5th June 2020



3rd January 2015

The FA Cup is split over five days with third round ties as late as Tuesday despite the draw for round 4 being on Monday.

Contrary to what you might think it is a tournament where class outs and 24 of the last 27 FA Cups have been won by a team in the top 10 of the Premier League in January.

Only 11 Non League sides have knocked out a top flight team since 1900.

There may be shocks but overall form works out.

On that basis the 10/11 on offer by Hills that none of the five non-league sides make round four is a bet for us.

Gateshead - last season's Conference play-off finalists have not yet hit the heights in the League under Gary Mills.

Mills, who won a European Cup winners medal with Nottingham Forest has done brillianntly for the Nortn East club and it is 60 years since they were
last in round three. This is a big day for the club but West Brom under new boss Tony Pulis may be a step too far.

Dover have been backed into 7/1 to beat a struggling Palace side - also under a new boss in Alan Pardew. But we think Palace are a better side than their league position suggests and at 4/9 they may actually be a bet to see of the Conference side.

Wrexham are also facing Premier League opposition and travel to the Britannia. Stoke reached the final and semi-finals in recent seasons and Mark Hughes has always had a love affair with the FA Cup famously scoring an injury time wonder goal that kept Manchester United in the 1994 sem-final against Oldham at Wembley. United went on to beat Chelsea in the final.

Stoke will have no problems on Sunday.

That leaves Southport at Derby and Blyth at home to Birmingham City to fly the non-league flag.

Before Gary Rowett arrived from Burton, Birminghma were going nowhere - but Rowett has got the Blues firing. Rowett also has non-league experience of his own and don't expect Birmingham to come unstuck - they might need a replay but they will get through.

Of all the Non league sides Blyth are most peoples fancy to cause a shock although Dover at 7s are a shorter price surprisingly.

Southport had a good Christmas and clawed their way out of the relegation area in the Conference Prem but going to Derby is a massive ask and the Rams even at 1/6 will be coupon bankers on many long lists.

Joe Ross