The dominance of the elite clubs was emphasised in 1897 when, for the second successive year, not one of their number was humbled by a team from outside the fold.
Unlike last year there was a much higher chance of an upset as twelve of the sixteen top flight clubs were paired with lower level clubs but yet again they all came through in mixed fashion. Derby put eight past hapless Barnsley but Bolton were forced into a second replay before finally getting past Grimsby.
That gave the highest ever top flight representation in the second round with just four clubs from outside their number in the last sixteen. Only two were made to run the gauntlet of an upset and both came through with ease to reach the last eight while Second Division promotion chasing Newton Heath won the battle of the lower division clubs to be the first quarter finalist from outside the top flight for three years.
There their luck, and any hope of an upset ended with a two goal defeat at Derby.