Enfield gain a second chance

Click to follow
The Independent Football

For non-league clubs, the second round of the FA Cup is as tantalising a prospect as a semi-final is for Premiership teams. The bait of a money-spinning tie against Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea, the chance to pit your wits and skills against a Sol Campbell or David Ginola, is there for the taking. And Hayes, Enfield, Ilkeston Town and Rushden & Diamonds will all be in the third-round draw after earning replays.

For non-league clubs, the second round of the FA Cup is as tantalising a prospect as a semi-final is for Premiership teams. The bait of a money-spinning tie against Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea, the chance to pit your wits and skills against a Sol Campbell or David Ginola, is there for the taking. And Hayes, Enfield, Ilkeston Town and Rushden & Diamonds will all be in the third-round draw after earning replays.

Enfield of the Ryman Premier added to their lengthy list of achievements against League clubs when they forced a goalless draw against Preston North End at Deepdale. Second Division promotion contenders Preston held as few fears for them as had Shrewsbury in the previous round and the return in north London will be as close as yesterday's tie.

Hayes, from the middle of the Conference, held Third Division Hull City to a 2-2 draw and will not be overawed by the trip to Boothferry Park. They even gave Hull a start courtesy of Nick Roddis' fourth-minute own goal. But Lee Charles, whose 90th-minute penalty had seen them past Runcorn in the previous round, equalised 17 minutes later. Hayes fell behind again but Charles' 63rd-minute penalty booked a rematch. The award of the spot-kick so enraged Hull's Gary Brabin that he was sent off for foul and abusive language.

There was always going to be at least one non-League side in the third-round draw from the meeting between Ilkeston Town, the Nottinghamshire Dr Martens League side, and Nationwide Conference contenders Rushden & Diamonds, who beat Second Division Scunthorpe in the previous round. It ended 1-1, so they are both there. Paul Eshelby sent the packed New Manor Ground into mild delirium with an 18th-minute goal, but Miguel de Souza earned Rushden a second chance.

Elsewhere, the match at St James Park between Exeter City and Aldershot Town, of the Ryman, who previously eliminated Conference side Hednesford, was held up for 32 minutes after the crowd spilled on to the pitch a minute after the kick-off. When the match restarted Exeter also resumed normal service, scoring through Gary Alexander and Steve Flack and having Graeme Power sent off. The other non-League involvement saw Hendon of the Ryman Premier go down 2-0 at Blackpool.

In the south coast battle Brighton drew 0-0 at Plymouth despite being reduced to nine men by the dismissals of Darren Freeman (62 minutes) and Jamie Campbell (76) and Third Division Halifax forced a 1-1 draw at Second Division Reading. But otherwise, a surprise-free second round went to form and status.

Comments