The magic of the FA Cup has been overhyped and understated in equal measure over the course of the last few years, and for good reason. Many pundits and fans alike believe that the competition doesn’t quite have the same spark that it used to, but this year, we’re hoping to see that narrative shift ever so slightly.
The reason for that is simple: COVID-19 continues to rule over our lives and in the absence of a normal society, we must instead sink our teeth into the one thing that feels right at home – football.
This weekend the FA Cup third round is bound to throw up a whole host of exciting moments, and we want to examine the prospects of four teams in particular. Why these four? Because they’re the only non-league sides left.
Boreham Wood have been threatening to break into the Football League for quite some time now but this season, they find themselves lingering down towards midtable in the National League. Instead, their main focus seems to be the FA Cup run they’ve been on.
That run will see them lock horns with Championship side Millwall who are currently attempting to avoid a relegation battle in the second tier. They’re definitely going to be viewed as the underdogs, but they’re definitely going to be feeling confident with five straight wins to their name.
On any other day Chorley probably wouldn’t stand much of a chance against Championship regulars Derby County – but as we all know, this season is starting to feel pretty unique.
The Rams will be forced to put out under-23 and under-18 players for the trip to Lancashire as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak within their first team. As such, we’re at much more of a level playing field, and Chorley will fancy their chances at progressing.
It’s not exactly normal to see a team from the 8th tier of English football go head to head with a team that, less than two years ago, played in the UEFA Champions League Final.
Alas, that’s the position we find ourselves in as Tottenham Hotspur gear up for the trip to Rossett Park. Regardless of how the result itself goes this has the potential to be one of the all-time great FA Cup ties, and while it’s a shame fans won’t be in attendance to see it, you can bet Marine fans will remember this moment for years to come.
Stockport County’s decline has been fairly dramatic to witness, but on Monday night, they’ll want to put all of that to one side in the name of focusing on the task at hand: beating West Ham United.
The Hammers have had a very, very good start to the Premier League campaign but nobody really knows what David Moyes’ priority is going to be this season. If they don’t take this tie seriously, which we’ve seen happen plenty of times over the years, Stockport could create quite the surprise.
Whatever happens, though, we just hope that the FA Cup lives up to its magical reputation this weekend.