billsportsmaps.com

January 31, 2017

2017 Copa Libertadores, map with new pre-qualifying First Stage results shown/3 teams advancing to 2nd Stage/ and the 44 teams in the Second Stage (16 teams)-&-Group Stage (28 teams). (Format-change from 38 teams to 44 teams; format adjustment to 47 teams due to Mexico non-involvement.)/+ 2016 Copa Libertadores champions Atlético Nacional.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 9:42 am


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2017 Copa Libertadores map of the 44 teams in the 2nd Stage (16 teams) & Group Stage (28 teams)





Links…
2017 Copa Libertadores (en.wikipedia.org).
-2017 Copa Libertadores, fixtures, results, tables…2017 COPA LIBERTADORES [Summary].
-Copa Libertadores news (in English)…espnfc.us/copa-libertadores/index

By Bill Turianski on 30 January 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

    2017 Copa Libertadores (the 58th version of the tournament)…

As, usual profile-boxes for the qualified teams are shown, grouped by country, flanking each side of the map. But with the drastic format changes this year, I have decided to have the map depict the set-up after the new First Stage. So…
A). the results from late January 2017 of the new First Stage are seen at the top-left of the map-page. The new First Stage is basically just a small pre-qualifying round. So of the 6 teams in the First Stage, only the 3 winners are shown in profile-boxes (also at the top-left, plus also grouped with their countries within the main part of the map page).
B). teams that qualified for the Second Stage and the Group Stage can seen within the whole rest of the map page (44 teams).
C). The Cup-Holders (Atlético Nacional of Colombia) can seen at the top-right of the map page, as well as seen in the illustration below.
D). Format changes to the tournament – all of them (!), see article further below.

    2016 Copa Libertadores champions: Atlético Nacional, of Medellín, Colombia (their 2nd CL title)

-From WorldSoccer.com from 1 August 2016, Tim Vickery’s Notes from South America: Reflections on Atletico Nacional’s Libertadores triumph (worldsoccer.com).
atletico-nacional_2016-copa-libertadores_champions_27-july-2016_medellin-colombia_miguel-borja_r-rueda_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Screenshot (1) from Atlético Nacional vs Independiente del Valle 1-0 RESUMEN Y GOL FINAL Copa Libertadores 2016 (uploaded by Futbol TOTAL at youtube.com). Shot of crowd’s tifo in Medellin during 2nd leg of Finals, photo by AP via dailymail.co.uk/football/Atletico-Nacional-1-0-2-1-agg-Independiente-del-Valle-Miguel-Borja-strike-seals-Copa-Libertadores-win. Screenshot (2) from Atlético Nacional vs Independiente del Valle 1-0 RESUMEN Y GOL FINAL Copa Libertadores 2016 (uploaded by Futbol TOTAL at youtube.com). Miguel Borja scoring winning goal, photo by Reuters via sport.net/atletico-nacional-1-0-independiente-del-valle-2-1-agg-miguel-borja-strike-seals-copa-libertadores-win. Teammates celebrate right after Borja goal, photo by AFP via losandes.com.ar/article/atletico-nacional-e-independiente-del-valle-definen-la-libertadores-y-van-por-la-gloria. Shot of coach Rueda with trophy, photo by León Darío Peláez/SEMANA at semana.com/deportes/articulo/reinaldo-rueda-el-cerebro-detras-de-la-gesta-de-nacional s. Miguel Borja kissing the trophy, photo by AFP via fifa.com. Atletico Nacional fans celebrate their Copa Libertadores victory with pyrotechnics, photo unattributed at a.espncdn.com/combiner.

    2017 Copa Libertadores: the new expanded format forces Mexico to leave the tournament/ Then the Chapecoense tragedy in Colombia sees CONMEBOL automatically award Chapecoense the 2016 Copa Sudamericana title & automatic qualification for the 2017 Copa Liberetadores

There were two very big changes to the Copa Libertadores format for 2017, which are both discussed below; plus the Chapecoense jet disaster (see further below).

