A tale of two headers decided Sunday’s FA Cup contest between Kidderminster and Fleetwood in the Cod Army’s favour, as their 2-1 victory set up a trip to divisional rivals Cambridge in the second round.

After a cagey opening to affairs, visiting skipper Josh Vela provided the first moment of note when flashing a header narrowly past Christian Dibble’s far post, while Promise Omochere should have scored when turning a right-wing centre over the bar on the stretch.

Josh Earl then drifted a header wide of the mark with minutes remaining of the half, foreshadowing his later impact, before Harriers provided a sucker punch against the run of play.

Winning the ball back in the final third, a quick turn and exchange of passes from Amari Morgan-Smith to Ryan McLean saw the latter square for Bailey Hobson to side-foot into the far corner of the net.

But that advantage lasted little more than a minute, Earl afforded a world of space to sink a header home from a corner kick.

Then, seconds after the restart, Shaun Rooney directed a left-wing centre back across goal to leave Dibble with no chance, dumping out the non-league hosts.

Last season’s FA Cup quarter-finalists Grimsby narrowly avoided the same humiliation they inflicted on others as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Slough in front of a stadium record crowd of 2,205 at Arbour Park.

Trailing to a thunderous 28th-minute free-kick from Slough player-manager Scott Davies, the League Two side finally drew level with 15 minutes remaining when captain Danny Rose slid home a low cross from Michee Efete.

Up until that point it seemed like the visitors, under the temporary stewardship of Shaun Pearson after sacking manager Paul Hurst eight days ago, might suffer a first-round exit.

Last season Grimsby became the first side in FA Cup history to beat five teams from a higher division in a single campaign.

This time National League South side Slough could count themselves unfortunate after an energetic and dominant first-half display.

A firm header from George Alexander forced a flying tip over from Grimsby goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright after 20 minutes.

Eight minutes later Davies struck a free-kick with curl and pace, aided by a strong wind, to beat Cartwright.

They might have made it 2-0 as half-time approached, but Alexander’s header from a Tyrese Dyce cross thudded against a post and away to safety.

Passive and ineffective for an hour, the visitors finally roused themselves after Jamie Andrews curled a 64th-minute free-kick on to the top of the Slough bar.

The pressure from the EFL side finally told with Rose’s equaliser, to the relief of his side’s 500 travelling supporters.

Danny Webb believes Chesterfield deserve their place in the FA Cup second round after Tom Naylor’s first-half header knocked out League One leaders Portsmouth at the SMH Group Stadium.

Former Pompey midfielder Naylor headed the National League pacesetters into a round-two tie with mid-table League One side Leyton Orient, and Spireites assistant manager Webb thinks they were value for the 1-0 win in front of a sell-out crowd.

Chesterfield claimed a deserved lead just after the half-hour as Liam Mandeville curled in a free-kick and Naylor beat goalkeeper Will Norris to the ball to head home.

Chesterfield had chances in the second half to add to their lead but were rarely troubled by a Portsmouth side who lost Regan Poole and Tino Anjorin to injuries before the break.

Webb said: “We needed them to be a little bit off their game and we had to be on it and both things married up today.

“I’m going to be biased but I think the best team won today. Portsmouth made it a real tough cup tie with their supporters and how they played at times.

“Supporters want to see flair, they want to see wins. They want to see goals but they want to see passion.”

Portsmouth head coach John Mousinho admitted his side were second best.

He said: “We got punished by a very decent side. There were plenty of things I thought we did well up until half-time but I thought second half Chesterfield were all over us to be honest.

“We don’t want to overreact but sometimes the best thing to do is take a breath and we will review the game on the bus on the way home.

“Our quality was very poor in the second half. We got in some very good spots but the ball kept going behind for a goal kick.”

Tom Naylor dumped his old club Portsmouth out of the FA Cup as Chesterfield won their first-round tie 1-0 at the SMH Group Stadium.

Former Pompey midfielder Naylor headed home in the first half as the National League leaders defeated opponents who hold the same position in the League One table.

Ollie Banks forced Will Norris into the first save and then curled a shot just wide as the Spireites started well.

