The FA Cup second round is the last phase to not have any Premier League teams. For some of the sides still alive in this portion, it is a game to reach those hallowed grounds that house Premier League clubs. For others, namely those in the third and fourth tier, it is a chance to advance. There are no new additions in this round. Each team in the Championship and Premier League will join in the third round.
There are at least seven teams from outside the English Football League, and there could be as many as three more if replays go in the underdog’s favor. The most notable of those is Ramsgate out of the eighth tier. Ramsgate beat National League club Woking in the previous round to advance. In the second round of the FA Cup, Ramsgate will travel to AFC Wimbledon in League Two to reach the third round.
With a win, Ramsgate could go up against a Premier League team. Not only does this do wonders for a side’s exposure, but it also boosts the finances. In the past, teams have used runs in the FA Cup to shoot up their confidence for the rest of the season. Last year, Wrexham went on a magical run as a fifth-tier side en route to winning the National League. Ramsgate is looking to do the same this year.
The second round of the FA Cup is entirely on Dec. 2. For fans in the United States, many of those games will be available on ESPN+.
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Teams from different leagues playing one another
The magic of the FA Cup often revolves around teams playing against opposition from a different league. In other words, they go up against teams they seldom meet. Big gaps in those divisions can make for some intriguing matchups. The more often they happen, the better storylines can develop.
Therefore, the second round of the 2023/24 FA Cup has some serious potential. There are only four possible games involving teams in the same division. As there are replays, the final schedule is not complete yet. However, fans have the opportunity to see lower-division teams pull off upsets, which is always more fun for neutrals.
Plus, fans on ESPN+ can see some of the smaller stadiums in England when these teams host games. Sixth-tier Maidstone United is hosting Barrow. Alfreton Town from the same division goes up against Walsall at home. Finally, Chester can host a game in the second round if it wins its replay against York City. Chester is also in the sixth tier of English soccer.
Full draw for the second round of the 2023/24 FA Cup
Any game that reads ‘or’ represents a replay from the first round that is yet to happen. Game times and further information regarding broadcasting will come out as the second round nears.
Maidstone United v Barrow
Wycombe Wanderers v Morecambe
Notts County v Shrewsbury Town
Chesterfield v Leyton Orient
Aldershot Town v Stockport County
Alfreton Town v Walsall
Blackpool v Scarborough Athletic or Forest Green Rovers
Cambridge United v Fleetwood Town
Bolton Wanderers v Harrogate Town
Wrexham v Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra or Derby County v Bristol Rovers
Peterborough United or Salford City v Doncaster Rovers or Accrington Stanley
Eastleigh v Reading
Gillingham v Charlton Athletic or Cray Valley Paper Mills
Stevenage v Port Vale or Burton Albion
Newport County v Barnet
Oxford United v Slough Town or Grimsby Town
Chester or York City v Wigan Athletic
Sutton United v Barnsley or Horsham
AFC Wimbledon v Ramsgate
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