First, in October 2016 CONMEBOL radically expanded the format (going from 38 teams to 44 teams, and with the tournament being played over an eleven-month time period).
{See this, CONMEBOL expands Copa Libertadores to 42 weeks and 44 teams (espnfc.com).} This forced the Mexican 1st division, Liga MX, to re-examine their continued participation in the tournament. (Mexican teams had participated in the Copa Libertadores since the 1998 tournament.) It looks like Liga MX and the FMF (the Mexican football authorities) were not consulted on these changes. It actually appears that CONMEBOL went ahead and made all these drastic changes to the Copa Libertadores format without consulting with most of parties involved – at all – including Liga MX {see 7th paragraph from this article by Tim Vickery at espnfc.com, Copa Libertadores gets new lease of life for 2017, but questions remain (by Tim Vickery at espnfc.com from 19 Dec. 2016).}

So in November 2016, the 1st division of Mexico (Liga MX) decided to no longer send its teams to play in the Copa Libertadores…
The expanded schedule, with basically an 80%-of-the-whole-year tournament, combined with the enormous travel distances that Mexican teams already face, made Liga MX decide to opt out of the tournament. Mexican teams might re-join the tournament in 2018, though, but Liga MX would need to alter its own format to do that. {See this, Mexico officially pulls out of Copa Libertadores (goal.com).}

So, for 2017 at least, that meant that there were now three vacated spots in the tournament…
Mexico’s 3 vacated tournament-spots made it necessary to even further expand the tournament (to be more equitable, as with regards to which of the 10 remaining Copa Libertadores countries got one of Mexico’s spots). So another round was added. CONMEBOL simply divided the 3 spots up amongst the 6 CL countries which had not gotten any added spots in the upcoming format-expansion (Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela). So the 3 Mexico spots were paired up with 3 more added-spots (swelling the tournament to 47 teams), into a sort of pre-qualifying round – the First Stage. (The results of the new/pre-qualifying First Stage are seen in the Mexico section at the top-left-hand side of the map page.)

Below are all the changes in the Copa Libertadores for 2017…
•Expanded format (44 teams):
6 more spots, re-apportioned as such:
∙Brazil: +2 spots (Brazil now has 7 teams in each Copa Libertadores tournament).
∙Argentina: +1 spot (Argentina now has 6 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Colombia: +1 spot (Colombia now has 4 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Chile: +1 spot (Chile now has 4 teams in each CL tournament).
∙Copa Sudamericana winner: the CS winner gets automatic entry into Group Stage as before, but that spot does not bump out the lowest-placed CL-qualifying spot from that country (ie, CS-winner adds 1 more spot for that country for that CL season [as so: Brazil 7 spots+1 more spot this season via CS-winner, Chapacoense {see further below}]).
∙Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia: unchanged (all still with 3 teams in each tournament – that is, until Mexico pulled out/see below).

•About 1 month later…Further expanded format, with 3 more spots added (47 teams).
Mexican teams’ 3 vacated spots + 3 more spots added (in the new First Stage), to make the tournament 47 teams:
∙The 3 spots were determined by adding 1 team each from the 6 countries which did not get an extra spot in the initial tournament-expansion (those 6 countries are: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela). Those six teams are then matched up into two-legged play-offs (the new First Stage), with the three winners advancing.