Portsmouth’s Paddy Lane shot at the near post but Harry Tyrer saved low to his left at the expense of a corner.

Chesterfield claimed a deserved lead just after the half hour as Liam Mandeville curled in a free-kick and Naylor beat Norris to the ball to head home.

Colby Bishop’s downward header was too close to Tyrer as the home side comfortably held their lead to the break.

Banks shot at Norris early in the second half and Armando Dobra twice saw penalty appeals denied as Chesterfield continued to dominate with an hour gone.

Portsmouth substitute Abu Kamara headed wide as the visitors looked for a way back into the tie.

But Paul Cook’s side had done enough to reach round two.

Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson was proud of his players as they won 2-1 at Sky Bet League Two promotion rivals Mansfield in the FA Cup first round to continue his club’s long-standing affinity with the competition.

Away from home against a side who only suffered their first defeat of the season in midweek, Wrexham played superbly.

Wrexham keeper Arthur Okonkwo denied Rhys Oates in a third minute before the Welsh club went ahead in the 23rd minute as James McClean set up Sam Dalby for an explosive rising finish.

Dalby also hit the crossbar and home keeper Christy Pym denied Dalby and Elliot Lee in a fantastic 42nd-minute double save.

Dalby set up Paul Mullin to curl home Wrexham’s second after 58 minutes, but Oates won the ball and smashed home a reply two minutes later to keep a thrilling tie alive.

Parkinson beamed: “I am immensely delighted.

“Mansfield have been flying high apart from Tuesday’s defeat. Before that they were unbeaten in 19 games, so I thought tonight we were immense.

“The two goals we scored were really good, particularly the first one and we had other chances in the first half. I know they did too, but we had some clinical moments of great football which we didn’t quite capitalise on.

“I said before the game that it was important we respected the history of Wrexham AFC in the FA Cup.

“The FA Cup means a great deal to Wrexham, who have a great tradition with it.

“So it was important we put in a performance our supporters who made the long trip and the ones back home watching on TV could be very proud of – and I think we’ve done that.”

Stags boss Nigel Clough was left ruing the missed chances. He said: “I thought we had more opportunities and situations than they did. We just didn’t hit the target enough and we didn’t finish.

“They have put two great finishes away – one in the top corner and then Mullin has curled one in.

“There was an element of misfortune with the second one as a clearance hit our own man and rebounded straight into his path. I didn’t see that sort of break occurring at the other end.

“We started the second half brilliantly. They played well in the first half and looked a bit fresher than us as they have had a nice clear week whereas we had that big game against Port Vale here in which we put in everything.

“Tonight we asked the lads to go again and they gave absolutely everything. They are on their knees down there so I can’t ask any more from them.”

Mansfield made their second cup exit in five days as they lost 2-1 at home to Sky Bet League Two promotion rivals Wrexham in an exciting FA Cup first-round tie.

After starting the season with a 19-game unbeaten run, the Stags fell to a 1-0 reverse to Port Vale in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday before Wrexham arrived to deliver another cup defeat.

Sam Dalby and Paul Mullin put the Welsh visitors ahead before Rhys Oates’ effort proved in vain at a soggy One Call Stadium.

Arthur Okonkwo denied Oates one-on-one after only three minutes, but Dalby made the breakthrough with a superb rising finish in the 23rd minute after being slipped into the left side of the box by James McClean.

On the half-hour, Elliot Lee set up Dalby, but this time his finish came back off the crossbar. Home goalkeeper Christy Pym made a crucial double save in the 42nd minute, turning away successive shots from Lee and Dalby.

Three minutes after the restart Louis Reed forced Okonkwo to parry, then denied Oates from close range before Jordan Bowery volleyed the wrong side of the near post soon after as Stags fought hard.

Instead, Wrexham went 2-0 up as a lucky break of the ball saw Dalby set up Mullin to finish low in the 58th minute.

Two minutes later, Oates won the ball and powered into the box to bury a powerful finish, giving Mansfield a lifeline, but Wrexham held on to book their spot in the second round.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley warned his players they need to perform much better in the second half after securing a 2-0 FA Cup first round victory at Bromley.

