Midweek cup special!

By Ian Townsend

We’ve a big night of cup football in prospect- and here’s our preview of the action

We’re back in FA Cup action tonight, with the First Qualifying Round of the competition being played to a conclusion- ninety minutes and straight to penalties, in case you’d forgotten. We’ll be bringing you an on the whistle report from Chalfont St Peter, as the Saints take on Farnborough, but here’s a preview of the rest of the action.

Ashford United host Bracknell Town as they try to bounce back from late defeat against Phoenix Sports at the weekend, whilst the Robins have taken the form they were exhibiting at the end of last season into the new campaign, so will be confident.

Barking came back from two goals down against Marlow on Saturday to take a point, and will hope to pick up a victory as they welcome Dunstable Town of the Spartan South Midlands League. This will be the visitors third cup tie so far, and they won the previous two on penalties, so our Blues might want to avoid a draw!

Bedfont Sports, who fell to a narrow defeat against Hanwell Town at the weekend, will face another Sussex side after defeating Hassocks in the last round. This Sussex side are two levels higher than their last cup opponents, however, as it is Lewes who will be watching the planes land tonight. The Rooks were on the wrong end of a heavy defeat at Enfield Town on Saturday.

Bowers & Pitsea and Hornchurch already know each other well, and both won their opening league fixtures by two goals to one, whilst South Central Northwood travel to Burnham, of the Hellenic League Premier Division. Their hosts have played only one league match this season, and drew that, but defeated Leverstock Green by four goals to one in the last round. Their ground is called The Gore, and Burnham, for those who don’t have a grasp of the geography, is in between Maidenhead and Slough.

Bury Town will host Brightlingsea Regent at Ram Meadow, Regent looking to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat, when they hit the woodwork so often they resembled an angry carpenter.

Cambridge City bring Stowmarket Town to Histon. Town could easily be an Isthmian club now, as they were twenty five points clear at the top of their League when coronavirus brought last season to an end, so will have something to prove. They won two-nil against Thetford at the weekend, and defeated Step Four Yaxley in the previous round.

Chalfont St Peter and Farnborough will be our featured match. Both fell to defeat at the weekend, Boro losing three-one at home to Swindon Supermarine.

Chertsey Town host Leatherhead. The Curfews defeated Abbey Rangers in the last round and opened their league campaign with victory on Saturday, whilst the Tanners drew with Horsham.

Chichester City, who you’ll recall had a wonderful cup run last season and defeated Basingstoke Town on penalties in the last round, host Cribbs, who aren’t an MTV show but a side from the Western League Premier Division, who play at Henbury on the outskirts of Bristol. They’ve already defeated Berkhampsted and Newent Town, and should put up a stern test for City.

Chipstead host Deal Town, who you might recall demolished Sittingbourne four-one in the last round and also put four past Knaphill in the round before; whilst Coggeshall Town will look to build on their FA Cup win against Tilbury in the last round by defeating Stansted, who knocked out Basildon United.

Sevenoaks Town stay in Kent and travel to Corinthian, who fell to unlucky defeat in the FA Vase Semi-Final earlier this month but have been superb elsewhere, winning every other league and cup match so far, whilst Cray Wanderers host Fisher, who conquered Tooting and Mitcham United in the last round but have been less consistent in the league, a result of each type in their three matches so far.

Dereham Town and Canvey Island meet in Norfolk, and already know rather a lot about each other, whilst a resurgent East Grinstead Town host Premier Division favourites Worthing in a match which last season would have been straightforward for the visitors but this season may be a different kettle of mackerel altogether.

Marlow, who probably feel that they dropped two points at Barking last Saturday, travel to Frimley Green, who defeated Westfield in the last round but who were walloped six-nil in the League on Saturday, whilst Haringey Borough invite Tunbridge Wells to White Hart Lane. The Wells fans are a noisy bunch, so we might just get a singing contest!

Harlow Town and Waltham Abbey will need no introduction and both seem to be in good form, whilst Maldon and Tiptree will look to continue another famous FA Cup run as they travel to Haverhill Rovers. Rovers have so far defeated Norwich United and Wisbech Town to get this far, and came from behind to defeat Woodbridge Town four-three in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier at the weekend.

Hastings United welcome Chesham United to Pilot Field. The visitors have only played one match in their Pitching In Southern South Premier campaign, a goalless draw against Gosport Borough, but were in second place when last season came to an end, certainties for at a playoff spot.

Haywards Heath Town had a poor start to their season as they lost to East Grinstead Town at the weekend, but have a quick chance to bounce back- although Hanwell Town started 2020-21 as they finished 2019-20, in good form, and will travel with confidence to Sussex.

Horsham and Kingstonian will need no introduction, whilst Corinthian-Casuals will head along the worst section of the A27 to play Little Common of the SCFL. Common have drawn their three league matches so far, but been victorious in the cup- obviously, as they wouldn’t be here otherwise!

Cheshunt started the season well, and will hope to be too strong for Eastern Counties Premier Long Melford as they make the trip just north of Sudbury, particularly as their hosts have been in mixed form, whilst Aveley head to take on former Isthmian side Lowestoft Town, who won their opening Pitching In Southern Premier Central fixture at Barwell at the weekend.

Margate host our 2018-19 South Central Division champions Hayes & Yeading United, who drew with Taunton Town at the weekend, whilst Merstham will look to bounce back from their narrow league defeat at the weekend as they host AFC Dunstable, who scored nine goals and conceded one in the two previous rounds but fell to a two-nil defeat in the League against Biggleswade on Saturday.
Enfield Town travel up the A1 to Peterborough Sports, who started their Southern Central season with a draw but who were top of their league when the last campaign came to an end, whilst Potters Bar Town and East Thurrock United are two more who know each other only too well. Both will want a victory after experiencing league defeat on Saturday.

South Park host Bognor Regis Town at Whitehall Lane, whilst Staines Town, who showed their mettle by defeating title favourites Ware on Saturday, host another of our former favourites as Walton Casuals make the short journey to the Wheatsheaf Ground. Casuals started their season with a draw against Hartley Wintney at the weekend.

AFC Sudbury got a covid-related walkover in the Extra-Preliminary Round, came from behind to defeat Harborough Town four-two in the last round- with four goals from Shane Temple- and won in the league at the weekend too to maintain a perfect start. They head up the A1 to Stamford, who have scored nine goals in their two competitive matches and conceded none, so will be tough opponents.

Bishop’s Stortford played their get out of jail free card on Saturday, coming back from what looked certain defeat to take a point against Bognor Regis Town. They travel to Welwyn Garden City, who lost their opening Pitching In Southern League Central match on Saturday but defeated Saffron Walden Town in the last round.

Whyteleafe have scored eight goals- four on each occasion- and conceded only one in their two matches so far, and they entertain Binfield- neighbours of Bracknell Town- who are in good form too, with two league wins from two in the Hellenic Premier Division.

Where next?

Saints not quite divine, as Boro come from behind to triumph Chalfont's cup endeavours come up just short, but what a match we had at Mill Meadow

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