Football Management & Technology

Isuzu FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round Preview


Date: Thu 06 Oct 2022

By Steve Whitney

Once again, the league programme takes a backseat on Saturday as the majority of clubs in the Pitching In Southern Football League play in the Third Qualifying Round of the Isuzu FA Trophy.

And there are some intriguing match-ups against clubs from the two other Trident Leagues.

Premier Division Central clubs facing outside opponents include Kings Langley, who face a really tricky test when they travel to the Homelands Stadium to take on an Isthmian League South East outfit who are currently second with just one defeat to date.

Basford United, who achieved a terrific Emirates FA Cup `upset` themselves in midweek when knocking out Vanarama National League North side Boston United on penalties, will be hoping to avoid one when hosting Northern Premier League Division One Midlands newcomers Harborough Town at Greenwich Avenue.

The ambitious Leicestershire border side have made a decent start to life at Step 4 and currently sit in eighth place.

Mickleover switched from the Northern Premier League with Basford in the summer, also have a tough one as they journey down the M1 and A14 to Isthmian League North side Stowmarket Town.

The Suffolk outfit have lost just once in the league this season.

Nuneaton Borough are involved in a derby as they welcome neighbours Hinckley LC to Liberty Way.

Hinckley cross the A5 having found things tough since winning promotion from the United Counties League Premier Division North to the NPL Division One Midlands at the end of last season, winning just once in the league against Cambridge City on September 6th.

Jimmy Ginnelly’s Boro side, on the other hand, are flying and moved joint top with victory over Bedford Town on Tuesday.

Hinckley’s neighbours Barwell face an awkward away tie at the Northolme against NPL Premier Division side Gainsborough Trinity, while Bromsgrove Sporting welcome NPL Division One Midlands outfit Chasetown to the Victoria Ground – the Scholars having lost to the Rouslers` league rivals St Ives Town in the FA Cup last weekend.

St Ives, meanwhile, make the journey up to NPL Premier Division Belper Town’s Christchurch Meadow and will fancy their chances as the Nailers are currently second-from-bottom after promotion at the end of last season, with two wins in 12 games but have won one and drawn one of their last two matches.

Premier Division South clubs facing outside opposition include Bracknell Town, who face the 2000/01 winners and 2003/04 runners-up Canvey Island at The Movie Starr Stadium.

The Gulls have gone through a lot of ups and downs since those halcyon days but are on the upward curve again after winning promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division via the play-offs last season.

Harrow Borough are also on their travels, albeit not that far, as they face another Isthmian Premier outfit, Corinthian-Casuals, who are currently bottom of the table with just one win all season.

A very interesting tie sees another Isthmian Premier outfit, Enfield Town, host Chesham United.

The Towners are sitting in fifth spot in the table and the Generals third in theirs, so this should be a cracking encounter in front of a decent crowd.

Hanwell Town are a place behind Chesham, and they too are involved in an interesting tie with Isthmian Premier Cray Wanderers making the journey to North London.

Hayes & Yeading United will be hoping to avoid a banana skin when Isthmian North new boys New Salamis head to the SKYex Community Stadium, while Metropolitan Police have Hastings United, promoted to the Isthmian Premier at the end of last season, journeying to Imber Court sitting ninth in the table.

And there is another intriguing tie at Silver Jubilee Park where Hendon, who are struggling in the league with just one win but doing well in the FA Cup, having reached the Fourth Qualifying Round after beating Herne Bay last weekend, host Isthmian South Central side Binfield, who are second and unbeaten in the league.

Two Division One Central clubs face outside opposition as Harlow Town take on Isthmian Premier side Hornchurch at The Arena and AFC Dunstable head to Essex to play Isthmian North outfit Witham Town.

Hornchurch won the Trophy in the Covid-affected 2020/21 season by beating Hereford at Wembley are are currently fourth in the table, so the Hawks face a tough task.

Witham are fifth in their division – the same position as the OD’s – so this should be a tight one.

There are three ties involving Premier Division sides and teams from Division One.

At The Creek, Division One South side Bristol Manor Farm, who surprisingly have yet to record a league win, host Premier Division South outfit Gosport Borough, who are eighth but lost in midweek and who were runners-up in the competition in 2013/14 to Cambridge United.

Manor Farm’s league rivals Evesham United make the long journey across to near the Suffolk coast to take on Premier Division Central side Leiston at Victory Road.

Evesham have made a decent start until Mike Ford and are presently fourth in the table, whilst their hosts sit in eighth.

Premier Division South side Swindon Supermarine have Division One Central strugglers Cirencester Town making the short trip to the Webbswood Stadium.

The home side are sixth but the Centurians have had a terrible start after being switched across from the South section in the summer and have yet to win a game in the league.

However, they have had two decent wins in the Trophy and a couple in the FA Cup.

Supermarine’s league rivals Merthyr Town also face a tricky one when they welcome Division One South side AFC Totton.

The league are assured of 13 other clubs in the next round as there are 13 all-Southern League ties.

Andy Peaks returns to his former AFC Rushden & Diamonds club as manager of high-flying Tamworth maybe with some mixed feelings as the club he served for many years are currently bottom of the Premier Division Central table and without a manager following the sacking of Andy Burgess earlier this week.

The Lambs were surprise Trophy final losers to Burscough at Villa Park back in 2002/03

It’s also bottom versus top at Lodge Road where Yate Town entertain Weston-super-Mare, who lost leadership of the Premier Division South to Truro City in midweek.

Meanwhile, the 2003/04 winners Hednesford Town travel to Premier Division Central rivals and neighours Rushall Olympic.

The other all-Premier Division South ties see Beaconsfield Town host Hartley Wintney, Plymouth Parkway welcome Dorchester Town to Bolitho Park, Truro City entertain Salisbury and Winchester City face Poole Town at home.

All Premier Division Central encounters see Bedford Town take on Alvechurch at The Eyrie, Coalville Town have Ilkeston Town visiting the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium, Hitchin Town host Redditch United at Top Field, Needham Market have Stourbridge travelling to Bloomfields and Stratford Town welcoming Royston Town to the Arden Garages Stadium.

One all-Division One South tie sees new boys Tavistock AFC take on Melksham Town at Langsford Park.


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