With only four Essex Senior League sides left in the FA Cup, many clubs will now turn their attentions to the FA Vase as the First Qualifying Round gets underway on Saturday. 16 Essex Senior League sides play across 13 ties with both Woodford Town and Stansted coming in at a later stage. Only 5 of the 13 clubs that entered at this stage last year progressed onto the Second Qualifying Round.
Brimsdown vs Clapton
Clapton will face up against Eastern Counties Division One South side Brimsdown in the first round of the FA Vase. Clapton were eliminated at this stage last year when they were beaten 6-1 at home to Catholic United. They will be hoping they can improve on last years run.
Hadley vs Hadleigh United
Hadley face Eastern Counties Premier Division side Hadleigh United in the opening round of the Vase. Hadley had joined the competition in the First Round Proper last year but were beaten by Milton Keynes Robins, losing 2-0. They be hoping to go further into the competition but will face 2 extra rounds before the first round proper.
Harwich & Parkeston vs Walthamstow
Walthamstow travel to Harwich to face Eastern Counties Division One South side Harwich & Parkeston in the FA Vase. Stow also entered in the First Round Proper where they beat Broadfields United 3-1. Their run was brought to an end in the next round when they lost 3-2 at home to AFC Uckfield Town. They will be hoping to enjoy a long run but will also face an additional two rounds just to reach the First Round Proper.
Hashtag United vs Takeley
The first all-ESL tie will see Hashtag United host Takeley in the First Qualifying Round. The hosts beat Leyton Athletic at this stage to progress to the Second Qualifying Round where they were beat by Frenford to end their run. Takeley were also victors at this stage, beating Burnham Ramblers 6-1, before they beat Wormley Rovers in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Their run came to an end in the First Round Proper at the hand Wellingborough Town, narrowly losing 4-3. Both sides will hope to avoid an early exit and will want to do better than they did last season.
Hoddesdon Town vs Lanford
Hoddesdon Town will host Spartan South Midlands League side Langford in the opening round of the FA Vase. Hoddesdon didn’t have a long run as they were beaten by Stanway Rovers at this stage last season. They will be hoping to do better this season.
Holland FC vs Enfield
Enfield will travel to Holland-On-Sea for their clash with Holland FC of the Eastern Counties Division One South in the Vase. At this stage last year, Enfield beat fellow-ESL side Ilford 2-1. They were drawn against Enfield Borough in the Second Qualifying Round which they also won 2-1. Their run came to an end in the First Round Proper at the hand of Harborough Town. They will be hoping they came go further this time around.
Ilford vs Long Melford
Ilford will host Long Melford in the FA Vase. They were eliminated from this stage last year when they were defeated by fellow-ESL side Enfield, losing 2-1. They will be hoping to do better and reached the Second Qualifying Round.
Redbridge vs May & Baker
Redbridge will welcome May & Baker to the Oakside in the opening round of the FA Vase. Redbridge will play an extra round this year after they were introduced into last year’s competition at the Second Qualifying Round. Their run was brought to an end at the first hurdle when they were beaten by FC Clacton. They will be hoping to do better than last season, even with the extra round.
Saffron Walden Town vs Whitton United
Saffron Walden will welcome Whitton United of the Eastern Counties Premier Division to Catons Lane in the FA Vase. Walden came into the competition in the First Round Proper but they drew 4-4 with Biggleswade United. In a replay, they won 5-1 and progressed but were defeated by FC Clacton in the Second Round Proper. The Bloods will play an extra two rounds before getting to the point they entered and will be hoping to get far beyond the First Qualifying Round.
St Margaretsbury vs London Colney
St Margaretsbury will welcome London Colney to The Recreation Ground for their opening game in the FA Vase. St Margaretsbury beat Woodford Town in the First Qualifying Round last season and were drawn against Whitton United in the Second Qualifying Round. A 2-1 loss to United saw their run end before the Proper rounds. They will be hoping to reach the Proper rounds this time around.
Sporting Bengal United vs Sawbridgeworth Town
The second all-ESL tie sees Sporting Bengal United welcome Sawbridgeworth to Mile End. The hosts were defeated by Wormley Rovers at home last season in the First Qualifying Round to end their run early whilst Sawbo were also out at this stage. They were defeated by Wodson Park. This fixture will see one side progress further than they did last season but both sides will hope they reach the next round.
Southend Manor vs Cockfosters
The Third all-ESL tie will see Cockfosters travel to Southend-On-Sea to face Southend Manor in the FA Vase. Manor were eliminated at this stage last season when they were beaten away to FC Clacton, losing 3-0 while Cockfosters were defeated by Coggeshall United at this stage. This again guarantees a side progressing further than they did the previous year with both Manor and Fosters hoping they are the one.
West Essex vs Haverhill Borough
West Essex will welcome Haverhill Borough to Barking for their opening game in the Vase. West Essex’s game at this stage last season against Park View was abandoned in the 87th-minute at 1-1 when a West player was injured. When the sides met in a replay, West Essex progressed after they won 4-1. Their run was brought to an end in the Second Qualifying Round at the hands of Brantham Athletic. They will be hoping for a longer run this time around.