The League One promotion-chasers saw off the National League high fliers thanks to clinical first-half strikes from Shane Lavery and Karamoko Dembele.

However, Critchley was not quite as impressed with his team’s display after the interval.

He said: “I have to say Bromley were excellent in the second half. We scored early and then again before half-time, but it looked like we had some tired bodies and tired minds in that second half.

“If Bromley had scored, things might have been different. We just weren’t ourselves in that second half.

“We have had a busy schedule. We kept a clean sheet but that was mainly down to a bit of luck and some poor finishing.

“We just seemed to stop playing in the second half. I’m not sure whether that’s a mentality thing, but it’s certainly something we need to improve on.”

Blackpool controlled the first period, with Lavery and loan man Dembele handing them a two-goal lead at the hosts’ tiny Hayes Lane stadium.

That was all the Seasiders needed as Bromley’s search for a first-ever victory against a Football League team goes on.

Bromley boss Andy Woodman was disappointed with the result, but keen to take the positives overall.

“We had a good go but we just couldn’t find that finish you need against opposition like this,” said Woodman.

“If we could have got one goal, and got this place rocking, then who knows?

“We huffed and puffed overall, but Blackpool showed much more quality when they needed it.

“We’ve just got to dust ourselves down now and get this good league form going again. We’re creating something exciting here and we’re in a great position in the league table.”

Blackpool were too good for National League high-fliers Bromley as they secured a 2-0 FA Cup first round victory at Hayes Lane.

Neil Critchley’s Seasiders made sure of their place in the draw thanks to clinical first-half strikes from Shane Lavery and Karamoko Dembele.

Bromley made the worst possible start when they conceded after just five minutes as Lavery charged on to Kylian Kouassi’s measured through-ball before burying a super shot high into the roof of the net.

The hosts created their first clear opening in the 18th minute but Corey Whitely could not quite divert his side-footed effort on target.

That was a rare foray forward, however, and it was no surprise to see Blackpool double their lead shortly before the half-hour mark.

The impressive Dembele, on loan from French outfit Brest, tucked a shot past Grant Smith from a tight angle following a tidy one-two with Kouassi.

Bromley had the first chance after the interval, with Ayodeji Elerewe fizzing in a low strike which veteran Blackpool goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell dived full length to beat away.

The Seasiders responded almost immediately and Owen Dale turned smartly inside a defender before forcing Smith into an eye-catching near-post save.

Time was running out for Bromley and Michael Cheek’s near open goal miss in the 89th minute capped what proved to be a miserable evening.

Shrewsbury boss Matt Taylor praised his side for scoring three goals for the first time this season after a 3-2 win against Colchester in the first round of the FA Cup.

The U’s remained in contention throughout and made it a nervous watch at the end for the home fans after Zach Mitchell headed home in the 86th minute.

Jordan Shipley made a spectacular return to action for the Shrews, scoring a superb two-touch goal and assisting after two months out through injury.

Cameron McGeehan had opened the scoring for the visitors before Daniel Udoh levelled in the first half.

Shipley then put Shrewsbury in front before an own goal made it 3-1, with Mitchell getting one back late on.

Taylor said: “I felt we were for large periods of that game totally dominant. We conceded from their first attempt on goal.

“We started the game really well. What I liked is the players didn’t give in; they didn’t lose belief and kept going.

“We scored a really good goal to equalise. I spoke to the players at half-time, our decision-making in and around the opposition’s box I didn’t feel was at the level they can produce. So second half the challenge was to go out there and make better decisions.

“We did that, we should have scored more than the three. I think we had 17 shots but only hit the target six times, which when you look at it wasn’t probably good enough.

“The aim at the beginning of the day was to be in the hat for the next round of the cup, and ultimately we fulfilled that.

“I am pleased that we have scored three goals for the first time this season but disappointed in the second goal and the way we conceded it.”

U’s interim boss Matthew Etherington said: “It was pretty close in the end. I thought the boys rallied really well, albeit not starting the second half great.

