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Chester FC 2 AFC Fylde 2 (Chester win on pens)

Recovered from Saturday yet?

There may only have been 886 supporters there to see it, but the hardy Chester FC supporters who braved the cold certainly got their money's worth.

A (rare) penalty shoot-out success booked the Blues' place in the second round of the FA Trophy, earned the club £6,000, and made it back-to-back victories for the first time in almost a year (or 364 days to be precise).

Given the success came on the back of the vital league win over Solihull Moors, and given the manner in which it was achieved, you would hope it has injected Marcus Bignot's boys with further confidence going into a crucial run of fixtures.

But, while National League survival remains the name of the game, why shouldn't we dare to dream of a first ever trip to Wembley?

Not just because history suggests there is reason to, but also because of what happened elsewhere at the weekend.

Opportunity knocks

While a number of first-round ties have yet to be played, at least 11 of the 24 teams that make up the National League will not feature in the second round.

And that number could yet increase to 12 if Boreham Wood lose their replay to Dartford.

Given 32 clubs will compete in the second-round stage, there is every chance that Chester could be handed a favourable draw, when it is made at 1pm on Monday (December 18).

Especially now that a number of big names have come and gone.

Wrexham dumped out

The biggest being our rivals from down the road.

Winners in 2013 and runners-up two years later, Wrexham fell at the first hurdle after going down 2-0 to National League North high flyers Harrogate Town.

Dragons boss Dean Keates rung the changes for the Racecourse clash and ultimately paid the price.

Wrexham manager Dean Keates

Keates, whose side are pushing for promotion back to the Football League, said: "I'm not disrespecting the cup or the competition but our ambition is put a team in the mix (in the league) come the end of the season.

"At this moment in time we're right bang in there so we saw it as an opportunity to give lads some time on the pitch and give some others a rest."

Another high-flying side who suffered a shock loss was Aldershot Town, who were beaten 4-0 at National League South outfit East Thurrock United.

Hartlepool humiliated

It was also an afternoon to forget for Craig Harrison's struggling Hartlepool United, whose first outing in the FA Trophy following their relegation from League Two ended in humiliation as they lost 1-0 at AFC Workington of the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Pools boss Harrison said: "There's no excuses, sometimes it's not about ability and being a better team, it's just about rolling your sleeves up and having some balls and a bit of heart.

"The players are an honest bunch and its been a quite angry and emotional dressing room in there."

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Just as big a surprise followed on Sunday when Dagenham & Redbridge were beaten at FA Cup heroes Hereford FC.

The Southern League Premier Division outfit, who were knocked out of the FA Cup at the second attempt by Fleetwood Town on Thursday, ran out 3-2 winners at Edgar Street.

Also out are Torquay United, Woking and Eastleigh while one of FC Halifax Town/Macclesfield Town, Solihull/Tranmere Rovers, and Gateshead/Guiseley will go once their ties are played.

Tranmere left in dark

Tranmere did actually get their encounter at league rivals Solihull on after a morning pitch inspection - only for it then to be abandoned just before half-time because of floodlight failure.

Rovers were leading 1-0 at the time thanks to Oliver Norburn's free kick and afterwards their manager Micky Mellon was just as much in the dark as to when the game would be replayed.

He said: "I've no idea of the timescale the game needs to be played. I think you have to get these games played as quickly as possible, so the powers that be will be talking about that now and hopefully they try and get it organised as soon as possible.

"I've no idea if we can press to get it played at Prenton Park, it's maybe too early to say at the minute, but like I said the powers that be will deal with it, but I'm just disappointed for the fans who made the long journey, to be honest."