Football Management & Technology

Midweek Preview – The Southern League

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Date: Tue 20 Sep 2022

By Steve Whitney

After the momentous occasion of the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, it’s now back to football and this week’s midweek menu sees the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replays take centre stage.

However, there is one league game on Tuesday night and it’s the derby between Harrow Borough and Hendon at Earlsmead.

And it will be the opportunity for either Steve Baker’s Boro or Lee Allinson’s Greens to break their league duck at the seventh attempt.

Hendon should be buoyed after beating Isthmian League Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley in the FA Cup on Saturday and look to get off the mark, having lost all six league games to date.

Tuesday sees a plethora of FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replays and also an original tie pushed forward from Saturday between Premier Division Central club Stratford Town and last season’s champions, Banbury United, now plying their trade extremely well in the Vanarama National League North with five wins and a draw from their eight games to date.

There are several Southern League clubs who have earned the right to a home replay after excellent away performances at the weekend.

Last season’s Premier Division Central title-winners Bedford Town held National League North leaders King’s Lynn Town to a 1-1 draw at The Walks, so, boosted by a considerable crowd at The Eyrie, Gary Setchell, a former playing favourite at King’s Lynn as well as manager between 2010 and 2017, will be looking to complete the upset at home.

Two Premier Division South clubs will also be hoping to go through at home after holding National League South sides to draws on Saturday.

Hartley Wintney, who have only one win to date in the league, battled superbly to hold Bath City – currently sixth in the National League South with five wins and a draw from eight games played – 2-2 at Twerton Park.

Both sets of supporters at The Memorial Playing Fields will know who awaits them in the next round as the draw will be announced on Tuesday at 1pm.

Last season, Hayes & Yeading United pipped Farnborough for second place in the Premier Division South, only to lose to Spencer Day’s side in the play-off final, so revenge will be high on the agenda on Tuesday night at the SKYex Community Stadium in their replay after a 1-1 draw at the Easy As HGV Stadium at the weekend.

The tie which kicked-off the Second Qualifying Round last Friday night between Premier Division South rivals Chesham United and Bracknell Town finished all-square at 2-2 and replays on Tuesday at The SB Stadium.

Chesham have lost just once in seven league games to date, whilst newly promoted Bracknell are currently tenth but are still recovering from losing their successful manager Bobby Wilkinson to National League South side Weymouth.

Cirencester Town, switched to Division One Central in the summer, will fancy their chances of completing an upset when they entertain reprieved Premier Division South outfit Merthyr Town at the Corinium Stadium.

It finished 1-1 at the Met Coaches Stadium in South Wales and the Martyrs haven’t got a particularly good record away from home!

Another side looking to complete a surprise are Toolstation Western League Premier Division Helston Athletic.

They looked to be on their way into Tuesday’s hat on their own against Division One South side Bishops Cleeve as they were 3-1 up going into stoppage time.

But goals from Jack Watts and then Isaac Pearce gave the Mitres a second chance.

Premier Division Central club Ilkeston Town won’t take United Counties League Premier Division North side Anstey Nomads for granted when they welcome the Leicestershire side to the Microlise New Manor Ground for their replay.

It finished 1-1 on Saturday but the expected big crowd should push the Robins through to the next round.

Ilkeston’s league rivals Redditch United will also be looking to cause an upset when they make the trip to the Bee Arena to take on last season’s Premier Division Central play-off winners, Peterborough Sports after the sides shared four goals at the Trico Stadium at the weekend.

But Jimmy Dean’s Turbines have made a decent start to life at Step 2 level, winning four and drawing one of their eight games and they don’t tend to lose many at home!

Wednesday night sees another potential for an upset as Division One South club Paulton Rovers welcome Premier Division South side Gosport Borough to the First 4 Pools Stadium after the original tie finished 1-1 at Privett Park.

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