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Bulls Hold Cod Army – Oxford Agony – Stones Bow Out

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Friday night saw Vanarama National League club AFC Fylde hold high-flying SkyBet League One side Wigan Athletic to a very creditable draw at Mill Farm in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round.

Sadly, however, they won`t be joined in Monday`s draw by league rivals Maidstone United or National League South side Oxford City, who both bowed out on Saturday.

Maidstone, who beat League Two Cheltenham Town in the First Round, were backed by more than 1,500 fans at Stadium MK, as Jay Saunders` men went looking for another scalp in League One MK Dons.

And the Stones threatened another upset as defender Magnus Okuonghae gave the Stones a 25th minute lead when he finished off a rebound after Jai Reason`s initial effort had been parried by Dons` keeper Lee Nicholls.

The visitors held that lead until half-time, but the hosts showed their class by scoring four times after the break.

Aidan Nesbitt levelled 9 minutes into the second half and sub Kieran Agard scored twice in 6 minutes – including with his first touch on 64 minutes – before Peter Pawlett completed victory with a fourth a minute from time, although the final outcome was a little harsh on Maidstone.

Oxford City travelled to League Two promotion-chasers Notts County in BT Sport`s lunchtime live game and really gave it a go and were desperately unlucky not to be taking the Magpies back to Marsh Farm for a replay.

City, sitting fourth-bottom in the National League South, two divisions below the home side, really battled well and also produced some excellent football.

They trailed 1-0 at half-time when Carl Dickinson`s cross was hooked past Jack Stevens in the City goal after 31 minutes.

But 8 minutes into the second half, the visitors were back on level terms when former Forest Green Rovers midfielder Robbie Sinclair grabbed a goal.

Just 2 minutes later though, County were back in front when former Lincoln City winger Terry Hawkridge was brought down by Freddie Grant and veteran striker Jon Stead converted the resulting penalty.

City`s top scorer Matt Paterson – scorer of their winner in the First Round against Colchester United – fired them level from close range with 17 minutes to go.

Mark Jones` battling side looked to have earned a second chance when, 5 minutes into stoppage time, Stevens saved a Jonathan Forte header, only for the ball to fall kindly for highly-rated loanee Jorge Grant to pounce to net from close range.

The lowest-ranked non-League side in Saturday`s ties, Evo-Stik League South Premier outfit Hereford FC, pulled off a terrific performance to hold League One Fleetwood Town to a 1-1 draw at Highbury.

The Bulls, formed from the ashes of the old Hereford United side who produced some fantastic cup upsets over the years, will be in Monday`s Third Round draw and will be assured of a massive crowd at Edgar Street for the replay.

Peter Beadle`s battlers – 89 places below the Cod Army in the Pyramid pecking order – led after 23 minutes with a fine goal from Calvin Dinsley, who curled a neat effort past home `keeper Chris Neal.

In a surprisingly even affair, Fleetwood equalised 6 minutes later when Devante Cole – son of ex-Manchester United star Andy – got a rather fortunate bounce in off Bulls` keeper Martin Horsell.

Hereford came close to winning it when top scorer John Mills had two efforts cleared off the line and Fleetwood`s Ashley Hunter hit a post in the second half, but the Bulls fully deserve a second crack on December 12th.

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