FA Cup trophy

The FA Cup first round: south west London clubs preview

The FA Cup begins in earnest this weekend as the first round proper kicks off on Friday night, with football league clubs joining the non-league sides who have battled their way to this stage.

Unfortunately, none of the non-league clubs in south west London have managed to progress this far, but AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United will pick up the baton and represent the area in their stead.

Matches are happening across the weekend, with many games televised on the BBC and ITV, but here is what the clubs in the area are up to this weekend.

AFC Wimbledon vs Guiseley

The old Wimbledon F.C.’s proudest moment came in the FA Cup when the Crazy Gang upset the culture club with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the 1987/88 final.

That FA Cup magic has remained with them since reforming as AFC Wimbledon, having only failed to progress past the first round three times since returning to the football league in 2011.

The pick of those seasons was in 2018/19 when they made it all the way to the fifth round, claiming the scalp of West Ham United in the fourth round, before bowing out to Millwall.

They will be hoping to continue that strong FA Cup record this weekend to ignite their season, as they currently reside 17th in League One, just two points clear of the drop zone.

Hoping to upset The Dons will be Guiseley of the National League North, who also sit 17th in their division.

Guiseley have defeated Colne, Blythe Spartans, and Brackley Town to make it to this stage and they have precedent of knocking-out football league sides at this stage.

Their best two performances in the FA Cup saw them reach the second round, beating Accrington Stanley in 2017 and Cambridge United in 2018.

Hayes & Yeading United vs Sutton United

Sutton United are enjoying their first ever experience of being automatically entered into the first round of the FA Cup, having been promoted to the football league for the first time in the club’s history.

The Yellows have performed better than anyone could have expected so far this season, sitting ninth in League Two and level on points with the play-offs, but they are certainly no strangers to the magic of the FA Cup.

Their 2-1 victory over Coventry in the third round in 1988/89 is considered one of the great giant killings the competition has ever seen and their run to the fifth round in 2016/17 was one of the more memorable cup runs of recent years, and not entirely because of Wayne Shaw and his pasty-eating antics.

Hayes & Yeading of the Southern League Premier are having a very strong start to the season themselves, as they are second in their league, having played three games fewer than top of the table Farnborough.

United came through all four qualifying rounds to make it to this point in the competition, defeating Bognor Regis, Tonbridge, Whitehawk, and Dorking Wanderers in the process.

Since the merger of the two clubs which created Hayes & Yeading in 2007, they have been able to reach the first round on three occasions, including both of the last two seasons, losing to football league opposition on all three occasions.

Featured image credit: Dave Gunn, Flickr

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