FA Cup 1st Round Predictions: big clubs clash at Kenilworth Road

Hereford v AFC Telford

Both clubs started up after the original one folded due to financial problems. Hereford have got impressive support in the Evo-Stik Southern League, capable of getting attendances of over 3k, which is more than what some EFL clubs get. Over 700 fans will be going in support of AFC Telford, who drew for the first time in the National League North last time out, 1-1 with Southport. They have an in-form striker in Marcus Dinanga, who was outstanding for Matlock last season and looks ready to play at a higher level. The Burton academy graduate will face up against in-form defender Jack Deaman, once a highly-rated academy prospect at Birmingham City. 1-2

Luton v Portsmouth

These two clubs are big fishes in their respective ponds. Portsmouth and Kenny Jackett both have a history of FA Cup success – Pompey won the competition in 2008 and their manager led Millwall to the semi-finals five years later. The two parties have not combined quite as seamlessly as some might have hoped, with Jackett favouring more rigid tactics to his predecessor. Luton Town, who themselves were finalists in 1959, are a tad unpredictable. At Kenilworth Road, they have knocked eight and seven past Yeovil and Stevenage respectively a, but they have also suffered 3-0 defeats to Swindon and Coventry. 1-2

Morecambe v Hartlepool

Hartlepool United might be a league below Morecambe but one might argue they have the superior squad. Scott Loach, who has bags of EFL experience, made the National League Team of the Day for his performance at Torquay last week. The 2-0 win at Plainmoor means it’s just one defeat in 13 across all forms for Craig Harrison’s side, who are only one point off the play-offs and – dare we say it – six off top spot. The Poolies have rediscovered that winning feeling but the same cannot be said for their hosts. Jim Bentley’s side dropped into the relegation zone after a 2-0 loss at Forest Green where, not helped by the aimless football, they failed to score for the fourth time in five games. 0-2