The world’s oldest cup competition, the FA Cup, has become synonymous over the years with upsets, with teams much lower ranked in the football pyramid beating those much higher on the totem pole.
And this year’s first round of the Cup – with more matches still to be played – has already delivered in that promise, with its fair share of giant killing results.
Among the most eye catching was the defeat of League One Lincoln City by Chippenham Town from National League South, who, for the first time in their history, have now reached the second round of the competition.
Lincoln know what it means to enjoy success as a non-league side in the FA. In 2017, they became the first side from outside the top four divisions to reach the quarter-finals of the competition, and their run was only ended when they lost to the eventual winners Arsenal at the Emirates.
Several promotions and seasons later, the boot was firmly on the other foot when the travelled to Wiltshire for the match with Chippenham.
Lincoln had the better of the chances in the first-half, but it was Chippenham who went into the break ahead, courtesy of a goal from midfielder Joe Hanks just before half-time, who backheeled the ball into the net from close range.
Lincoln pressed forward in search of an equaliser, and thought that they had managed it, only for the goal to be chalked off for a foul in the build-up.
The home side almost made it two in stoppage time, but, in the end, that did not matter.
Not only can they now look forward to the second round draw, but they also get the £41,000 prize money that goes with being first round winners, a handy financial boost for a club of their size. Now they will be hoping to meet another league side at home, with the potential for the TV cameras being present for that providing an even larger financial injection for club funds.
Another League One side whose FA Cup hopes have been ended by a non-league side are Cheltenham Town. They lost to seventh tier Alvechurch in front of their own fans, with Danny Waldron scoring goals either side of half-time for the team from Worcestershire.
Ryan Jackson did pull a goal back for Cheltenham, but, when he was forced off with an injury ten minutes from full-time, his side ended the game with ten men having already used all their substitutions.