Chapecoense jet disaster…
On 28 November 2016, the airplane carrying Brazilian team Chapecoense, to their 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals match versus Atlético Nacional, crashed into a hillside near Medellín, Colombia, with 71 of the 77 aboard killed, including 19 Chapecoense players (almost the entire Chapcoense 1st team squad died). As it says at the 2016 Copa Sudamericana page at Wikipedia, “The finals have been suspended due to the crash of LaMia Airlines Flight 2933. CONMEBOL immediately suspended all activities, including the scheduled finals matches. In light of these events, Atlético Nacional requested that CONMEBOL award the title to Chapecoense.” Three days later Globo Sports in Brazil reported this, Conmebol will declare Chapecoense champion of the Copa Sudamericana (from globoesporte.globo.com/sc/futebol). So that meant, as Copa Sudamericana title-winners, Chapecoense would qualify for the Group Stage of the 2017 Copa Libertadores.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Copa Libertadores (1960-2016) Club Histories…Copa Libertadores 1960-2016 Club Histories (rsssf.com).
-Argentine titles (professional Argentine titles): http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primera_Divisi%C3%B3n_de_Argentina#Resumen_estad.C3.ADstico_2.
-New logo for tournament, conmebol.com/es/la-conmebol-presento-el-nuevo-logo-de-la-copa-libertadores-de-america.

January 22, 2017

2016-17 FA Cup 4th Round, map and attendance list with fixtures./+ The biggest upset in the 3rd Round – Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town (replay from Tuesday 17 January 2017)./+ update: biggest Cup-upset-winners in the 4th Round (Sutton Utd, Lincoln City, Millwall, Wolves, Oxford Utd).

Filed under: >2016-17 FA Cup — admin @ 4:25 pm

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2016-17 FA Cup 4th Round, map and attendance list with fixtures




Links…
-The competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, etc…FA CUP: 4th Round: fixtures/teams (us.soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).
-FA Cup 2016-17 4th Round Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
-With Lincoln on the FA Cup trail: from 4.20am ticket queues to toilet trouble
Non-league Lincoln face Brighton in the fourth round having knocked out another Championship team, Ipswich. A day behind the scenes with management, players and fans uncovers a club and city with their buzz back
(on 27 Jan.2017 by Andy Hunter at theguardian.com/football).

By Bill Turianski on 22 January 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

    Updates on the 28th & 29th of January 2017: biggest Cup-upsets in the 4th Round

Biggest upsets of the 2016-17 FA Cup 4th Round…
Sutton United over Leeds United [difference of 84 league places], Lincoln City over Brighton & Hove Albion [difference of 72 league places], Millwall over Watford [difference of 40 league places], Wolverhampton Wanderers over Liverpool at Anfield [difference of 34 league places], Oxford United over Newcastle United [difference of 34 league places].
2016-17_fa-cup_4th-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan-28-2017_lincoln-city_oxford-utd_wolves_sutton-utd_millwall_d_.gif

    The biggest upset in the 3rd Round – Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town (replay from Tuesday 17 January 2017)…

-Video highlights, Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town | 17 Jan 2017 (3:42 video at youtube.com)

The biggest upset of the 3rd Round was in a replay, on Tuesday night the 17th of January 2017, when Non-League side Lincoln City beat League-Championship-side Ipswich Town one-nil. Attendance at Sincil Bank in Lincoln was a full-capacity crowd of 9,054. Lincoln City (a 5th division-club) were 59 league places and 3 divisions lower than Ipswich Town (a 2nd-tier side currently in 14th place there). The lone goal was scored by former Grimsby Town striker Nathan Arnold in the 91st minute (see screenshots and photos in illustration further below). Lincoln City thus advances to the 4th Round for the first time since 1976 (when the just-departed Graham Taylor was manager). For the 4th round, the Red Imps of Lincolnshire have been given a plum tie, at home versus second-division high-fliers Brighton & Hove Albion.

