Monday, 18 September 2017

EMIRATES FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW

The Third Qualifying Round draw for the Emirates FA Cup has been made this lunchtime. There are just two rounds away from a potential money spinning game against a football league side and just ninety minutes away from a game against a Vanarama National League side such as Leyton Orient or Tranmere Rovers. 

It's thrown up some really interesting games including a clash of the current holder's of the FA Vase and FA Trophy as York City visit South Shields which will be a game that will attract a huge crowd and much interest from many fans. Shildon of the Northern League travel to Evo Stik Southern Premier Division side Banbury United is another decent game to look out for. 

Bostik North side Haringey Borough's reward for beating Vanarama South side Welling United is a home game against the winners of the Bodmin Town v Bideford game which was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch. 


EMIRATES FA CUP THIRD QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW 
Games to be played on the weekend of Saturday 30th September 
1 1874 Northwich v Ossett Town 
2 AFC Mansfield or Rushall Olympic v Boston United or Haughmond 
3 Stafford Rangers v AFC Telford United 
4 Newcastle Benfield v Kidderminster Harriers 
5 Nantwich Town v Nuneaton Town 
6 Boston Town v Warrington Town or Hyde United 
7 Banbury United v Shildon 
8 Scarborough Athletic v Stratford Town 
9 Basford United v Kettering Town 
10 Shaw Lane Association v Lancaster City 
11 Buxton v Alvechurch 
12 Stockport County v Handsworth Parramore or FC United Of Manchester 
13 Ashton Athletic v Chorley 
14 Leamington v Gainsborough Trinity 
15 Stourbridge v Alfreton Town or AFC Rushden & Diamonds 
16 South Shields v York City 
17 Harrogate Town v Bradford (Park Avenue) 
18 Swindon Supermarine v Paulton Rovers 
19 Hanwell Town or Enfield Town v Glebe or Phoenix Sports 
20 FC Romania or Hayes & Yeading United v Havant & Waterlooville 
21 Hereford v AFC Hornchurch 
22 Slough Town v Poole Town 
23 Brackley Town v Braintree Town or Royston Town 
24 Concord Rangers v Dorking Wanderers 
25 East Thurrock United v Harlow Town 
26 Chelmsford City v Weymouth 
27 Cinderford Town v Hampton & Richmond Borough or Potters Bar Town 
28 Oxford City v Leiston 
29 Margate v Herne Bay 
30 St Albans City or Cambridge City v Bridport or Cadbury Heath 
31 Metropolitan Police or Heybridge Swifts v Frome Town 
32 Truro City v AFC Sudbury 
33 Eastbourne Borough v Bognor Regis Town 
34 Bath City v Hemel Hempstead Town or Wingate & Finchley 
35 Needham Market v Dartford 
36 Haringey Borough v Bodmin Town or Bideford 
37 Folkestone Invicta v Aylesbury United 
38 Hungerford Town v Thamesmead Town or Billericay Town 
39 Colney Heath or Burgess Hill Town v Wealdstone 
40 Ashford Town (Middx) v Leatherhead


SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS PREMIER DIVISION - THE SEASON SO FAR


PREMIER DIVISION TABLE 
TOP FIVE ONLY 
POS TEAM P GD PTS
1 BIGGLESWADE FC 8 +10 19
2 BERKHAMSTED 6 +10 14
3 WELWYN GARDEN CITY 5 +9 13
4 OXHEY JETS 6 +6 13
5 LEIGHTON TOWN  7 +3 12

It's still early days in forty game season but Division One champion's Biggleswade FC have continued their form this campaign and sit top of the table by five points with Berkhamsted, Welwyn GC, Oxhey Jets and Leighton Town closely following them with games in hand. 

Biggleswade's first defeat came in their last game played on Tuesday 12th September at Hoddesdon Town who won 2-1. 

Berkhamsted and Welwyn GC are the only sides left with unbeaten records - The Citizen's only dropped points came in their 0-0 away draw with London Tigers. 

