The most famous cup competition in the world is starting to simmer nicely, as the fourth qualifying round draw was made for the Emirates FA Cup this week.

Photo: Philosophy Football (shared under

One of the biggest headlines in the competition so far was made last weekend as Dunston UTS knocked out Chester FC in a seven-goal thriller in the North East. In eliminating their Vanarama National League North opponents, managed by former Salford City bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, Dunston moved to within a step of becoming the first Ebac Northern League side to reach the first round since Shildon back in 2003.

Their reward for Saturday’s 4-3 success is another home tie, this time against near neighbours Gateshead, managed by former Newcastle United man Steve Watson. The game has since been chosen for live coverage by the BBC via their red button service and website and will kick off at 12:30.

While the Heed have made an extremely impressive start in this season’s Vanarama National League, following a summer of uncertainty and a subsequent takeover at the club, Dunston will certainly fancy their chances of springing another surprise. Why not back Chris Swailes’ team to do the business, and place your bet on

That is just one of 32 ties that will take place next weekend, including National League leaders Salford City’s trip to Marine, Concord Rangers hosting Dover Athletic, and Winchester City travelling to Gary Johnson’s Torquay United.

Stockport County will face Altrincham at Edgeley Park in one of the all-National League North ties, with Boreham Wood meeting Dagenham & Redbridge down in the capital. These are the stages of the competition where it still truly matters to all involved, just like it always used to.

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