Lincoln City’s excellent season under their new young manager Danny Cowley continues on…
-From the Guardian from 17 Jan.2017, Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley proud of FA Cup ‘win for the people’ (by Steve Madeley at theguardian.com/football).
-From the official Lincon City website, THE MANAGEMENT TEAM (redimps.co.uk/team/gaffer).
Danny Cowley has absolutely revitalised Lincoln City. Cowley is a 37-year-old who was formerly the manager of two small-and-now-overachieving Essex-based clubs. First with now-6th-tier-side Concord Rangers (from 2007 to 2015, which included 3 promotions from the 9th level to the 6th level), and then Cowley had one year at the helm of 5th-tier-side Braintree Town (last season in 2015-16, when Braintree finished in 3rd place in the 5th division). Lincoln City are a former Football League club with 87 seasons in the League (last in 2010-11), as well as an all-time-most five demotions/relegations back into Non-League Football (in 1908, in 1911, in 1920, in 1987, and in 2011). In all but the last of these (2011), Lincoln City had returned to the Football League the following season. But for the last 5 seasons (from 2011-12 to 2015-16), the club had been mired in the lower-half of the Conference/National League table, with no real hope in sight of getting back into the League. And Lincoln City’s attendances had dropped off from 5.1 K ten years ago, to just 2.5 K last season {Football League attendances}. But that has changed now, and Lincoln City under Cowley lead the National League table by 4 points, currently. And Lincoln City have now had their best Cup-run in four decades (since they last made it to the FA Cup 4th Round, back in 1975-76). And Lincoln City’s crowd-size has increased by about 1.4 K, to 3.9 K now {National League table/attendances here}. Their ground, Sincil Bank, was swelled to 9-thousand capacity for the 3rd round replay on 17th January versus Ipswich Town. Now Lincoln City will host Brighton in the 4th round (on Saturday 28th January 2017), and the 122-year-old Sincil Bank will certainly be sold-out again. If the Red Imps can handle the Seagulls and pull off another Cup-upset, they will have made it to the 5th Round for the first time in 130 years. The last time Lincoln City made it to the 5th round was all the way back in 1887, when the club, which was established in 1883, had only been in existence for 4 years. In that match 130 years ago, Lincoln City lost 3-0 to Rangers FC, in Glasgow, way back in the FA Cup’s early days when Scottish teams were allowed to play in the competition {1887 FA Cup/Fifth Round}.

Below: Lincoln City 1-0 Ipswich Town (2016-17 FA Cup 3rd Round replay)…
lincoln-city_1-0_ipswich-town_2016-17-fa-cup_3rd-round-replay_sincil-bank_nathan-arnold-goal_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Photo of Lincoln Cathedral, photo by Getty Images via thetimes.co.uk/travel. Photo of street in Lincoln by a canal, with Lincoln Cathedral in background, photo by YTFC independent site ciderspace.co.uk/[match gallery 23 May 2004, Lincoln City 2-3 Yeovil Town (3rd Div match)]. Photo from June 2015: Lincoln Cathedral (in background) seen from a stream adjacent to the Sincil Bank ground, photo by clivecatton.co.uk; also see clivecatton.co.uk/tag/lincoln-city-football-club/. Photo of minutes applause in the memory of former Lincoln City player-and-manager Graham Taylor, photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images via theguardian.com. Screenshots (3) of Sincil Bank and of the lead-up to the winning goal, images from video uploaded by ByShowtime at youtube.com. Photo of Nathan Arnold about to score, photo unattributed at sportstarlive.com/football/fa-cup-review-nonleague-lincoln-stuns-ipswich. Photo of Danny Cowley celebrating with coaches and players, photo by Reuters via irishmirror.ie. Photo of Lincoln City players celebrating with fans after victory, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/football.

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.

-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.

Thanks to @FACupFactfile for following @billsportsmaps on Twitter.

January 11, 2017

Mexico: Liga MX (1st division fútbol), location-map for 2016-17, with average attendances & percent-capacities from the 2016-Apertura, plus all-time Mexican 1st division titles list.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 9:38 pm

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Liga MX (the Mexican 1st division in fútbol), location-map for 2016-17, with average attendances from the 2016-Apertura, and titles listed




Links…
-Teams, etc…2016-17 Liga MX season (en.wikipedia).
-Liga MX official site (in Spanish)…ligamx.net.

