Not for the first time this millennium, Canvey Island caused the upset of the first round proper of the FA Cup by knocking out a League team. Last year, Port Vale were their victims. This year the Ryman Premier side went to Wigan Athletic and stunned the Second Division team with a gritty display at the JJB Stadium, typified by the former West Ham defender Julian Dicks. Their nerve was also steelier than the Latics, who had two players sent off and conceded a late goal to Neil Gregory.
It had been the goalscorer who was involved in Tony Dinning's early departure, the Wigan man aiming a kick at Gregory just before half-time. Seven minutes from the end, Lee Ashcroft got a second yellow card and his marching orders. "It got quite heated at times," Jeff King, the Canvey manager, said. "It certainly didn't harm us that they were down to nine men. We capitalised on it." The stage was set for Gregory's glory.
Although no other non-League sides eliminated League opposition, plenty earned a second chance. Barnet, going well in the Conference after demotion in May, drew 0-0 at Underhill with Carlisle United, who have been on the verge of relegation for several seasons. And Forest Green Rovers of the Conference twice came from behind at Third Division Macclesfield to force a 2-2 draw.
In fact, sides below the Conference, from the Dr Martens Premier, Unibond Premier and Ryman Premier, performed the greater feats of giantkilling. The Dr Martens side Newport County led twice at Second Division Blackpool thanks an own goal by Ian Hughes and a Billy Clark strike. But they gave away a late penalty and had to be content with a 2-2 draw and the replay in South Wales.
Another Dr Martens Premier side, Tamworth, gave Rochdale, second in the Third Division, a fright in their 1-1 draw. Lee Wilson equalised Rochdale's early strike to set up a replay for the Lambs. Aldershot Town of the Ryman Premier were the better side against a nervy Bristol Rovers of the Third Division but couldn't breach the Pirates' defence and it ended 0-0.
Not to be outdone, the Unibond Premier's pride of place went to Barrow, who held Second Division Oldham Athletic to a 1-1 draw and now take them back to Holker Street.
Three all non-League ties also ensured there would be representation from outside the Nationwide in the second- round draw today. The Unibond Premier sides Altrincham and Lancaster City drew 1-1, while the Conference match-up between the leaders, Dagenham & Redbridge, and Southport saw Mark Stein's penalty give the Essex side a 1-0 win.
Hinckley United of the Dr Martens Premier won 2-1 at Ryman Premier Grays Athletic to confirm the division's strength. All the goals came in the second half, Paul Hunter and Jamie Lenton the Hinckley heroes.
Elsewhere, League sides who punched above their weight included Third Division Leyton Orient, who won 1-0 at Second Division Bristol City, Steve Watts grabbing the only goal, and York City of the Third who drew 0-0 at Colchester United of the Second.
Finally, Brigg Town, the Northern Counties East club playing their 10th FA Cup tie of the season, lost 4-1 at Second Division Tranmere Rovers, playing their first.Reuse content