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FA Cup | First Round
Nov 6, 2022 at 2pm UK
Tameside Stadium
Cambridge United

Curzon Ashton
0 - 0

Peers (60'), Matthews (79')

Dunk (9'), Knibbs (90+4'), Digby (90+5')

Preview: Curzon Ashton vs. Cambridge United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's FA Cup clash between Curzon Ashton and Cambridge United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Curzon Ashton host League One club Cambridge United in the first round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon, with three divisions separating the sides in the English football pyramid.

The National League North club have battled through three rounds of qualification to get to this coveted stage of the competition, whereas Mark Bonner's men are kicking off their FA Cup campaign this weekend in Greater Manchester after a steady start in England's third tier.

Match preview

Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner on January 8, 2022© Reuters

Josh Hancock's 57th-minute penalty was enough for Curzon to beat fellow sixth-tier club Peterborough Sports in the fourth qualifying round last month and put their name in the draw with a host of historic clubs from the Football League.

Despite not being drawn out with the likes of Derby County or Sheffield Wednesday, Ashton still managed to bag third-tier opposition for their big day in the first round proper, with Cambridge enough of a name to attract a bumper crowd to Tameside Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Curzon boss Adam Lakeland has spoken of his side's desire to create their own chapter in the history of the club, with a win and passage to the second round this weekend a perfect way to do just that, whilst also bringing in some much-needed prize money for the Lancashire-based team.

Currently 15th in National League North and with little hope of a promotion push this season, the FA Cup provides a real opportunity for Lakeland's men to put themselves into a spotlight that has eluded them following several mid-table finishes over recent times and a lack of progress in terms of league standings.

Hereford were Curzon's last opponents in the sixth tier and managed to earn a 3-1 win at Tameside, with performances levels needing a drastic improvement if Ashton are to get anything out of their League One counterparts on Sunday.

Cambridge retained their third-tier status comfortably last season after spending the seven previous campaigns in League Two and will now aim to progress up the League One table and redefine what is possible for a club that has spent time in non-league during the last decade.

Bonner's men will look to advance to the second round of the FA Cup for only the second time in five years when they travel to face Curzon, although last season's fourth-round loss to Luton Town was the furthest the club had been since forcing a replay out of Manchester United at the same stage in the 2014-15 season.

The U's are enduring a poor run of form in League One, having lost six of their last seven games, which has seen them fall to 18th in the league table, only five points above MK Dons, who occupy the highest of the relegation places.

Sunday's trip to Tameside Stadium is Cambridge's third away fixture on the bounce, with victory in a five-goal thriller at Wycombe Wanderers followed by defeat against Peterborough United last weekend forming an eventful pair of games away from Abbey Stadium over the past fortnight.

Curzon Ashton FA Cup form :
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Curzon Ashton form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Cambridge United form (all competitions):

Team News

Curzon manager Lakeland is hopeful of having a full bill of health amongst his squad ahead of this massive cup tie on Sunday and has reported no fresh injury concerns from last weekend's loss against Hereford.

Devon Matthews and Connor Hampson are to be assessed ahead of this weekend after their respective injuries, with both men eager to play a part and with a Sunday afternoon kickoff, the pair have more time to prove they will be able to.

Cambridge have been without two first-choice left-backs for the past few games but could welcome back Harrison Dunk to the side this weekend, with the 32-year-old set to train on Friday afternoon with his teammates.

Right-back George Williams is more of a doubt with a shoulder injury sustained after a heavy knock at Peterborough and is likely to sit out of cup proceedings this weekend.

Curzon Ashton possible starting lineup:
Renshaw; Mahon, Poscha, Waring, Hayhurst; Barton, Walker, Richards, Hall; Hancock, Peers

Cambridge United possible starting lineup:
Mannion; Okedina, Rossi, Jones, Dunk; Simper, Digby, Lankester, Knibbs, Brophy; Ironside

SM words green background

We say: Curzon Ashton 1-3 Cambridge United

Curzon Ashton will be desperate to impress in what is one of the biggest games in the club's history on Sunday when Cambridge United come to town.

However, the hosts are not exactly setting the world alight in the sixth tier of English football and a comfortable away win is widely expected here for Bonner and his Cambridge team.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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The FA Cup is seen prior to the FA Cup First Round match between FC Halifax and Bradford City on November 9, 2014 in Halifax, England.
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