Preview: FA Vase – First Round Proper (ESL & EaCL)

Eight Essex Senior League sides and have a break from league action as they take part in the FA Vase First Round Proper. 7 of the 8 sides made it through the 2nd Qualifying Round whilst Stansted come into the competition, as the highest ranked seeded side, at this stage. Clubs are now also only 7-wins away from a Wembley-final. I take a closer look at the Essex Senior sides involved.

Hadley vs Pagham – Saturday 31st October, 2.30pm

Hadley will welcome Pagham FC to Brickfield Lane on Saturday. The Bricks beat Hadleigh United 2-0 in the First Qualifying Round before beating Enfield Borough 8-7 on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Hadley will hope to get beyond the First Round Proper as they were defeated by Milton Keynes Robins at this stage last season.

Ampthill Town vs Walthamstow – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Walthamstow will be on the road in the First Round Proper of the FA Vase as they travel to Bedford to take on Ampthill Town. Stow beat Harwich & Parkeston 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw before they progressed past London Lions with a 3-1 win at the Lodge. Walthamstow will hope they can make it to the Second Round Proper for the 2nd consecutive season, despite starting from much earlier in the competition this season.

Clapton vs Petersfield Town – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Clapton will welcome Petersfield Town to the Terence McMillian Stadium. The Tons were victorious against Brimsdown in the 1st Qualifying Round, winning 4-2, before they beat Potton United 3-1 in the Second Qualifying Round. Clapton will hope to continue on their run this season, already getting further than they did last season as they lost 6-1 to Catholic United.

Cockfosters vs Cogenhoe United – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Cockfosters will welcome Cogenhoe United to Chalk Lane on Saturday. Fosters were narrow victors over Southend Manor, winning 1-0 against the fellow-ESL side before they beat Park View 4-2 on penalties after drawing 2-2 after 90-minutes. Cockfosters have already gone beyond the round they reached last season after they were defeated by Coggeshall United in the First Qualifying Round and will hope to push on.

Ilford vs FC Clacton – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Ilford will face FC Clacton as they welcome them to Cricklefield on Saturday. The Foxes progressed through the 1st Qualifying Round as they beat Long Melford 5-2 before beating Benfleet 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Ilford were eliminated by Enfield in the First Qualifying Round last season so will hope they can push on through the rounds but face a side that has been very successful against ESL sides.

Milton Keynes Irish vs Stansted – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Stansted will be on the road as they make the trip to Milton Keynes Irish on Saturday. Stansted come into the competition in this round. The Airportmen will hope they can make it to the 3rd Round of the Vase again after starting in the First Round Proper again.

Walsham Le Willows vs Hoddesdon Town – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Hoddesdon Town are also on the road as they travel to Walsham-Le-Willows. The Lilywhites narrowly made it through both Qualifying Round as they beat Lanford 3-2 in the First Qualifying Round before beating fellow-ESL side Woodford Town 2-1 in the other Qualifying Round. Town have already made it through more rounds than they did last season as they were defeated by Stanway Rovers in the 1st Qualifying Round last season.

Newbury Forest vs May & Baker – Saturday 31st October, 3pm

Newbury Forest will welcome fellow-league side May & Baker to Oakside on Saturday. Forest progressed past two-fellow league sides as they beat Frenford 4-2 before beating Burnham Ramblers 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw. May & Baker were 3-1 victors over Redbridge in the 1st Qualifying Round before beating fellow-league side Little Oakley 6-5 on penalties after drawing 2-2 at 90-minutes. Both sides will hope to continue on this run with at least one Eastern Counties League side represented in the Second Round Proper.

Coggeshall United vs Hashtag United – Sunday 1st November, 3pm

Coggeshall United will welcome Hashtag United to West Street on Sunday. The Weavers progressed past Barkingside and Sporting Bengal United, winning 3-1 and 3-2 respectively whilst their opponents Hashtag United beat fellow-ESL side Takeley 3-1 in the First Qualifying Round before thrashing Wormley Rovers 5-0 to progress to this round. The Tags have already made it beyond where they got last season as they were eliminated at the hands of Frenford in the Second Qualiying Round last season whilst Coggeshall United will hope they can make it to the Second Round Proper for the second consecutive season where they were defeated by Newport Pagnell Town.

Norwich United vs White Ensign – Saturday 31st October (Postponed)

White Ensign were expected to travel to Norwich United on Saturday but due to COVID cases within the camp, they were expected to forfeit their tie until their opponents reluctantly postponed the fixture until a later date. White Ensign began their run in the 2nd Qualifying Round with a 2-1 win over Whitton United. Once the game is played, White Ensign will hope they can reach the Second Round Proper and continued on this run.