Rovers, who won at Northampton, must travel to their Conference rivals, Yeovil.

There will be at least two non- League sides in the third round, as Kidderminster Harriers were drawn at home to the winners of next week's replay between Weston-super- Mare, from the Beazer Homes League, and Woking, who are trying to reach the third round for the third time in four years.

Bath City will fancy their chances at home to Hereford in front of Sky's cameras on the Sunday, while the Beazer Homes League title chasers, Crawley Town, may be even more confident - they have a home game against Barnet. However, the Sussex club may have to do without their prolific striker, Craig Whitington. Ray Harford, the Blackburn Rovers assistant manager, and his reserve- team coach, Asa Hartford, watched the unemployed 23-year-old score for Crawley at Metropolitan Police on Saturday, and the wealthy Premiership club are expected to make a bid for Whitington this week.

FA CUP Second-round draw: Bath City v Hereford; Bournemouth v Swansea or Nuneaton; Bradford City or Chester v Runcorn or Hull City; Brentford v Enfield or Cardiff City; Burnley or York v Rochdale; Carlisle v Stalybridge Celtic or Marine; Crawley v Barnet; Crewe v Macclesfield; Kidderminster Harriers v Woking or Weston-super-Mare; Leek or Wigan v Scarborough; Leyton Orient v Exeter; Lincoln v Bolton; Plymouth Argyle v Yeading or Gillingham; Port Vale v Telford or Huddersfield; Shrewsbury or Doncaster v Preston; Stockport v Halifax; Torquay v Sutton United; Wrexham or Walsall v Scunthorpe; Wycombe Wanderers v Cambridge United or Reading; Yeovil v Bromsgrove Rovers. (Ties to be played 4, 5 or 6 December).