By Bill Turianski on 11 January 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Titles list…
56 clubs have competed in the Mexican 1st division since its founding in 1943-44. Club América, of Mexico City, have won the title a record 12 times (last in the 2014-Apertura). Second-most titles belong to Chivas Guadalajara, with 11 titles (but none in over a decade, last in the 2006-Apertura). Third-most titles have been won by Toluca, with 10 titles (last in the 2010-Bicentario). The titles list is then followed by…Cruz Azul (with 8 titles), then León and Pumas UNAM (with 7 titles), and then Pachuca (with 6 titles). The current league champions are Tigres UANL, who, on Christmas Day 2016, won their 5th title in the 2016-Apertura tournament, beating Club America 2-2 (aet) aggregate/3-0 penalties, in a thrilling Finals. {See this article with video that shows the equalizing goal by Tigres in the 119th minute, El Volcan erupts as Tigres deny America title in wild final (by Jon Arnold at goal.com on 25th Dec. 2016).}

Attendance in the Mexican 1st division…
Liga MX draws very well. Look at it this way…these days, the Mexican top flight has better attendance than Serie A in Italy, and Ligue Un in France. Liga MX drew 26,600 per game, overall, in the 2016-Apertura, and Liga MX drew 26,262 last season (2015-Apertura/2016-Clausura season, see figures at side-bar here). That means Liga MX is currently the fourth-best drawing association football league in the world.

Using most-recent (2015-16) full-season overall gate figures, here is the breakdown of the top 7-drawing association football leagues…
#1: Bundesliga (Germany), at 43.3 K.
#2: Premier League (England/Wales), at 34.6 K.
#3: La Liga (Spain), at 28.5 K.
#4: Liga MX (Mexico), at 26.2 K.
#5: Serie A (Italy), at 22.1 K.
#6: MLS (USA/Canada), at 21.6 K.
#7: Ligue 1 (France/Monaco), at 20.8 K.
Sources:
European-Football-Statistics.co.uk/[attendance];
2016-17 Liga MX season/Attendance (en.wikipedia.org).
Major League Soccer attendance/Season averages (en.wikipedia.org).

And finally, there is actual reporting of attendance figures in Mexico, as the official site of Liga MX now publishes gate figures {see this}. There are quite a few good-drawing teams in Mexican fútbol. Both Monterrey teams – Tigres de UANL and CF Monterrey – draw over 40 K, and lead the pack. This despite the fact that Monterrey is just the 3rd-largest city in Mexico (Guadalajara is second-biggest city, and Mexico City is, of course, the biggest city in Mexico). Club América of Mexico City are 3rd-best-drawing, at 39 K. Then follows both Guadalajara teams, with Atlas at 34 K and then Chivas at 33 K. Sixth-best crowd-size, at 26.9 K, belongs to a relatively new club, Club Tijuana (aka Xolos), who are just a decade old (est. 2007). Yet alread,y Club Tijuana has a title under their belt, as well as a fervent and growing fanbase, one which swells their 27-K-capacity stadium to near-100-percent capacity. Club Tijuana gets decent support from southern California, too (like a couple-thousand per game crossing the border to root for the Xolos). And that brings us to another example of how good support for Mexican 1st division football is these days…2 teams are playing to standing-room only (Tigres UANL and Toluca), and three more teams are playing to over 93-percent-capacity (Tijuana, Monterrey, and Pachuca).
___
Thanks to all at the following -
-Blank map of Mexico, by Sémhur at commons.wikimedia.org: File:Mexico States blank map.svg.
-Blank map of Greater Mexico City, by Yavidaxiu at commons.wikimedia.org: File:Zona Metropolitana de México.svg.
Black globe-map-with-Mexico-shown (orthographic map), by Addicted04 at commons.wikimedia.org: File:MEX orthographic.svg.
-Attendance, from official Liga MX site {here}, via en.wikipedia.org at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016%E2%80%9317_Liga_MX_season#Attendance.

