FA Cup Oddity

Chester have not received much luck in recent seasons when it comes to the FA Cup and it was no surprise when they were handed a trip to Worksop in this season’s 2nd Qualifying Round. In the nine seasons and 13 FA Cup draws since reforming they have had to travel nine times and only been pulled out of the hat first on four occasions.

Even when drawn at home they have only managed to win one tie and that was two seasons ago when City of Liverpool were convincingly beaten 4-0. On the other occasions, Gateshead won at the Deva Stadium in 2013/14 while matches against FC Halifax in 2012/13 and Altrincham in 2019/20 both finished all-square with Chester losing the away replay. Two other FA Cup matches have been played at home as a result of drawn games at Gainsborough Trinity (2012/13) and Barnsley (2014/15). In the first case Chester came out on top after extra time while Barnsley were comfortable 3-0 winners after the heroic goalless draw at Oakwell.

Regardless of whether the Blues have been drawn at home or away the FA Cup record has been nothing to shout about with only four wins against the aforementioned City of Liverpool and Gainsborough alongside the thrilling away wins at Stockport County and Southend United in 2014/15.

While the reformed Blues may not have had much luck in the FA Cup they had a remarkable run of good fortune against non-league teams after joining the Football League in 1931. Although they were beaten 2-1 at Darwen in the 2nd Round in 1931/32 the draw favoured them in subsequent campaigns and over the next 50 years they were drawn against non-league opponents on 13 occasions with every single one played at Sealand Road. It wasn’t until 1981/82, when they were beaten at Penrith, that they received another away draw at a non-league ground.

The full record reads as follows:

1932/33 – Yeovil & Petters United W 2-1

1934/35 – Dinnington Athletic W 4-1

1947/48 – Bishop Auckland W 3-1

1949/50 – Goole Town W 4-1

1951/52 – Leyton W 5-2

1958/59 – Boston United W 3-2

1961/62 – Ashington W 4-1

1961/62 – Morecambe L 0-1

1963/64 – Blyth Spartans W 3-2

1965/66 – Wigan Athletic W 2-1

1973/74 – Telford United W 3-2

1978/79 – Runcorn D 1-1 (won replay 5-0)

1979/80 – Workington W 5-1

Elfed Morris and Gary Talbot in action during the 3-2 FA Cup win over Blyth Spartans in November 1963 – Chester Chronicle

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