Preview: Walthamstow vs St Margaretsbury

Following Saturday’s Vase win over Harwich & Parkeston, Walthamstow welcome St Margaretsbury to the Lodge in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

Stow have progressed in both the FA Cup and the FA Vase so far this season. Wins over London Lions and Cockfosters at home saw the Stags make it through the Preliminary Rounds of the competition before being drawn another Essex Senior League side. They have also played three league games, winning 1 and losing 2. The league campaign began with a 3-1 over Sporting Bengal United at Mile End before Stow welcomed Stansted and Southend Manor to East London. Stansted left with a 2-1 victory whilst Southend Manor stunned Stow with a 3-2 win.

Last season saw Walthamstow reach the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. They had beaten Sporting Bengal 5-0 in the Extra Preliminary Round before facing Great Wakering Rovers in the Preliminary Round. Stow won 2-0 and faced Aylesbury United in the First Qualifying Round. Away from home, it was a comfortable 3-0 victory. In the Second Qualifying Round, the run was brought to an end by Abbey Rangers. The first game at the Lodge finished 1-1 before the clubs played a few days later in a replay. It was Abbey who won, winning 2-1 after they got a penalty late in the game.

St Margaretsbury beat Baldock Town 4-2 on penalties in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup before they beat Sawbridgeworth Town 3-1 in the Preliminary Round. Their journey in the Vase came to an end in the First Qualifying Round as they were defeated by London Colney on penalties following a 1-1 draw. The Bury have also played three games in the league and sit 13th, having drawn 2 and lost 1. Their league campaign began with a goalless draw against Enfield before they played out another goalless draw against Sporting Bengal at Mile End. It was a tough trip to Saffron Walden in the league who defeated them 5-0.

St Margaretsbury have already reached further than they did last season as they were eliminated at the Extra Preliminary Round, losing 3-0 to FC Clacton.

Walthamstow travelled to St Margaretsbury twice last season and won both games. The only league game played between the clubs finished 3-0 to Stow after goals from Dwade James, Billy Jones and Danny McCullock whilst the Stags also progressed in the Errington Challenge Cup after a 2-0 win over St Mags with goals from Lewis Francis and Billy Jones.

It will be a tough game with both sides looking to reach the Second Qualifying Round.