“The changes that we made had an impact and we finished the stronger team, so overriding feeling is opportunity missed but I didn’t think there was a great deal in the game.

“The two goals we conceded in the second half were poor goals to concede, and it is kind of a common theme with this team at the minute. We have to stamp that out because we are scoring plenty at the same time.

“As I have said to the players, in terms of the energy, effort, and commitment, I can’t fault it; it’s outstanding, but we need to tidy up those areas.

“It was an unbelievable goal (Cameron McGeehan’s). The move leading up to that was a good move, and we know Cam has that quality. It was a great strike and finish.

“Overall, I thought we were competitive in the game against a League One side. I thought we were more than competitive and causing them problems.”

Reading manager Ruben Selles admitted that he was pleased that his struggling side avoided an upset against lower-division opposition after their 3-2 FA Cup first-round win over MK Dons.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan gave Reading a third-minute lead with his sixth goal of the season, but Alex Gilbey levelled before the break.

Second-half efforts from Harvey Knibbs and Lewis Wing eased Reading into a two-goal cushion, with Max Dean halving the deficit with a late consolation for the Sky Bet League Two outfit.

Selles, whose side sit bottom of League One after losing their last five games, said: “The FA Cup is always difficult.

“Whoever is your opponent, we have often seen teams from higher categories falling to teams in the categories below. So, we put in a good performance.

“Perhaps we should have finished the game a little bit earlier. We just made it complicated in the last minutes.

“But I’m happy with the performance and keeping the team together, no injuries and we go into the next round. It was a good day.

“We got a little bit caught out in the first half, especially with their first goal. It was just that pass in between, we should have defended it much better.

“We were missing a few things in the first half, which is why we changed at half time. We were missing with the wingers, the one-against-one situations and the pressure.

“It was a matter of changing the dynamic of the game. We had to be much more on the front foot, much more aggressive with the pressure. We were much better in that way in the second half.”

New MK Dons head coach Mike Williamson, who succeeded Graham Alexander last month, said: “The halves were contrasting and, from our point of view, that was disappointing.

“That’s been a bit of a theme, our starts to the second half, and that’s something that we need to address.

“But I think that you can see the detail that we’re putting in and it’s evident what the boys are taking on.

“We’ve just got to find a way of wrestling the momentum back when we do go behind.

“We have to accept that we are going to suffer in periods of games. It’s how we get back into it and get back on the ball.

“In the first half, you could see what we were trying to achieve. But there was still an element of frustration getting the better of us.

“When other teams do step on and step up, we haven’t quite got to grips with that yet.

“Again, though, the boys fought all the way to the end. Even though we were running out of time, we never gave up. So there was still so many positives to take.”

Scarborough boss Jonathan Greening was left to reflect on football’s ‘cruel’ side after his part-time team were denied an FA Cup upset against Forest Green in stoppage time.

An equaliser by Olly Sully – the 18-year-old sub’s first senior goal – secured a 1-1 draw for the League Two strugglers after the National League North outfit had taken a first-half lead through Alex Wiles.

It also cost the Seadogs a precious £41,000 windfall in prize money and Greening, a member of the Manchester United squad that won the 1999 Champions League final in stoppage time, lamented: “I really wish we could have held on and won the game.

“But it wasn’t to be and, sometimes, football can be cruel. The boys are absolutely devastated because they put an absolute shift in and I’m really proud of them.

“We’re a part-time team and might not have a lot of money as a club but we showed that we’ve got a lot of heart and we’ve just got to show the same work ethic, team spirit and passion now in the replay.”

Forest Green boss David Horseman threw on Sully in an attempt to lift a lacklustre and unimaginative performance from his team and was delighted to see the teenager get on the scoresheet.

He said: “We were really poor. We gave a bad goal away and then had to break down an 11-man block, which we found difficult.

“But we did it in the end because some people stood up to the challenge of a difficult game and I’m really proud of Olly.

“It was brilliant to see somebody from our academy keep us in the FA Cup and help us live to fight another day.”

Richie Wellens hailed striker Aaron Drinan after Leyton Orient beat Carlisle 3-1 to book their place in the second round of the FA Cup.

