Three Nationwide Conference sides – Southport, Morecambe and Chester City – are the toast of the non-League game after knocking Second Division opposition out of the FA Cup first round. Five more teams outside the Football League – Runcorn and Vauxhall Motors, both from the Unibond Premier, and Margate, Burton Albion and Scarborough of the Conference – earned replays after well-merited draws.
Southport were the first non-League side through when they beat Notts County 4-2 in an early kick-off. Leading 2-0 but reduced to 10 men, County were hit by two Steve Pickford goals that levelled the scores on the hour. Late Peter Thomson and Chris Lane goals saw Southport through.
Mark Wright's Chester City, second in the Conference, went to Layer Road and beat Second Division Colchester when Chris Tate scored the only goal of the game with seven minutes of normal time left.
Morecambe took the lead at Second Division Chesterfield two minutes before half-time when Lee Elam netted, but when Gareth Davies equalised midway through the second half it seemed League supremacy was about to reassert itself. Yet it was Gary Thompson who went the extra yard to score the winner in injury time and send the Shrimps through.
Two sections below the League proper, Runcorn went to the Memorial Ground of Third Division Bristol Rovers and forced a goalless draw and the chance to take on Ray Graydon's side again back in Cheshire.
Nigel Clough's Burton Albion had one of the hardest tasks of the day at Oldham Athletic, second in the Second Division, and it looked grim when Joshua Law put Iain Dowie's side ahead. It got worse when Albion's Colin Hoyle was sent off after 23 minutes. But Aaron Webster equalised with a penalty and just before the hour Craig Dudley made it 2-1 for the visitors. But 14 seconds from the end, Fitz Hall saved Oldham's blushes.
In Yorkshire, Scarborough held their Third Division visitors Cambridge United to a goalless draw at the McCain Stadium, and it also ended 0-0 in the North-west between Vauxhall Motors and Queen's Park Rangers. Margate were held up by a crash on the A12 en route to Third Division Leyton Orient, and they were just as tardy on the pitch when John Martin gave the O's a 25th-minute lead. But they were never outclassed and John Keister's goal just before the break earned a 1-1 draw and gave Chris Kinnear's side another chance on the South Coast.
In the ties that were certain to provide non-League participation in the Second Round, Farnborough of the Conference beat Harrogate Town of the Unibond Premier 5-1, while two Dr Martens Premier sides drawn against each other, Tiverton Town and Crawley Town, met in the West Country, where it finished 1-1. The Conference strugglers Stevenage beat another Dr Martens side, Hastings United, 1-0 at Broadhall Way, Unibond Premier Barrow go through after beating Moor Green 2-0 and the Conference's Dagenham & Redbridge beat Havant & Waterloo 3-2.
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