In league games only it's James Ewington (of Harpenden Town) and Berkhamsted's Stacey Field top of the scoring charts on seven goals each. 

Colney Heath are currently bottom of the table but they have only played three games due to their headline grabbing Emirates FA Cup run. They were 0-3 down to Bostik Premier Burgess Hill Town on Saturday but amazingly came back to make the final score 3-3 and earn a replay in Sussex tomorrow night. 

Many of the division's clubs are in FA Vase action at the weekend but they are a few games scheduled to be played. 

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES 
TUESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 
HARPENDEN TOWN v LONDON COLNEY 

SATURDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 
BERKHAMSTED v HOLMER GREEN 
COCKFOSTERS v STOTFOLD 
LONDON COLNEY v WEMBLEY 
LONDON TIGERS v HODDESDON TOWN 
ST MARGARETSBURY v TRING ATHLETIC

SATURDAY 30th SEPTEMBER 
COLNEY HEATH v HADLEY 
HODDESDON TOWN v COCKFOSTERS 
LEIGHTON TOWN v EDGWARE TOWN 
LEVERSTOCK GREEN v STOTFOLD 
LONDON COLNEY v BIGGLESWADE UNITED 
OXHEY JETS v HARPENDEN TOWN 
ST MARGARETSBURY v CRAWLEY GREEN 
TRING ATLHETIC v BIGGLESWADE FC 
WELWYN GARDEN CITY v LONDON TIGERS 
WEMBLEY v HOLMER GREEN 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

BOSTIK LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - THE SEASON SO FAR

It's no surprise to see big spending Billericay Town top the Bostik Premier after teams have played six, seven and eight games - since their opening day defeat against Kingstonian they have won all six of their league games played scoring twenty-one goals and letting in just three. Hendon, who finished in eighteenth place last season, are in second place and have had a fantastic start to their campaign winning five of their seven games. They are followed on goal difference by Leiston (the only side left unbeaten) and Wingate & Finchley who continue to defy the odds by competing with the bigger clubs in the division. Harrow Borough who were reprieved from relegation last year are another side making a decent start currently placed in fifth position winning four of their seven games. Just eight points separate 1st and 12th position and then nine points between 12th and bottom of the table so for many teams it's still all to play for.

Worthing are bottom but their game on Sunday against Staines Town could be a turning point as they were 0-2 down with just twenty minutes left against Staines Town - goals in the 74th and 82nd minute secured their first point of the season. John Lock is interim manager at this time following the resignation of Gary Elphick after their 0-5 loss to Margate on Saturday 9th September. They continue to be play their home game at Bognor Regis Town's ground due to problems with the 3G pitch at The Bibby Financial Services Stadium which are hopefully going to be rectified very soon. 

Just goalkeeper Lucas Covolan along with Rueben Denyer-Schneider and Matt Boiling remained in Worthing's starting line up against Staines Town compared to their opening day game against Metropolitan Police. 

If you look at Staines Town results it's an indication at how close the race for the play-offs could be - they won their first two home games 5-0 v Kingstonian and then 6-0 v Tooting and Mitcham United followed by a 0-5 defeat to Wingate and Finchley. I think each team on their day can beat anyone. 

Tooting are the only other side left without a victory alongside Worthing. The 2017 Division One (South) champions have shown how difficult the jump up from Step 4 to Step 3 is big one - D1 (S) play-off winner's Dorking Wanderers have two wins from seven games with D1 (N) play-off winner's Thurrock also on two wins from seven. Brightlingsea Regent, D1 (N) champions, have made the best start for the promoted sides winning three, drawing two and losing three of their eight games played. They were 3-1 down to Merstham in their last game but two goals in the 80th and 88th minute from Tom Richardson made it all square at 3-3.

It doesn't get any easier for Tooting and Mitcham United as in their next game they travel to Billericay Town. 

