FA2 preview: a North(ampton) vs South(ampton) clash

The Football League teams are in, but they're not having it all their own way.

Eight Blue Square Premier teams, one from the Blue Square North and two from the Blue Square South make up the numbers for the FA Cup Second Round Proper fixtures this coming weekend.

And with three ties between non-league teams – Oxford United vs Barrow, Cambridge United vs York City and Bath City vs Forest Green – there will be a guaranteed non-league presence in the hat for the Third Round draw come Sunday afternoon.

The three teams below the BSP are all sitting mid-table of their respective leagues, showing that form means nothing when it comes to the FA Cup.

The television broadcasters are no fools, and they know where the shocks may come in this Second Round.

Northwich Victoria, last round's giantkillers of Charlton, look good for another win against Lincoln City, who have only won one game (the First Round tie at Telford) in the last seven under Chris Sutton.

Kettering Town, flying high in the Blue Square Premier, have nothing to lose against Leeds United.

The final fixture that captures the imagination is Staines Town taking on 2004 finalists Millwall at Wheatsheaf Park.

Their striker "Ali C" - who moved on in 2007 but came back to Staines - has been knocking them in during the last few games.

With a shock win against Shrewsbury Town in the last round, the team that entered in the Second Qualifying Round will be going all out for another league scalp in what will be their fifth FA Cup game this season.

Five? Pah. This weekend your faithful FourFourTwo blogger will be attending the eighth FA Cup game of a campaign that began back in August at Dereham Town's Aldiss Park.

This time, I'll be at the Sixfields Stadium watching Northampton vs Southampton.

The Cobblers don't have much history in the cup, reaching the Fifth Round on only three occasions.

Funnily enough, their worst defeat came from the Saints with an 11-0 thrashing in 1901-02.

Another scoreline like that (for either team) would be pleasing on the eye for a neutral like me watching the game.

Southampton have had a bit more success in the competition, reaching the FA Cup final in 1976 and beating Manchester United 1-0 in a shock result.

They made it to the final again in 2003 but lost to Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.

Southampton are the bigger team and in better form. But as we know, form counts for nothing in the cup.

It's one of the many reasons we love it...

Previously, on The Long Road To Wembley:
FA1: Fire and ice at the Abbey
FA1 preview: Enter the big boys
FA4Q: Barked shins, dark toilets & no pies
FA4Q preview: Ploughing through
FA3Q: A local affair at Lowestoft
FA3Q preview: All hail the 4x4ers
FA2Q: Coke, poodle rock & half a fence
FA2Q preview: Let's spend a night together
FA1Q: Lawro, ducks & a care home
FA1Q preview: The preliminaries are over
FAP: Dogs, daughters & dodgy tellies
FAP preview: Preliminary problems
FAEP: Dereham dreams alive and kicking
FAEP preview: The long road starts here 

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