The FA Cup always brings the magic as teams of different levels face each other in the oldest football competition in the world.
It pits the well-earning Premier League players against the teams who are sometimes fighting to stay in the professional leagues, and sometimes teams with semi-pro players who have other day jobs. That’s what the magic of the cup is all about.
It’s a special day for the players and fans of the lower-ranked teams when they face a giant from the Premier League, and it becomes even more special when they score a goal or even win against all the odds.
We saw an example of this at the weekend when Shrewsbury Town went 1-0 up against Liverpool at Anfield. At that moment the fans and players believed anything could happen, and it’s a memory that goalscorer Daniel Udoh will no doubt always remember, as he ran and imitated Ronaldo’s famous Siu celebration in front of 50,000 fans.
Shrewsbury did lose the game but there were a few shocks around the country as Cambridge beat the new richest club in the world Newcastle 1-0. Newcastle in the process of building and have not had chance to put their money to real use just yet, but it will no doubt have been a blow to the morale of a team trying to build. Meanwhile for Cambridge and the fans who travelled hundreds of miles to the north of England.
Two non-league clubs did make it through to the next round as well, with Boreham Wood beating Wimbledon 2-0 and Kidderminster beating Reading 2-1.
These are now the two lowest-ranked teams left in the competition, and as well as the feel-good factor they get for knocking out the bigger teams, they will also get the all-important cup money which can mean so much to these lower league clubs. Kidderminster, who play in the sixth tier of English football, will play West Ham in the next round and it will no doubt bring in some TV money as fans all over the country watch and many hope for another upset.
Boreham Wood travel to Bournemouth in the next round and will also be putting everything they can into the game to cause a stir and progress to the next round.
This is what the FA Cup is all about, and in these early rounds the neutral fan will be watching keenly to see if these lower teams can build momentum and go any further. #mmlove