FA Cup 2nd Round Predictions: Sunday’s ties

AFC Wimbledon v Charlton

AFC Wimbledon took half an hour to get any sort of attacking momentum against Walsall last week and by that point they were two goals down. Andy Barcham was voted their best player in that match while Lyle Taylor got their goal, having also netted in the tight-fought 1-0 victory over Lincoln in the previous round. The Wombles face a familiar foe in Karl Robinson, who is not especially popular at Kingsmeadow. The ex-MK Dons boss felt his side didn’t play too badly at Glanford Park last week despite a 2-0 defeat and there was little shame in losing to a couple of stunning goals from Josh Morris. It remains to be seen whether Wimbledon have a player capable of such magic. 1-2

Blackburn v Crewe

Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell has come under pressure, following an alarming drop in form since mid-September, but the players have to take responsibility too. They haven’t been strong enough, especially when defending a lead and by contrast, Blackburn have shown their ability to come from behind. The Lancashire side were fortunate to beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 last week, but Tony Mowbray should be credited with the introduction of Dominic Samuel. With the team losing on the hour mark, the young forward won a penalty which was tucked away by Charlie Mulgrew, before nodding home the winner shortly after. 2-0

Coventry v Boreham Wood

Boreham Wood were a little fortunate to have stayed in their 1st Round tie with Blackpool, but credit should be given to manager Luke Garrard for employing tactics that turned the tie. He introduced Blair Turgott, who had a transformative impact on the game and Dan Holman, who scored the winner. After that display, Turgott is more deserving of a start at the Ricoh Arena than he was two years ago, when he had a brief stint of three appearances with Coventry City. Ironically, the Sky Blues could do with a quick wide man in their side now to replace the magic of Jodi Jones, whose injury preceded a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Crawley. 0-0

Doncaster v Scunthorpe

Alfie Beestin and Matty Blair made key contributions from the bench last week, when Doncaster Rovers came from behind to beat MK Dons 2-1. Scunthorpe though had a super-sub of their own. Josh Morris came off the bench scored two outstanding goals in the 2-0 win over Charlton last week: the first a free-kick, the second a divine curler. After the Iron won a less than eventful Yorkshire Derby at the Keepmoat earlier in the season though, Donny will have revenge in mind. 2-1

Gateshead v Luton

If there’s one thing Luton Town are not short on, it’s depth in forward areas: Elliott Lee and Danny Hylton have combined superbly of late, but if either player gets injured then there’s James Collins to come in. Attacking midfielder Luke Berry is currently impressing but Andrew Shinnie – a competent performer at Championship level – is waiting in reserve. Neil Aspin-less Gateshead, who don’t have the same luxury, recently recorded a smash-and-grab win over Tranmere, although they will have been disappointed to accrue just one point from Barrow and Solihull Moors. The question surrounding the Hatters here is not their options as much as their application, because they crashed out with a whimper at Exeter last season. 1-3

Mansfield v Guiseley

Paul Cox led Mansfield Town to the National League title and to midtable in League Two – on paper, he is one of the club’s more successful managers prior to the recent investment. Due to the style of football though, which often involved high balls punted vaguely in the direction of an isolated Matt Rhead, Cox is less than popular at Field Mill. After a stint at Barrow, he returns to the club for the first time, now as Guiseley manager. The West Yorkshire club are battling against the odds in the National League but they beat Accrington Stanley in the previous round and have an impressive goalkeeper in Jonny Maxted. Former Southend teammates Will Atkinson and Kevan Hurst meet again in what is likely to be smoother re-union. 2-1

Newport v Cambridge

We see a clash of the Ambers at Rodney Parade on Sunday. Michael Flynn’s Exiles won 1-0 at Swindon recently but they are not in the best of form and could do with a little creativity in central areas to feed Frank Nouble. Cambridge’s key goalscorer is Uche Ikpeazu, who scored a late winner against Stevenage last time out but likewise, he doesn’t always get much service, meaning Shaun Derry’s defensive tactics have been criticized. We should see a cup tie high on organization and low on creativity – but for whom will the ambers be glowing at the end of it? 0-0

Woking v Peterborough

Jamie Philpot and Effiong looked a real threat in Woking’s victory over Bury in the previous round. They played the Shakers at the right time and they might have picked a good time too to play Peterborough, who have gone off the boil since their fabulous August. Grant McCann’s men gave away a two-goal lead late on at Charlton and, three days previously, they looked like a team of individuals at Rochdale, where they fell to a 2-0 defeat. Woking, who are making strides under Anthony Limbrick, could exploit any divides in the camp. 2-1

Wycombe v Leatherhead

Gareth Ainsworth will have mixed memories of his side’s recent trip to White Hart Lane in this competition. They put in a very competitive performance and only lost 4-3, but it could have been so much more, given that Garry Thompson put them ahead with just a few minutes to play. This time, it is the Chairboys who are favourites and visitors Leatherhead are the underdogs. Then again, the Tanners were also underdogs in their First Round clash with Billericay and won the second leg away from home. Sammy Moore has since added extra firepower to his side’s attack, as Gillingham loanee Liam Nash ripped things up for Maldon & Tiptree last term. 2-1

Slough Town v Rochdale (Monday)

Matthew Lench was one of the stars of the previous round, scoring a spectacular hat-trick when Slough won 6-0 at Gainsborough Trinity, who are in a league above them. They will have to bridge a gap of four divisions on Monday night, when they face a Rochdale side that have just beaten Peterborough 2-0. Oliver Rathbone was excellent in that win, showing grit and defensive discipline to allow wing-backs Joe Rafferty and namesake Bunney to push forward. If that duo are similarly effective in the final third here, Rochdale should ease through. 0-2