FA Cup 1st Round Predictions: Carlisle to progress?

Carlisle v Oldham

Carlisle United and Oldham Athletic have both benefited from cup games against Liverpool in recent years. The Latics beat Liverpool in the Fourth Round back in 12/13 before Carlisle, albeit in the League Cup, took the Reds to penalties in 15/16, then had an FA Cup tie with Everton later that same season. In the present day, Richie Wellens has made an instant impact at Boundary Park, with the resurgence of Eoin Doyle and Craig Davies helping them score 15 goals in his first seven in charge. Keith Curle is not quite so popular at his club. The Cumbrians have taken the lead in each of their last four games but, not helped by defensive system changes, have only won once in that time. 1-2

Cheltenham v Maidstone

In their last three seasons as an EFL club, Cheltenham Town have crashed out of the FA Cup to non-league opposition. Such underperformance has disappointed chairman Paul Baker and fans, due to the financial and budgetary benefits a big Third Round tie could bring to the club. Ironically, two of the teams they lost to, Dover and Sutton, ended up with money-spinning ties against Premier League sides. The latest FA Cup opponents at Whaddon Road are Maidstone United, who have the second-best defensive record in the National League. They have been helped by a return to form for right-back Seth Nana Twumasi, who has played under Gary Johnson. Jay Saunders’ side are arguably better than Dover and Sutton were, but then again, Cheltenham have improved since those games too. 2-1

Colchester v Oxford City

Oxford City’s FA Cup run, which saw them get past Whitehawk, Leiston and Bognor Regis, has been the one saving grace of their season to date. A trip to a long-established EFL club is attractive in theory, but in practice it could prove challenging for a side that has shipped 33 goals in 15 National League South games. By contrast, Colchester United’s young defence is growing savvier, with three conceded in their last six League Two encounters. They have scored 16 goals in eight home games, including three against Crewe last week, so this could be an opportunity for Mikael Mandron and co. to turn on the style. 4-1