FA Cup 2nd Round Predictions: Salop or Shrimps?

MK Dons v Maidstone

Joe Pigott is best remembered by EFL fans for his 122nd minute equalizer in the 2015 play-off final for Southend, who beat Wycombe on penalties. The forward is unsurprisingly in-form for Maidstone United, having scored nine goals this season including one in the previous round of the FA Cup. MK Dons’ divine moments have come from Chuks Aneke, who can produce flashes of magic amid underwhelming attacking play. His inspiration wasn’t enough for a result at Doncaster last week, but it could be enough to see off their National League visitors. 3-1

Port Vale v Yeovil

The hosts enter this game as firm favourites, despite being four places below Yeovil Town in the League Two table. The Valiants are hoping to recover from back-to-back defeats against Mansfield and Lincoln, while their visitors have taken just one point from their last four in the league. The Glovers don’t have the biggest squad so injuries to key men like Olufela Olomola and Otis Khan haven’t helped their attacking cause – although they did beat Southend without the duo in the previous round. 1-0

Shrewsbury v Morecambe

These teams last met in the 14/15 campaign. Midtable Morecambe were habitually upsetting the elite, but Shrewsbury were the only top seven team that they didn’t have their number on that year. This could be a suitable time to apply revenge, because Morecambe’s financial troubles dictates that this competition means an awful lot to the club. By contrast, Salop’s small squad is getting stretched with injuries and for them, this game isn’t the main event. 1-2

Stevenage v Swindon

Stevenage’s poor form makes this a huge game for the club. With a six point gap to the League Two play-offs, they have left themselves a lot of work to get through to make the top seven and the two lowest teams in there are Coventry and Mansfield, who have more expensive squads. They haven’t been outplayed in games this season but they are making costly errors at key times, so a win in any competition is vital to rebuilding confidence – not just in Darren Sarll. Successive defeats have come to Swindon just when they were starting to live up to their pre-season billing as top three challengers, leaving them hovering outside in eighth. Assistant manager Ben Futcher has spoken of the need to rediscover their defensive steel – with both teams hoping to get back to basics, a cagey affair could be in the offing in Hertfordshire. 0-1