A Joe Pigott penalty put Orient ahead before the visitors lost Callum Guy with a serious-looking leg injury in the first half.

Joe Garner equalised before goals by Orient substitutes Drinan and Ruel Sotiriou ensured the Londoners victory.

“I was pleased for Aaron Drinan that he got his goal, he has had an interrupted pre-season for two seasons on the bounce and when he’s fit and firing, he’s got pace and power and is a good finisher,” Orient boss Wellens said.

“But please, I request our supporters, if you want a fit and firing Aaron Drinan or any of our players, give them confidence. It doesn’t matter what level you play at, if you’ve got confidence, you are going to be a lot better.

“I thought that we started the first 20 minutes really well and then the last 15 or 20 minutes of the first half nothing really happened. Their shape then caused us a problem because I thought Carlisle were good for the first 20 minutes of the second half.

“When we changed to a four, I thought we were pretty dominant in the last 25 minutes and could have scored a few more.

“It was an important game for us both financially and because we wanted to get to the next round, so yes, it was a good day. We want to reach the third round at least and hopefully give the board of directors some money back.

“In the six years (since) the owners took over the club, I don’t think they have had a cup run.”

United boss Paul Simpson admitted his side needed to defend better.

“Again we didn’t work hard enough to stop the cross, similar to Cambridge last week, and it’s defending the goals which gave us a problem,” he said.

“We have to defend much better and need to address it very, very quickly.

“It’s a massively disappointing result for us. First half I thought the penalty was a little fortunate but I felt we needed to change it at half-time and we started the second half much brighter and much more positive. We started passing the ball better and got ourselves level with a really good goal.

“I thought we had Orient at one point but we have to say they thoroughly deserved to go through. They are a good footballing side but we have to do the horrible jobs you need to do in football on a consistent basis. If you don’t, you get punished.”

On the injury to Guy, Simpson said: “We’ve heard that it’s not a fracture but it’s not good news at all. We will get it scanned.”

Interim manager Andy Mangan felt Bristol Rovers could have scored more as they eased into the second round of the FA Cup with a 7-2 victory over Northern Premier League side Whitby.

First-half goals from John Marquis, Luke Thomas, Jevani Brown and Antony Evans were added to by substitutes Harvey Vale and Aaron Collins after the break, following Harrison Beeden’s own goal.

“It was one for the neutrals I suppose, but can we take more chances? Absolutely,” said Mangan.

“Can we add more phases of play in their half? Yes. But it’s 7-2 and the last time we scored seven was against Scunthorpe when we got promoted, so there are good omens.

“We’ve got really good players in there, lads who can open you up, lads who can keep the ball and create one-v-one opportunities.

“I thought LT (Luke Thomas) was excellent in his first game back (from injury) and also John Marquis with his endeavour.

“There are loads of positives but as a coach you’re always looking to improve,” said Mangan.

Rovers continue to search for a successor to Joey Barton and Mangan has now won two games from two since taking temporary charge.

Barton’s former assistant also praised 15-year-old Rovers substitute Ollie Dewsbury, who came off the bench with three minutes remaining to become the Pirates’ youngest-ever player in the FA Cup and second youngest in all competitions.

“It’s amazing isn’t it? He did really well with the Under-18s. What a day for him, so proud for him,” said Mangan.

“Can you imagine him going into school on Monday morning, how happy he will be? It will be great.”

Whitby Town manager Nathan Haslam was proud of his side’s efforts against a professional team playing four leagues above them.

“I’m really proud. First half we were a little like rabbits in the headlights, the occasion got to us, which is gutting because we spoke about it a lot,” said Haslam.

“But we’ve just got to take a step back and you know we’re playing a team who are four levels higher. You can see the gulf in class. It’s crazy really.

“We showed them too much respect. We didn’t do our basics well, which I hoped we would, and they punished us. I think they were clinical.

“When you need that bit of luck, there were questions about that first goal being offside. Just to stay in the game, we were on the back foot, and I think that changed the complexion of the game for us really.”

Haslam said of Connor Simpson’s 59th-minute curler into the top corner – the goal of the game: “That one will be played for a long time by Whitby.”

