2017-18 FA Cup Preliminary Round: Preview

Written by Peter D & Scott W

This weekend sees ten ESL sides compete in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round. The winners of each tie are awarded £1,925 and will make the First Qualifying Round of this year’s competition. Here are Peter and Scott’s thoughts on the upcoming ties:-

Saturday 19th August (3pm KO’s)

Clapton v Norwich Utd      Venue: Old Spotted Dog Stadium

Peter: The Tons welcome Bostik North side Norwich United to The Old Spotted Dog for what could be a potential ‘cupset’ here as the Tons are more than useful whilst the visitors sit bottom of their league after two defeats from two, however they will surely be a tough test for the home side still although I feel if you factor the travel and unfamiliar surroundings for the visitors, this may count against them and I can see the hosts pulling off a shock here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Jon Fowell’s Tons welcome Isthmian North Norwich Utd to the Old Spotted Dog. Clapton have been inconsistent form-wise in league & cup so far though Norwich will be looking for a morale-boosting win though Steve Eastaugh’s men will need to be ‘on-the-ball’ as their hosts may well fancy this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Grays Athletic  v  Redbridge    Venue: Parkside

Peter: Parkside hosts Bostik North Grays against Redbridge and the visitors come into this cup-tie off form after two straight defeats without scoring in the league.  Grays have won one and lost one so far in the Bostik North however they should have enough I feel to see off the Motormen here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Jamie Stuart’s side welcome ESL side Redbridge to Parkside. Grays will see this as a winnable tie though will be conscious of the Motormen’s forward line which could make this one a tricky match. For Redbridge, it’ll be interesting how they perform after a largely inconsistent start to the ESL, and the new artificial pitch at Parkside might also be a factor in this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Great Yarmouth Town  v  Basildon Utd     Venue: Sandown Road

Peter: The Bees travel to the Norfolk coast to take on Great Yarmouth Town full of confidence after a more than decent start to their campaign.  Basildon saw off Walsham-le-Willows in the last round and come up against a Yarmouth side who lost 4-1 at Godmanchester Rovers in midweek.  However, the hosts did thrash Diss Town 5-0 at home in the last round so can score goals so this will prove a tough test for Marc Harrison’s side.  I feel the fact that Basildon are staying in the area Friday evening will help their preparation even more and this will help see them to a marvellous victory I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Basildon make the long trip to Norfolk to take on ECL Premier Great Yarmouth Town at Sandown Road. The hosts are currently mid-table in their division, having played two matches. Basildon have started their ESL campaign well, and it’ll be interesting to see what effect their preparation for the match will have.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 1

 

Ilford v Haverhill Borough       Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: Ilford hosts Thurlow Nunn Haverhill Borough hoping they can bounce back from their midweek loss at Burnham Ramblers although they can look towards the visitors’ league form this season which is played three, lost three, however Borough’s only win this season came in the FA Cup at Enfield 1893 so Ilford should be mindful of this.  But I can see the Foxes getting the result here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0

Scott: Ilford welcome ECL Premier side Haverhill Borough to Cricklefield. Ilford’s start to the ESL has been inconsistent though they will want to respond well following their loss in midweek. In contrast, Borough have lost all three of their matches so far in the ECL Premier though they did knock out Enfield 1893 in the last round of the FA Cup.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

Long Melford  v  FC Romania        Venue: Stoneylands

Peter: Hosts Melford have only picked up one point from three league games however their only win was against Hackney Wick although they were lucky to win that one.  FC Romania on the other hand have won all their league games so far although needed a replay to defeat Waltham Forest in the last round. Despite the hosts having home advantage I still believe the visitors will have too much for the Suffolk side.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: FC Romania travel to the Suffolk/Essex border to take on Long Melford at Stoneylands after knocking out Waltham Forest in their EPR replay in midweek. Long Melford haven’t won yet in the ECL Premier though they did knock out ESL newcomers Hackney Wick in the last round. Given the firepower they have in their side, FCR could very well prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Potters Bar Town  v  West Essex     Venue: Pakex Stadium

