The Road To Wembley started this weekend with games in The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round taking place up and down the country on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Cold End was at Cotlandswick Park to see a Step Five v Step Four game between Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division London Colney and Isthmian North Division Witham Town.
The visitors had been close to relegation last season winning the play-off at Saffron Walden Town on their final game of the 21/22 campaign to preserve their Isthmian League status.
The hosts, as detailed in the match report for their game at Cockfosters, had started the season extremely well but have a very young squad so were rated as underdogs for this tie against a step four side with some experienced players included in their starting XI.
As the score line suggests Witham Town were dominant throughout with centre forward Adam Vyse bagging a hat-trick and Joseph Alatise scoring the other goals.
It was great to see former Enfield Town midfielder Gaz Dauti playing for Witham. He is ultra experienced having been on the management team of both Walthamstow and New Salamis as well as playing for a number of local non-league teams such as Aveley, Harlow Town and Wingate & Finchley.
Local non-league fans may well recognise the name of Newing in the London Colney line-up. On an extremely proud day for his family former Edgware Town and Enfield Town boss Steve Newing was amongst the crowd to witness his son Freddie's debut in the FA Cup.
Newing was one of four changes to the London Colney starting XI from the midweek game at Cockfosters. Callum Crawford, Ashton Henry, Kinuthia Muriu-Gakonga and Jamie Clarke-Samuel all dropped out with Clark-Samuel on the bench. Saeed Yusuf, Alfie Johnson, Ryan White and Newing all came in.
Witham Town's centre-back partnership of Robinson Wokoma and Joseph Alatise look an impressive pairing being very athletic, dominant and strong. With no offence meant to London Colney they'll have much tougher tests in the Isthmian League North this season but I think they'll do very well for the Essex club.
Wokoma has played for Grays Athletic, South Shields and Billericay Town. Alatise counts Tilbury and Romford as former clubs - He played eighteen games for Newbury Forest in the Thurlow Nunn First Division South last season.
For Witham Town fans - If you believe in omens the last time I saw a team from Essex playing away against a Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side in the FA Cup was at Arlesey Town last season who won 0-5 with a player scoring a hat-trick - they went on to the First Round Proper and an away tie at Lincoln City! I'm sure Witham Town boss Chris Taylor won't be looking that far ahead and will only be concentrating on their league opening game against Wroxham and AFC Sudbury before the next FA Cup game away at Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Brantham Athletic.
The crowd at the game was announced as 30 and included a number of loyal travelling fans from Witham Town with James Beardwell giving his side some amazing support throughout the game.
For Stuart Crawford and his young London Colney squad it won't get any easier in their next game as they host Leighton Town on Saturday 13th August. Lee Bircham's side are rated as the title favourites by many fans and have started the 22/23 campaign in top form winning 3-0 against Division One champion's Stotfold in their opening league game before a 9-2 victory over fellow SSMFL Premier Division side Baldock Town in the FA Cup at the weekend.
|LIKE THE PITCH AT COCKFOSTERS ON TUESDAY EVENING THE COTLANDSWICK SURFACE NEEDS SOME RAIN|
|THE ROAD TO WEMBLEY STARTS... THE FA CUP IS THE GREATEST CUP COMPETITION IN THE WORLD|
|FORMER ENFIELD TOWN PLAYER GAZ DAUTI PLAYED FOR WITHAM TOWN|
SHORT MATCH HIGHLIGHTS