January 3, 2017

2016-17 FA Cup 3rd Round, map and attendance list with fixtures./+ Stourbridge FC, the lowest-placed club still alive in the tournament (for the second-straight round)./+Update: biggest Cup-upsets and Cup-draws in the round.

Filed under: >2016-17 FA Cup — admin @ 2:54 pm

2016-17_fa-cup_3rd-round_location-map_64-clubs_w-current-attendances-in-leagues_w-fixtures_post_b_.gif
2016-17 FA Cup 3rd Round, map and attendance list with fixtures




Links…
-The competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-3rd Round: fixtures/teams… (us.soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).
-FA Cup Factfile’s 2016-17 FA Cup 3rd Round Tie-by-Tie Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
-Faces behind the FA Cup third round: ‘At this level these are the days you live for’ (by Louise Taylor, Nick Miller and Michael Butler at theguardian.com/football on 6 Jan. 2017).
-FA Cup third round: 10 things to look out for this weekend (by Greg Bakowski and John Ashdown at theguardian/football on 6 Jan, 2017).

By Bill Turianski on 3 January 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Update…as per the league tables, here are the teams who had the biggest Cup-upset(s) & Cup-draws of the 3rd round (Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, Lincoln City, Blackpool, Sutton United)…
2016-17_fa-cup_3rd-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan2017_e_.gif

The map…
The map shows the 64 clubs who have qualified for the 2016-17 FA Cup Third Round Proper. Also on the map page is the 3rd Round fixture list, and there is a list of the 64 clubs’ current home league average attendances (well, somewhat current: attendance figures to 1 Jan. 2017).

The 3rd Round is when teams from the top two divisions of English football join the competition…
In the 3rd Round, the 20 clubs from the Premier League, and the 24 clubs from the Football League Championship enter the competition. Included with those 44 teams are the last 20 teams still alive from all the 5 Qualifying Rounds and the 2 earlier Rounds. This season that breaks down to 5 Non-League teams still alive, as well as 19 teams from the lower two divisions of the Football League (Leagues One and Two).

The lowest-placed of those 5 Non-League teams that have qualified is West Midlands-based Stourbridge FC (see short write-up and illustration below). The other 4 Non-League teams still alive in the competition are all from the 5th-division/National League: Barrow AFC (of coastal Cumbria, up in the north-west of England), Eastleigh FC (of Greater Southampton, down in the south of England in coastal Hampshire), Lincoln City FC (the highest-placed Non-League club, currently, and hailing from Lincolnshire), and Sutton United FC (a club traditionally considered as from Surrey, but now officially situated in the southern edge of Greater London).

The lowest-placed team still alive in the competition, for the second straight round, is West Midlands-based Stourbridge FC…
-From the Guardian/football…Stourbridge reach FA Cup third round for first time with Northampton win (by Press Association via theguardian.com from 13 Dec. 2016).
-From the West-Midlands-based Express and Star…FA Cup shock: Stourbridge 1 Northampton Town 0 – So, where were you, BBC? And where were you, BT Sport? (expressandstar.com/sport).
-See the highlights hereStourbridge 1-0 Northampton Town – Emirates FA Cup 2016/17 (R2) | Goals & Highlights (1:59 video uploaded by FATV at youtube.com).

7th-level-side Stourbridge beat 3rd-division-side Northampton Town 1-0, at their War Memorial Athletic Ground, on a chilly Tuesday night in the Black Country, in front of a solid crowd of 2,520, in a game which had been rescheduled from 9 days earlier, due to an icy pitch. University student/part-time bartender Jack Duggan (then-aged 23) scored the winner for Stourbridge in the 85th minute, after a goal-mouth-scramble saw the ball drop in front of Duggan, who fired home from close range. Duggan couldn’t celebrate too much with his teammates after the match, because he had university classes the next morning. It was a true giant-killing, seeing as how Stourbridge were placed 4 divisions and 89 league-places below Northampton. Plus Northampton manager Gary Pope had paid enough respect to Stourbridge to field a virtually unchanged lineup from the Cobblers’ previous weekend’s league fixture.

