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FA Cup blog: The magic has already begun

09:30 08 November 2014

Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient's Jonathan Tehoue (centre) celebrates with team-mates and club mascot after scoring their equaliser against Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Pic: Nick Potts/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Many will have witnessed the magic of the FA Cup last night as Warrington Town saw off the challenge of League Two Exeter City.

To a different degree Leyton Orient enjoyed that magic when taking Premier League side to a replay after Jonathan Tehoue’s 89th minute strike at Brisbane Road back in 2011

That is the one of the great things about the competition – anyone can play, and often beat anyone.

The TV cameras may now mean the FA Cup has begun fully, but for many it started a while ago and for Warrington Town the long run to last night’s first round win commenced in August.

My own roots come from the non-league root, fully hoping my local side Aveley FC of the Ryman North would one day make the first round.

That’s never happened unfortunately, though they went close this season before losing to Willand Rovers in the third qualifying round.

From a professional point of view I have covered Dagenham & Redbridge for two-and-a-half seasons and their so called FA Cup ‘campaigns’.

They have ended in first round defeats to Bournemouth and Bristol City 4-0 and 3-0 respectively. Perhaps that means they will lose 2-0 today to Southport – that will make me even popular down at Victoria Road.

But now I am with the O’s hoping they have a successful FA Cup, though just seeing them win for a third time since I started covering the club in September would be a nice experience!

And despite spending the last few seasons reporting on Football League clubs, it’s ironic that the furthest I have been is the second round with local non-league club Redbridge before they were beaten 5-0 by Crawley Town, and the man everyone loves to hate – Steve Evans.

O’s fans despise him for last season’s play-off final defeat and Daggers fans hold the hatred even further from his Boston United days.

But that achievement for Redbridge epitomises the FA Cup. It may not be a shock whoever wins today between Oldham Athletic and Leyton Orient, and the O’s priority is to turn around their League One fortunes, but deep down every fan would love their club to enjoy some of that magic experienced by Warrington Town last night.

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