Sutton boss Matt Gray revealed he had predicted his side’s FA Cup clash with non-league AFC Fylde would be a game of two halves as they came from behind to seal a 2-1 win.

The U’s were staring down the barrel of being dumped out by non-league opposition for the second year running after Jon Uskabasi opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

However, Harry Smith’s quick-fire double in the second half sent Sutton through.

Gray said: “I sort of knew how the first half would go to be honest, because they were kicking down the hill with a wind behind them, which died down second half.

“AFC Fylde have got some good players, they’ve got some threats. I wasn’t pleased with some things of course, but I was desperate to get in at half-time with a clean sheet.

“I knew and I predicted we would be very dominant second half. I thought we were going to nick a bonus with a goal-mouth scramble and a couple of good chances.

“I felt they were the better side first half, they edged it. To get the goal and follow it up with the second very quickly was pleasing.

“I’ve managed many games here and I’ve seen games pan out exactly the way it did. The team talk was a refocus to the lads about what I wanted and I told them we didn’t need to go gung-ho to try and equalise.

“I knew Harry would have an impact second half and he was a real handful.

“I was frustrated because it’s a cup tie and they’ve got nothing to lose and they threw everything to take us to a replay, and I just wished we would have taken one of those chances to kill the game.”

Lancashire club Fylde have a strong record of qualifying for the main stages of the cup.

However, after failing to reach the second round for a fourth year running, boss Chris Beech said: “We exit the FA Cup, but I don’t think we deserved that in terms of effort and application.

“I was looking at the statistics and we went toe-to-toe with a League Two team. I thought we dealt with them really efficiently first half, probably better than they maybe thought we would.

“We got a position of control but they have big-game moments. They don’t have many, but they have the capability to dominate an opponent because they’re very physical, but there’s quality within that.

“The general play and how the game was we were comfortable, but there were two bits of quality within that from Sutton.

“We had a great chance to get them back to our place. To come away from home to London to a team in League Two; we’ve had 12 opportunities and only scored one.

“We’ve got to get better so we can create less and score more.”

Port Vale manager Andy Crosby was proud of his 10-man team after they earned an FA Cup first-round replay against fellow League One side Burton with a goalless draw.

Captain Nathan Smith was given a straight red card in the 18th minute after bringing down Mark Helm, but Burton failed to make their one-man advantage count.

Vale actually finished the game with nine men as Jason Lowe was withdrawn through injury and they’d already used their three substitution intervals.

The draw comes on the back of Crosby’s men booking their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, but they’re currently on an eight-match winless run in League One.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the group, the togetherness of the group,” Crosby said.

“We were the better team with 11 men, we were the better team with 10 men, we were the better team with nine men.

“We controlled possession, we controlled them out of possession, we controlled them with 10 men and we controlled the possession with 10 men.

“And I can’t tell you how together this group is, how much they care, how disappointed they’ve been with the run we’ve been on.

“But to go into that game and start the way we did and have the chances we did.

“And then to suffer the disappointment we did with the referee making the decision, to not feel sorry for ourselves, to keep going.

“They crawl off that pitch in a better place than when the game started.”

In a game not short on chances, Burton finally found the net in the dying moments through Josh Walker, but it was ruled out for offside against substitute Cole Stockton.

Albion boss Dino Maamria felt his team were blatantly denied a place in the second round, rather than missing a golden opportunity to go through.

“We scored a legitimate goal in the last minute of the game – it’s clearly onside,” he said.

“Watch it back. Diagonal ball from Jake Caprice, Ryan Sweeney’s in an onside position – he heads it down. Josh Walker’s in an onside position – he turned and volleyed it in brilliantly.

“But the offside got given on Cole Stockton at the near post with the ball nowhere near him.

“It’s a really, really frustrating decision to give, but in all honesty am I surprised by it?

“You see it when they got the sending off in the first half, every decision after that – the crowd, their bench – they’re on top of the referee, they’re on top of the linesman – he got abused throughout the game.

“I didn’t think they were strong enough to deal with that.

“And flagging that last decision there denied us going through.”

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