Peter:  West Essex’s terrific away record so far this season will be put under immense pressure as they travel to take on Bostik North side Potters Bar Town.  The hosts have started the season well, winning both their games so far and averaging two goals a game in the process, and having home advantage as well I feel they will probably have just much for the high-flying ESL outfit.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: An intriguing tie sees Isthmian North newcomers Potters Bar take on ESL side West Essex at the Pakex Stadium. Both sides have started their respective seasons well. West Essex will be looking to get to the First Qualifying Round in their first-ever FA Cup campaign which would be a fabulous achievement, should they prevail here. Potters Bar will be looking to continue the ‘winning habit’ and being at home may give them an edge.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Southend Manor v Gorleston         Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: Manor welcome another Norfolk side to Southchurch Park after they defeated Wroxham there in the last round, however in Gorleston the challenge proves even tougher as the Thurlow Nunn side have won four of their five competitive outings so far, scoring fifteen times in the process, with their only defeat coming against big-spending Stowmarket Town last time out.  Manor have had a steady start to the campaign but are finding goals hard to come by and this was a problem in defeat to ESL leaders Takeley in midweek when they rued missed opportunities in defeat. This will be a tight contest however I see the Norfolk side progressing in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Manor welcome ECL Premier side Gorleston in another interesting tie at Southchurch Park. Manor edged out the visitors’ divisional rivals Wroxham in the last round, though with Gorleston starting their league season well, this may be a sterner test for Stuart Marshall’s side.

Scott’s Prediction:  0 – 1

 

Tower Hamlets v Takeley               Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Hamlets are a far tougher nut to crack this season and they will give Takeley a game – no doubt about that, however the hosts struggled to beat a poor FC Broxbourne Borough side in the last round and are yet to record a league win.  Takeley on the other hand, have won all five competitive games this season although their midweek win against Manor was a tad fortunate, but they will surely have too much for Hamlets in the end and will progress I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Hamlets welcome ESL early high-flyers Takeley to Mile End. Although Hamlets haven’t won in the ESL yet this term, they do look a stronger outfit compared to last season, though Takeley are unbeaten in all competitions thus far and will take some stopping here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Sunday 20th August

St Margaretsbury   v  Hullbridge Sports     Venue: Stanstead Abbotts

Peter: The Sunday game sees Hullbridge travel to Hertfordshire to take on Spartan South Midlands side St Margaretsbury.  The hosts have lost both their league games so far and sit bottom on goals conceded whilst Sports have picked up two wins in all competitions this season including a 5-1 hammering of Ipswich Wanderers in the last round.  St Margaretsbury’s only win came against Burnham Ramblers in the last round when they fought back from 2-1 down to win in stoppage time and they hope to repeat that feat against another ESL side.  However I feel Sports will have just enough to see off the hosts.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: On Sunday, Hullbridge travel to Stanstead Abbotts following their impressive win over Ipswich Wanderers in the last round. St Margetsbury edged out Hullbridge’s ESL compatriots Burnham in the last round and will be in for another tough one here. Hullbridge have found some form of late, particularly in front of goal and if that continues here they may have the edge.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

As always, my thanks to Peter for his contribution to these Preview pieces.

You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and on his website featuring regular results round-ups & match reports at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl/ 

You can follow Scott W on Twitter: @ScottMHC14

Author: survivor16b

I'm a Mental Health survivor (been surviving for years) & campaigner. I also like Music & Sport. This blog is centred on all things Non-League Football, mainly Match Reports of matches I've seen (mainly Essex Senior League (ESL) but also other Leagues) though it also houses the regular round-up's of the ESL action plus the Essex Olympian League divisions regularly. It also has the odd post about the scary world that we're all in, talking from a Mental Health perspective. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: