Football: Quick reunion stokes Valiant fire: Rupert Metcalf on the draw for the first round of the FA Cup

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The Independent Online
JUST two days after a bitterly disputed late penalty condemned them to defeat in a heated local derby against Stoke City, yesterday's draw for the first round of the FA Cup gave Port Vale an unexpectedly early chance for revenge.

Mark Stein's 85th-minute strike from the spot gave Stoke a 2-1 win in Saturday's Second Division encounter. When hostilities resume on 14 November, in front of what is sure to be another 24,500 full house at the Victoria Ground, it will be only the fourth meeting between the two Potteries clubs in the FA Cup.

Stoke have prevailed in all three previous ties, the last of which was in 1951, when they won a third- round replay 1-0 at Vale Park, after a 2-2 draw - the two matches were watched by more than 89,000 fans.

'We thought we had four months (before the next League meeting) to enjoy Saturday's victory - now we've only got three weeks,' Carl Beeston, the Stoke midfielder, said. John Rudge, the Port Vale manager, commented: 'It's incredible. I thought somebody was taking the mickey when I was told.'

In his playing days, taking the mickey was something of a habit for Chris Kelly, once an audacious striker with Leatherhead, who beat four League sides in the mid-1970s. Kelly is now the manager of Leatherhead's Diadora League rivals, Kingstonian, who have a home tie against Peterborough. The K's have never beaten a League side in the Cup - and have not even faced one since 1933.

'It's just what we wanted - a League club at home,' Kelly said. 'We've missed out so often that people were beginning to think we'd never make it.' Peterborough, along with Birmingham City (who visit Reading) are the first sides from the First Division to feature in the draw for this round since the 1924-25 season. Swansea, the Second Division leaders, have a bye to the second round - thanks to the demise of Maidstone United.

Kingstonian's Surrey rivals, Sutton United, who beat Coventry City in 1989, will face Hereford United - once non-League giant- killers themselves - at their Gander Green Lane home.

The draw will bring back some nasty memories for the Hereford player-manager, Greg Downs, who was in the Coventry side beaten by Sutton. Matthew Hanlan, the scorer of Sutton's winner against Coventry, is now with Dorking of the Diadora First Division, who face a home tie against Peter Shilton's Plymouth Argyle if they can overcome Farnborough in tonight's fourth qualifying round replay at their Meadowbank home.

There will be a keen local derby in east London, with Leyton Orient travelling to the ambitious GM Vauxhall Conference club, Dagenham and Redbridge. 'They will certainly know they've been in a game after coming here,' Dave Andrews, the Daggers chairman, said.

The name of Accrington Stanley appears in the first-round draw for the first time since 1961, and - having beaten Bradford Park Avenue and Stalybridge Celtic in the qualifying rounds - they entertain another former League club, Gateshead, at the Crown Ground in one of seven ties between non- League sides.

Woking, after their heroics against West Bromwich Albion and Everton two years ago, find themselves in the unfamiliar position of 'giants' fearful of a killing in their home tie against Nuneaton Borough or . . . Wembley - the place, if not the team, that remains the ultimate dream for every club in the grand old tournament.

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