Preview: Walthamstow vs Hornchurch

After Tuesday’s league win over Hashtag United, Walthamstow will welcome Step-3 Hornchurch to the Lodge in the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round.

Walthamstow have already played three games in the FA Cup this season, with all the games being at home. Stow welcomed London Lions to the Lodge in the Extra Preliminary Round and won 3-2 after coming back twice before it was two games against fellow-ESL sides. Cockfosters were first and the game finished level after 90-minutes, going to penalties, which Stow won 3-2. In the First Qualifying Round, St Margaretsbury visited the Lodge and again the game finished level after 90-minutes. With another penalty shootout, it was won 4-3 on penalties. In the league, Walthamstow sit 6th having won 3 and lost 2 of their opening 5 games.

Last season, the Stags also reached the Second Qualifying Round. They began with a 5-0 win over Sporting Bengal United in the Extra Preliminary Round before facing two higher-level teams. Great Wakering Rovers came to the Lodge in the Preliminary Round which Stow won 2-0 before they travelled away to face Aylesbury United, winning 3-0. In the 2nd Qualifying Round, Walthamstow welcomed Abbey Rangers to the Lodge but the game ended in a 1-1 draw, sending the game to a replay. The replay was won by Rangers who defeated Stow 2-1.

Hornchuch play their football in the Isthmian League Premier Division and began this season’s FA Cup journey in the First Qualifying Round. The Urchins beat fellow-Isthmian Premier side Bowers & Pitsea, winning 3-0.

The Step-3 side reached the Second Qualifying Round last season. They went up against Kempston Rovers in the 1st Qualifying Round and thrashed the Southern League Division One Central side 6-0. Their run came to an end at the hands of Isthmian League Premier side Potters Bar Town, losing 2-0.

There is no doubt that Hornchurch will be favourites to progress with their Step-3 status but the FA Cup is a magical competition. It will be a tough game for both sides and either side could win on Saturday. It should be a good game.