Tough Challenges for all three

The draw for the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup has been made as National League North and South sides enter the competition. Hashtag United, Walthamstow and Stansted found out their fates for the next round of the cup.

Hashtag United vs Braintree Town

Hashtag United will face a team three levels above them as they welcome Braintree Town to Pitsea. Braintree play their football in the National League South Division which sits at Step-2 of the National League system. 

Hashtag United are in their debut season in this years competition but have already found themselves at the Second Qualifying Round. They began their run in the Extra Preliminary Round against fellow-debutants Park View, winning 2-1 before they faced Step-4 Felixstowe & Walton United with the underdogs winning 13-12 on penalties after a 1-all draw. They faced another Step-4 side in the First Qualifying Round as they welcomed Soham Town Rangers to Pitsea. The Tags were victorious again on penalties as they won 4-2 after a 1-1 draw.

Peterborough Sports vs Stansted

Stansted will travel to Step-3 Peterborough Sports in the next round of the FA Cup. Peterborough Sports play in the Southern League Premier Division Central, two levels above the Essex Senior League. 

Stansted have already progressed further in this years competition after they were knocked out by Barkingside during the 2019/20 season in the Extra Preliminary Round. This season, they faced an all-ESL derby in the Extra Preliminary Round as they beat Takeley 3-2. They came up against Step-4 Basildon United in the Preliminary Round and beat them 2-0 at home before they faced another Step-4 side in Coggeshall Town. The underdogs were victorious again, narrowly beating Town to earn a place in the Second Qualifying Round.

Walthamstow vs Hornchurch

Walthamstow have been at home for all 3-games so far and will face another home tie as they welcome Step-3 Hornchurch to the Lodge. The Urchins play in the Isthmian League Premier Division, two levels above Stow.

The Stags welcomed London Lions to the Lodge in the Extra Preliminary Round as they had to come back twice to beat the Spartan South Midlands League side, winning 3-2. Walthamstow faced two all-ESL ties in the Preliminary Round and First Qualifying Round as they battled to reach the Second Qualifying Round for the second consecutive season. Cockfosters travelled across London to face Walthamstow which was won on penalties by Stow after a 1-1 draw. In the First Qualifying Round, it was the turn of St Margaretsbury as they travelled to East London. The game finished 0-0 and went straight to penalties. Walthamstow won 4-3 in the shootout to progress.