Jake Robinson of Billericay Town currently leads the goal scoring charts on seven scored - he is closely followed by Matt Briggs of Dorking Wanderers, his team-mate Adam Cunnington, Ryan Hall of Merstham and Niko Muir of Hendon on six goals each. Muir's six goals have come in two hat-tricks against Enfield Town and Harrow Borough. 

Leatherhead have lost the services of striker Chike Kandi who has moved to Vanarama National League title challenger's Dagenham and Redbridge for an undisclosed fee. Kandi, 21, only joined The Tanners in pre-season after spending part of last season with Woking where he made sixteen appearances scoring three goals. He scored six goals for Leatherhead including a hat-trick against Cray Valley PM in the FA Cup. The former Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea and Brighton & HA academy player clearly has potential and is just the player who I think will progress and perform well under John Still at The Daggers. Watch this space - I think he'll start scoring for them straight away when he makes his debut for his new club. 

SATURDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER FIXTURES
Billericay Town v Tooting & Mitcham United 
Burgess Hill Town v Tonbridge Angels 
Dorking Wanderers v Brightlingsea Regent 
Dulwich Hamlet v Leatherhead
Folkestone Invicta v Hendon 
Kingstonian v Harlow Town 
Leiston v Metropolitan Police 
Margate v Harrow Borough 
Needham Market v Enfield Town 
Staines Town v Lowestoft Town 
Thurrock v Merstham 
Wingate & Finchley v Worthing

SOME FACTS AND STATISTICS

UNDEFEATED - LEISTON.
NO WINS - WORTHING and TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED. 
NO HOME DEFEATS - HENDON, BURGESS HILL TOWN, LEISTON, HARROW BOROUGH, ENFIELD TOWN and MARGATE. 
* Hendon have played three home games scoring ten goals and letting in none. 
NO AWAY DEFEATS - BILLERICAY TOWN, LEISTON, DULWICH HAMLET, NEEDHAM MARKET and FOLKESTONE INVICTA. 
NO HOME WINS - TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED and WORTHING. 
NO AWAY WINS - STAINES TOWN, TONBRIDGE ANGELS, HARLOW TOWN, BURGESS HILL TOWN, TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED, DORKING WANDERERS, THURROCK and WORTHING.  
BEST POINTS PER GAMES - 2.57 BILLERICAY TOWN  
* Last season's Champion's Havant & Waterlooville had a ppg of 2.04. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

NICE WEATHER FOR DUCKS - AYLESBURY UNITED EDGE THROUGH TO THE NEXT ROUND

BALDOCK TOWN'S PRE-MATCH HUDDLE 

It was the biggest game in the reformed Baldock Town's history this afternoon as they welcome Aylesbury United to The New Lambs Meadow in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. This tie pitched Step six v Step four of the non-league pyramid and was a real banana skin for The Ducks who came into the game in good form winning their last three league and cup games all by teh same scoreline of 1-0 including victory in the 'El Quackio' against their fierce local rival's Aylesbury FC. 

Baldock Town had beaten Ardley United, North Greenford United and Thame United to get to this stage - due to their cup success they have only played two Spartan South Midlands League Division One games so far. 





Aylesbury United have a rich history in the competition having famously reached the round's proper on numerous occasions but since they lost their Buckingham Road ground in 2006 they haven't been able to repeat that feat - they did reach the Forth Qualifying Round in 2008 where they were beaten by Sutton United. Unfortnuately they still play outside their home town currently ground sharing with Chesham United with their former stadium standing deralict which is a real travesty for not just football in the town but for the whole community. Hopefully as their loyal supporter's flag states 'Bring The Duck's Home' they may return to their town soon. 



UP FOR THE CUP - BALDOCK'S RED ARMY

The game was played in front of a good crowd of 335* people including a noisy away following who gave their team an FA Cup ticka-tape welcome on the terraces just before kick off. One member of Baldock's red army fan's group even went with a traditional silver foil FA Cup which was brilliant to see. 