Stourbridge FC are in the Northern Premier League, and are from the town of Stourbridge, which is situated about 11 miles west of central Birmingham. {Note: I wrote a bit more in-depth about Stourbridge, including an illustration, in my 2nd-round-post, here.} Owing to the cut-glass industry traditionally associated with the town, Stourbridge FC are known as the Glassboys. Stourbridge (est. 1876) will be making their 3rd Round debut in the 2016-17 FA Cup. Led by local-born manager Gary Hackett, who has been manager since 2003, Stourbridge have been lower-Non-League-Cup-specialists these last 8 seasons. In that time-period, Stourbridge have qualified for the FA Cup 1st Round 5 times, the 2nd Round 4 times, and now the Glassboys are into the rarefied air of the 3rd Round, after beating Northampton. And Stourbridge have a decent chance of advancing to the 4th Round, because, for the 3rd Round, they have been drawn against a 4th-division side – Wycombe Wanderers – who, though playing well (and are in 5th place in League Two, currently), are essentially a 3rd/4th-division yo-yo club, and very well might be prioritizing another promotion-run, over a Cup-run. Stourbridge will travel the 83 miles south-east to Adams Park in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on Saturday the 7th of January, to face Wycombe Wanderers. Stourbridge will be taking 2,200 supporters there.

Below: 2016-17 FA Cup 2nd Round. Tuesday, 13 December 2016. War Memorial Athletic Ground, Stourbridge, West Midlands.
Stourbridge 1-0 Northampton Town…
stourbridge-fc_war-memorial-athletic-ground_stourbridge_1-0_northampton_13-dec-2016_2016-17-fa-cup_2-r_jack-duggan_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
3 screenshots from youtube video, Stourbridge 1-0 Northampton Town – Emirates FA Cup 2016/17 (R2) | Goals & Highlights (uploaded by FATV at youtube.com). Shot of stoked-up Stourbridge supporters at the match, photo by PA Wire via itv.com/news. Shot of Jack Duggan banging the goal home, photo by Reuters via bournemouthfootball.net/stourbridge-1-0-northampton-town. Manager Gary Hackett congratulating Jack Duggan, photo by Express and Star at expressandstar.com/sport/2016/12/13/stourbridge-1-northampton-town-report/stourbridge-v-northampton-town-fa-cup-second-round-replay-the-war-memorial-athletic-ground.

The 6 televised matches do not include any of the 5 Non-League teams (not even Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon)…
None of the 5 Non-League clubs’ matches will be televised, although two 4th division clubs’ matches will be broadcast – Plymouth Argyle away to Liverpool on the Sunday, and Cambridge Utd hosting Leeds Utd on the Monday. The other four matches being televised all involve 1st or 2nd division clubs: West Ham v Man City on the Friday, Man U v Reading early on the Saturday, Preston North End v Arsenal for the late Saturday match, and Spurs v Aston Villa for the late Sunday match. Stourbridge will be taking 2,200 fans {see this article from the Guardian/football, Faces behind the FA Cup third round: ‘At this level these are the days you live for’ (by Louise Taylor, Nick Miller and Michael Butler at theguardian/football on Friday 6 Jan. 2016)}.

So, the powers that be seem to have decided that the magic of the Cup, while still perhaps in existence, does not necessarily apply to the minnows, once the big clubs join the party. I would rant about it, but I am sort of ranted-out. Besides, I couldn’t say it any better than FA Cup Factfile did, in a tweet, where he methodically ticks off the reasons why all 5 of the matches involving Non-League clubs – especially Sutton United versus AFC Wimbledon – deserve to be televised (see embedded tweet below)

.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.

-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League club (7th Level), at non-league-matters.co.uk.

Thanks to @FACupFactfile for following @billsportsmaps on Twitter.

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