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The FA Cup First Round kicks off as Evo Stik side Warrington take on League Two Exeter


With the arduous qualifying rounds finally over, non league sides can look forward to taking on league opposition as the magic of the FA Cup begins with Warrington Town and Exeter City.

Northern Premier League side Warrington are entering the first round for the first time since they were formed 65 years ago.

Exeter meanwhile have twice reached the quarter finals, first in 1931, then again fifty years later.

Whilst this game is the biggest in Warrington's history, both they and Exeter will be hoping to defy the odds and reach the Third Round, where the prospect of facing the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool is the stuff of dreams for lower league opposition.

Exeter nearly had their fairytale in 2005 when they met Manchester United at Old Trafford and held them to a 0-0 draw, before going on to lose the replay.

But with two rounds to go before they can be put in the hat with the big boys, all the teams in this round will be hoping some of the magic of the Cup rubs off on them.

There are several non league sides such as Warrington who will be looking to pull off an upset against bigger opposition, with the likes of Hemel Hempstead Town, East Thurrock United, AFC Fylde and Weston Super-Mare all facing league opposition on Saturday.

Sitting second in League One, Preston North End are the second highest ranked side in the competition at this point (leaders Bristol City face fellow League One outfit Gillingham) and face a long trip to the south coast to play one of the lowest ranked sides in Havant and Waterlooville on Monday evening.

With forty matches being played over the weekend, there will certainly be the usual mixture of emotions that the FA Cup brings for fans- elation, despair, joy, heartache and any number of superlatives you can think of, but there is one word the still sums it up best- magic.
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