The Third Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday produced one definite upset.
That came at St James`s Park where Vanarama National League North promotion-chasers Brackley Town knocked out National League side Sutton United 3-1.
For a club so rich in FA Cup heroics, Sutton strangely have a poor Trophy record, finishing runners-up in 1981 to Bishop`s Stortford being all they can boast to date.
And in front of a wet crowd of 767, they bowed out of this season`s competition, finding themselves a goal down after 28 minutes when Lee Ndlovu fired home following a knock down from a corner.
The visitors went two-down on 39 minutes when Brackley were awarded a penalty after Aaron Williams was adjudged to have been pulled in the area.
Williams duly converted the resulting spot-kick.
And it was virtually tie over 11 minutes after the restart when Jimmy Armson was played through behind the back four and coolly slotted the ball into the far corner.
Sutton did manage an 89th minute consolation when, from a long ball over top, Tommy Wright rounded Danny Lewis and fired into an empty net.
But it`s Kevin Wilkin`s Northamptonshire outfit who go into Monday`s draw.
Bostik League Premier leaders Billericay Town will be favourites to go through now they have home advantage after holding National League North promotion-hopefuls Harrogate Town to a 2-2 draw at the CNG Stadium.
Rob Swaine opened the scoring for the Essex visitors with a powerful header after 11 minutes.
But Joe Leesley levelled within a matter of seconds, curling into the top corner from the left wing.
Another fine Leesley effort put Harrogate ahead after 65 minutes.
However, ambitious Billericay levelled 5 minutes later through Adam Cunnington’s flicked finish.
The home side almost won it at the death, but Terry Kennedy hit the inside of the post and the ball and rolled agonizingly across the line and out.
National League Bromley will have home advantage in their replay after avoiding a banana skin at Borough Park against Evo-Stik League Premier side
In front of a crowd of 890, the Reds produced a fine first half performance as they hustled their higher-grade opponents.
And they were rewarded 4 minutes into the second half when they took the lead – Nathan Waterston`s square ball being met by Phil McLuckie who drove the ball in from 8 yards.
But, with just 11 minutes remaining, Bromley equalised when Jack Holland met a corner with a powerful header.
The replay at the H2T Group Stadium will be on Tuesday.
National League side Wealdstone also avoided an upset when they beat Workington`s league rivals Warrington Town 2-1 at Grosvenor Vale.
It was goalless at the break, but the Stones broke the deadlock in somewhat controversial fashion after 65 minutes when Warrington failed to clear a corner and the Stones` Eddie Oshodi fell after being adjudged to have been pushed by Jack Higgins, and Danny Green converted the resulting spot-kick after the protests had finished.
1-0 Stones, never a penalty but hey ho pic.twitter.com/pXcuwbB1b0
— Tom Piffle (@ronnieraffle) February 3, 2018
However, the Wire looked to have earned a replay when they equalised in the 84th minute – Wealdstone failing to make a challenge on recent signing Joe Piggott – just off the bench – and the former Dundee United striker buried the ball in the corner.
But 3 minutes later, Wealdstone – winners of the Trophy in 1985 – won it when a long-range shot from Green was parried by keeper Tony McMillan, but the ball rolled out of his grasp and dribbled over the line.
Dover Athletic crashed out at Crabble to National league rivals Leyton Orient after a last-minute goal from David Mooney won a best-of-seven thriller.
Orient scored through George Elokobi in the 35th minute and then within 7 minutes after the break they were 3-0 up, thanks to Macauley Bonne and Matt Harrold.
Ryan Bird scored twice, sandwiched by a fine Mitch Pinnock chip to put the Whites back on level terms.
But Mooney came off the bench to hit an effort over Mitch Walker in the 2nd minute of stoppage time to give O`s the winner.
The other three ties all ended in draws.
National League North side Stockport County will now have home advantage and their big Edgeley Park support behind them after holding National League Maidenhead United to a 1-1 draw at York Road.
The visitors had a great start and took a 7th minute lead when a break down the left was squared for Matty Warburton’s to beat Lloyd Pentney with a deflected effort.
County held that advantage until half-time.
But on 57 minutes, the Magpies drew level when a ball was headed across the face of goal by Alan Massey, Stockport failed to clear, and the ball broke to Ryan Upward who volleyed home.
And despite relentless pressure at the end, Stockport held out to earn a home chance on Tuesday night.
Stockport`s league rivals Spennymoor Town face the trip down to Essex on Tuesday after National League South held them to a 1-1 draw at the Brewery Field.
The Rocks took a 28th minute lead with a goal out of nothing – and in rather fortunate circumstances in the end, when Lewis Smith got in the way of Sam Higgins’ drive towards goal and it simply hit him and went past Jay Porter.
The Moors equalised on 66 minutes with a fine goal from Andrew Johnson, who cut in and bent an inch-perfect strike past the visiting keeper.
East Thurrock had to hold on with ten-men for the final 9 minutes plus stoppage time after Michael Clark was shown a straight red card for scything down Bradley Fewster, who was racing through on goal.
And it also finished all-square between National League rivals Maidstone United and Gateshead at the Gallagher Stadium.
Gateshead came close to opening the scoring inside the opening 15 minutes as Rees Greenwood saw his powerful 30-yard strike cannon back off the crossbar.
At the other end, Andre Coker headed just wide from six yards.
But the first half finished goalless.
It was the Stones who broke the deadlock on the hour-mark when Jamar Loza weaved his way into the box and powered the ball into the net from the left side of the box.
The Heed were back on level terms after 72 minutes when sub Lewis McNall`s header from Scott Barrow’s cross was deflected into the Maidstone goal.
And they took the lead in the 82nd minute with a neat turn and finish from another sub, Richard Peniket, inside the area as his strike nicks off a Maidstone player and into the bottom right corner.
But the home side earned a trip to the International Stadium on Tuesday night in stoppage time when Jai Reason’s shot from the edge of the box took a deflection past James Montgomery and into the bottom right corner.