Six Sussex sides go for FA Cup glory this weekend
There was a fine effort from Sussex football in the FA Cup first qualifying round when five of our clubs made there way through to the next stage of the competition, writes Colin Bowman, aka Bowman on the Road.
With our most senior non-league outfit, Eastbourne Borough, entering the tournament, there is a lot of scope for celebration around the county come 5pm Saturday evening. In addition there is £3,375 prize money up for grabs.
Isthmian South East teams can be relatively pleased with their showing in the 2021-22 FA Cup, with no less than four clubs playing in the second qualifying round.
Burgess Hill Town v Dorking Wanderers, 3pm
Burgess Hill Town manager Jay Lovett is getting a fine tune out of his players in the Cup this season, seemingly being able to shrug off a poor start to the league campaign.
They beat Bearsted away 3-0 in the preliminary round. Then on September 4, a huge crowd welcomed Isthmian South Central high-rollers Bracknell Town to Mid Sussex.
Under pleasant weather conditions, Hill turned on the style playing attractive football, running out deserved 2-0 victors. Trey Masikini grabbed the headlines with a stunning second half brace.
Dorking Wanderers were an Isthmian team themselves not long ago, but under the guidance of chairman Marc White they have climbed to National League South.
They have started well, with two home victories already, and they will be looking for a play-off position come the end of April 2022.
Dorking will bring all their top guns and weaponry to Mid Sussex, and will not want to slip on an FA Cup banana skin at the first attempt.
Slough Town v Whitehawk, 3pm
Knowing Hawks assistant boss Stuart Tuck quite well, he won't have been best pleased to see his team shipp eight goals in the last two matches. The man is all about 1-0 wins!
On a beautiful sun kissed day down on the Sussex coast on September 5, Littlehampton Town hosted a wonderful FA Cup match.
The goals started in the second minute and carried right through to the 90th! County outfit Littlehampton gave the Hawks an almighty scare, but the Isthmian side managed to get over the line 5-4 late in the game.
Then, on September 11, the Hawks leaked another four goals in their home league encounter with Ashford United in a game which they went on to lose.
Slough Town, from the National League Sout,h got the season off to a splendid start with a 1-0 home victory. However, since then it’s been a dismal array of poor results including a 3-2 home loss against St Albans on 11th. They are fourth-from-bottom in the league.
You get the feeling that Hawks have enough firepower up front to hurt anyone. But can manager Ross Standen and Tucky super glue that back door?
Chichester City v Maidstone United, 3pm
Over recent seasons, Chichester City have been the stand out non-league club in terms of FA Cup glory here in Sussex.
In the 2019-20 season they made the second round proper, and went to Football League club Tranmere Rovers on December 1, 2019.
Manager Miles Rutherford is at it again this season as his team took a spellbinding 3-2 victory at Northwood in the previous round.
Another reward then came out of the hat when they drew Maidstone United at home.
Maidstone of Kent have had a turbulent history which once saw them as a Football League club. However, they fell away and were operating in the Isthmian leagues around five years ago.
The club are now very much on the way back up, operating in the National League South. In ominous fashion they have started the current season in commanding form, taking 14 points and second place in the league.
It’s the Sussex tie of the round and Oaklands Park should be packed to the rafters.
Broadfields United v Hastings United, 3pm
Hastings United manager Chris Agutter and director of football Dean White look to have all the bases covered again as the club pursues its promotion drive.
The East Sussex Isthmian South East powerhouse are scoring goals for fun and do not appear to be shipping many. It’s the ideal combination!
On September 11 they beat a very good Sevenoaks team 4-1, and were mercurial and professional when beating Harefield 4-0 away in the FA Cup.
Broadfields are one of the few minnows still left in thecCompetition. They are based at Raynes Lane in Harrow, Greater London and operate in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.
They seem a very well-run club who are currently putting all their manpower into the FA Cup and FA Vase games. The league seems to be taking a back step with just two fixtures played thus far.
They have beaten Cribbs, Reading City and South Park to take their place in the second qualifying round.
Kingstonian v Horsham, 3pm
Horsham were handed a tough assignment when Kingstonian away came out of the hat. Both clubs do operate at the same level, the Isthmian Premier Division however its been the K's who have been grabbing most of the early season attention.
It was a comfortable afternoon around King Georges Field on September 11, with the team winning 3-1 against Brightlingsea Regent, securing their fifth win in five league games.
They also breezed past Oxhey Jets 8-1 in their FA Cup replay on September, 8.
Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola would have pleased with the way his team went about forging past Haywards Heath Town in the previous round. On September 7, the Hornets seized a comfortable 2-0 win at home.
Di Paola would perhaps have less pleased in their 2-1 away loss at Folkestone Invicta on September 11. That left Horsham on four points from five games.
Hanwell Town v Eastbourne Borough, 3pm
After a 5-1 opening day home loss against Hampton & Richmond Borough, Eastbourne Borough have steadied to create a great platform to attack the National League South this season.
They can add to their six league points when Braintree Town come to East Sussex on September 25.
However, manager Danny Bloor will be very keen to create an FA Cup buzz around Priory Lane this season. They have the perfect chance to get things rolling when they make the trip to Hanwell on Saturday.
The club operate in the Isthmian South Central and current have a win and a draw at home. In the FA Cup they have beaten Newham 5-0, and Fleet Town 2-0 away.
For Eastbourne, its just a short trek up to Ealing, northwest London, and whilst they will have to show their host’s all the obvious respect, Borough should be progressing.
I send huge messages of good luck to all our clubs in FA Cup action on Saturday. Let’s hope Sussex is celebrating a clean sweep come 5pm.