With no competitive football until next season and clubs already out of the knockout cup, the Essex & Suffolk Border League have created another couple of cups for clubs to play for in the off-season; the COVID-Cup and the COVID-Plate. Here’s a preview of the first weekend of plate fixtures;
Kelvedon Social ‘A’ vs Oyster – Saturday 24th April, 2.30pm
Division Four Kelvedon Social ‘A’ will welcome Division Two Oyster to West Mersea as the clubs go head-to-head at the Glebe. The hosts featured in the Reserves Knockout Cup were but were eliminated early on as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Barnston Reserves just under two-weeks ago. Oyster’s first-team have been involved in a couple of cup competition already this spring. They were knocked out of the knockout cup in the first round as they were thrashed 5-1 at home to Brightlingsea Town before progressing beyond the first round of the Tommy Thompson Cup with a home-walkover against University of Essex but were eliminated last two-days ago, losing 10-0 away to Ramsey & Mistley. Out of the two-sides, Oyster will be slight favourites to progress but neither side have had the best of luck so far, with the winner of the tie will welcome Dovercourt Rovers to their ground in Round Two.
Tollesbury vs Harwich Rangers – Saturday 24th April, 2.30pm
An all-Division Two match-up will see Tollesbury welcome Harwich Rangers to the Victory Recreation Ground on Saturday. Tollesbury were another side that were eliminated from the opening round of the Knockout Cup as they were defeated 3-1 by Division Three Thorpe Athletic. Despite this, they are awaiting a Third Round tie in the Tommy Thompson Cup as they beat Wethersfield in a 10-goal thriller, winning 6-4. The visitors also progressed in the Thompson Cup, to the Second Round, after receiving a home-walkover against Brantham Athletic ‘A’ but their run in the Knockout Cup came to a end at the first hurdle as they were narrowly beaten. Tiptree Jobserve progressed, winning 6-5 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw between the sides. Tollesbury will be slight favourites due to where they sat in the league but an all-divisional tie could go either way. The victors of the tie will face either Dedham Old Boys Reserves or Hedinghams United Reserves, who play at a later date.
Stillwaters vs Ramsey & Mistley Saturday – Saturday 24th April, 2.30pm
Division Four side will face higher opposition in Division Three Ramsey & Mistley at Mile End Sports Ground. The hosts reached Round Two of the Knockout Cup as they were awarded an home-walkover against Boxted Lodgers but it was in the Second Round their run came to an end. The Division Two leaders, Harwich & Parkeston Reserves, dispatched of Stillwaters with ease as they won 9-2 on the road. Stillwaters also featured in the Second Round of the Tommy Thompson Cup as they faced Frinton & Walton away from home but again, it was doom in the Second Round as Frinton won with five-goals to one. Ramsey & Mistley await their Round Three opponents in the Thompson Cup after they progressed through their Round Two tie with ease on Wednesday, beating Oyster 10-0 at home. They didn’t have such luck in the Knockout Cup as they were on the wrong end of a 9-goal thriller in the First Round, losing 6-3 to Kelvedon Social. The visitors will be firm favourites in this one and will hope to progress in another cup but Stillwaters will do their upmost to cause an upset. The winning side will face Sporting Rebels at home.