Hereford and Yeovil Town are two of the most famous names in the history of the FA Cup. Both non-league outfits were responsible for two of the competition’s biggest upsets, defeating North East clubs Newcastle United and Sunderland. Surprising results have continued to occur and in the latest batch of third-round matches it will be up to Sutton United and Lincoln City to fly the flag.
The Imps have been drawn against Championship side Ipswich Town, while Sutton have been handed a favourable tie against League One team AFC Wimbledon. Non-league teams have a proud history of pulling off shocks in the first weekend of January and their respective players will be relishing the challenge of facing tougher opposition. Elsewhere in the draw League Two side Cambridge United will also be aiming to pull off a stunner against Leeds United.
Out of the three sides selected, Cambridge have the best chance to become very unlikely winners of the competition at 1500/1 in the latest bet365 FA Cup betting odds. However, Leicester’s Premier League title win last season proved that anything is possible, and sides such as Wycombe Wanderers have made runs to the semi-finals in recent history.
Sutton could have the best chance to pull off another strong result, having beaten Cheltenham Town 2-1 in their second-round clash. The visitors forged ahead in the first half when Danny Wright converted from close range, but United staged a second-half comeback to dump the League Two side out of the competition, with Roarie Deacon netting a 96th-minute winner at the Borough Sports Ground.
They will face tougher competition than their second-round exploits, although AFC Wimbledon were almost eliminated themselves by Curzon Ashton. The League One outfit trailed 3-0 going into the final 10 minutes of the match, only to score three goals in three minutes to level the game, while Tom Elliott scored an injury-time winner to secure their pace in the third round. Sutton will be determined to raise the level of their game against Neal Ardley’s men and should the league side struggle once again United could well capitalise.
“The FA Cup” (CC BY 2.0) by markhillary
Lincoln have a harder task than Sutton, although they produced an excellent performance to see off League One side Oldham Athletic. The Imps raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to a brace from Theo Robinson and a strike from Terry Hawkridge, and although the visitors attempted to stage a comeback it was not enough to save themselves from elimination.
Against Ipswich life will be tough for Danny Cowley’s men although the Tractor Boys are hardly pulling up trees in the Championship, currently sitting 16th in the table, and were dumped out the EFL Cup by Stevenage Borough, which will give the Imps plenty of confidence to go at Mick McCarthy’s side at Sincil Bank.
Cambridge face the hardest challenge of all to pull off an upset given Leeds’ resurgence under Garry Monk. The Whites are currently flying high in the Championship playoff places and will be aiming to sweep aside the U’s, despite their impressive 4-0 drubbing of Coventry City in the second round when Luke Berry notched all four strikes. Playing at Abbey Stadium will give United a chance of pulling off an upset, but the odds will be stacked against Shaun Derry’s side due to the quality at Leeds’ disposal.