(* they got 79 for their FA Vase game against Buckingham Town last Sunday)

Both teams were evenly matched and you couldn't tell which team was the higher level one. The first half an hour or so was a real battle in midfield with no real scoring opportunites with the game played in the pooring rain. The first chance came on 37 minutes when Baldocks' Harry Holland's volley was superbly saved by Jack Sillitoe (he made his debut for the club in 2007 having progressed from the youth team and has now made over 250 appearances for his home town club) in the away goal. Tyriq Hunte was a real thorn in Baldock's side on the wing - He is really powerfully built and has the speed to match. He did everything but score on 42 minutes when through on goal he put his shot just over the bar. The away fans didn't have to wait too long to celebrate though as a free kick into the box was headed back allowing Ryan Kinnane to score just before the half time break. The away support then sang "Are you watching Stevie G?" in a cheeky nod towards the Liverpool and England legend who left a good luck message to Luke Gregson's team on social media during the week leading up to the game. 



Josh Coley was the best player for Baldock in the opening half and looked very lively going forward showing some good skill, pace and trickery all through the game. 

Straight after the break it was so very nearly 1-1 when Owen Robertson headed against the bar from close range. I think it this had of gone in the home side may well of gone on to win the game. 


AYLESBURY UNITED'S TYRIQ HUNTE - THE 19 YEAR OLD HAS ONLY RECENTLY SIGNED FOR THE CLUB AFTER SPENDING PRE-SEASON WITH AYLESBURY FC. HE HAS ALSO PLAYED FOR OXFORD CITY AND WANTAGE TOWN



It was 0-2 on 62 minutes when Hunte was put through on goal again and slipped the ball into the net - He also scored the winner for The Ducks in the last round at Tilbury. Baldock pushed their opponents all the way to the final whistle and each player can be proud of their performance. Substitute Zach Decker made it 1-2 with a great volley at the far post following a corner in injury time to make for a nervy ending but it was the away side who hung on to secure a place in the Third Qualifying Round for the first time since 2008/09 and also pocket the £4,500 prize money. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
including all three goals scored are below 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

FA SUNDAY CUP 2017/18 FIRST ROUND DRAW

FIRST ROUND 
to be played on Sunday 15th October 
Burradon & New Fordley v Wrekenton Blue Star 
Newton Aycliffe Huntsman v Southwick (Sunderland) 
Dawdon Welfare Park v Amble Tavern 
Garston v FC Dovecot 
The Georgies v Mottram 
Lobster v Kirkdale 
FC Walkers Hounds v Ferrybridge Progressive 
West Kirby (Sunday) v Rock Ferry Social 
Chapeltown Fforde Grene v Oyster Martyrs 
Thornton United v Hope Inn Whites 
Mayfair v AFC Blackburn Leisure 
St John Fisher OB v Oakenshaw AFC 
Kent v Melling Victoria 
Campfield v Dock AFC 
Leeds City Rovers v Pineapple  
Kensington Fields v HT Sports 
Home Bargains v Linthwaite 
Attenborough Cavaliers v Austin Ex Apprentices 
Sporting Dynamo v Penn Tandoori Sundats 
BGIS Fairfield v Carlton Top Spot 
RHP Sports & Social v Oadby Athletic
FC Brimington v OJM 
Quorn Royals v Highgate Dynamos 
Rempstone v Hampton Sunday 
Black Horse (Redditch) v AFC Jacks 
Halfway v Nuthall  
Olympia v Gym United 
Asianos v Hertford Stags 
Old Southall v AC Sportsman 
North Wembley v St Josephs (Luton) 
Broadfields United (Sunday) v Real Milan 
Harpole v FC Bengals 
Reed Rangers v Club Lewsey 
AFC Bevendean v White Hart 
AFC Links v Shire United 
Market Hotel v Eden Park Rangers 
Barnes AFC v Real Rosehill 
London St Georges v Broadwater 
AFC Kumazi Strikers v Portland 
Dolphin v Lebeqs Tavern Courage 

The First Round of the FA Sunday Cup takes place on Saturday 15th October with many locally based sides in action such as Hertford Stags, Club Lewsey, St Josephs (Luton) and Broadfields United (Sunday). A total of twenty-two clubs are exempt until the second round with last season's finalist's Hardwick Social and New Salamis joining at the Third Round stage. 


