Buxton’s Diego De Girolamo: ‘Playing for Italy was an unbelievable feeling’

Former youth international and Manchester City target has high hopes of an FA Cup upset after falling back in love with football

“I was handed the phone and Roberto Mancini was on the other end – he said: ‘How would you feel about coming to Man City?’” recalls Diego De Girolamo. The striker had just made his Sheffield United debut aged 17, played for Italy Under-18s in a tournament in Russia and had had offers from clubs around Europe.

The big move never materialised for De Girolamo, who will lead the line for seventh-tier Buxton – the lowest-ranked team in the FA Cup second round – at home to Morecambe of League One on Saturday. The journey from calling a European Championship winner a teammate to the Northern Premier League has been relatively quick for the 26-year-old after an anterior cruciate injury and falling out of love with the game.

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Exeter forced to replay FA Cup victory over Bradford after using too many subs

  • Exeter won 3-0 but were found to have made six changes
  • Josh Key came on in extra-time to be sixth substitution

After Exeter were found to have used six substitutes in Tuesday night’s FA Cup first-round replay victory, their tie with Bradford City is to be replayed

Exeter were within competition rules in making five changes during 90 minutes but then brought on Josh Key for Sam Nombe at the start of extra time. They went on to win the game 3-0, with two goals from Matt Jay either side of an effort from Nigel Atangana.

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FA Cup roundup: Gateshead earn Charlton tie with win at Altrincham

  • Bristol Rovers come from behind to beat Oxford United 4-3
  • Stevenage see off nine-man MK Dons with late penalty

A late Macaulay Langstaff goal saw National League North side Gateshead progress to the second round of the FA Cup after a dramatic 3-2 win at Altrincham. Langstaff opened the scoring and Josh Hancock equalised before Dan Ward put the Heed in front again. Dan Mooney levelled the scores but Langstaff’s stoppage-time goal earned Gateshead a home tie against Charlton in the next round.

Mark Cullen’s first-half goal was the difference for League Two side Hartlepool as they beat League One promotion candidates Wycombe.

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