HERTS SENIOR COUNTY LEAGUE THE SEASON SO FAR AND WEEKEND FIXTURES


PREMIER DIVISION
TEAM P GD PTS
BOVINGDON  5 +23 15
BELSTONE  5 +13 15
LETCHWORTH GC 6 +14 14
WARE SPORTS  6 +6 13
KNEBWORTH  6 +9 10
AFC OAKLANDS 6 +7 9


Bovingdon and Belstone lead the way in the early Premier Division table with both teams having 100% winning records in five games played. Bovingdon are at home to FC Lemsford on Saturday with Belstone at home to fifth placed Knebworth in the game of the day. 

Andrew Ofosu and William Summerfield, both of Bovingdon, lead the way in the scoring charts on seven and six goals respectively in their five games played. Charlie Thake of Letchworth Garden City Eagles also has six goals in the six games they have played.

Saturday 16th September
Belstone v Knebworth 
Bovingdon v FC Lemsford 
Broadfields v Ware Sports 
Buntingford Town v AFC Oaklands 
Chipperfield Corinthians v Standon & Puckeridge 
Cuffley v Bushey Sports Club 
Letchworth Garden City Eagles v Sandridge Rovers 
Wormley Rovers v Evergreen

DIVISION ONE
TEAMPGDPTS
BOVINGDON RESERVES6+313
SARRATT 6+1612
SUN SPORTS RESERVES6+1012
CHESHUNT 'A' 6+412
HADLEY RESERVES 6+311
WESTON 5+910

It's a good start to the season for both Bovingdon teams as their reserves lead the way in Division One - they are closely followed by Sarratt and Sun Sports Reserves. James Charlton of Sarratt leads the way in the scoring charts on a decent total of nine in the five games he has played. 

Saturday 16th September
Bengeo Trinity v Oxhey Jets Reserves 
Cheshunt 'A' v Hinton 
Hatfield Social v Weston 
Kinja v Sun Sports Reserves 
Lemsford v Bovingdon Reserves 
Rayners Lane Reserves v Hampstead Heath 
Stevenage Borough Community v Sarratt 

THE MAGIC OF THE FA CUP RETURNS THIS WEEKEND

The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round takes place this weekend with many clubs and supporters dreaming of some glory and with a win a place just two rounds away from the First Round proper. 

There are just three sides from step six left in the competition with two from the Carlsberg South West Peninsula Premier - Tavistock welcome Frome Town of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division and Bodmin Town entertain Bideford of the Evo-Stike Southern League South West Division. 

Frome Town's best run in the competition came way back in 1954/55 when they beat Chippenham, Salisbury, Trowbridge Town, Melksham Town and Weymouth to get to the first round proper where they lost 0-3 to Leyton Orient. That same season was the last time Tavistock got past the Second Qualifying Round but they were well beaten by Barnstaple Town in the 3QR. 

Baldock Town are the third step six side and it's only the third year the re-formed club have been involved in the FA Cup - They entertain Aylesbury United of the Evo Stik Southern League South East Division who were renowned for their Cup exploits in the 1980s and 1990s. There last appearance in the First Round Proper was back in 2001 when they lost to Port Vale. 

The links between some of the teams and the 1954/55 season's competition continue as York City who so nearly got to Wembley - they lost to Newcastle United in a semi-final replay. The Minstermen travel to fellow Vanarama North side Salford City who famously got to the Second Round Proper two seasons ago. 

There are five games taking place on Sunday with two local to the London area - Essex Senior League side FC Romania welcome Hayes and Yeading United at Cheshunt's Theobalds Lane and Bostik South side Thamesmead Town take on Bostik Premier leader's Billericay Town at Dartford's Princes Park. 
For a more in-depth preview of every tie please visit FA Cup Factfile and follow @FACupFactfile