Close rivals Felixstowe & Walton United and Brantham Athletic meet in FA Cup
PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 03 August 2017
The magic of the Emirates FA Cup begins this weekend, when 370 of the 737 teams entered will be hoping to progress to the Preliminary Round stage of the competition.
It’s a long way from Wembley Stadium on May 19 next year, and perhaps even further from the estimated £1,800,000 for the winners, excluding any television money they add to that total along the way.
Tomorrow, Brantham Athletic make the short journey to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division rivals, Felixstowe & Walton United, with a home tie against Bostik (North) outfit Cheshunt FC, the prize.
Last season the hosts had a magnificent run in the competition, knocking out Isthmian (Bostik) League (North) Tilbury and National League (South) side Bishop’s Stortford, before losing at Southern League Beaconsfield in the Third Qualifying Round.
Joint-managers Kevin O’Donnell and Ian Watson will be happy to emulate or improve on that run this season.
Brantham’s joint managers Matt Carmichael and Michael Brother have been busy this summer strengthening their squad and will be equally determined to try and make sure that it’s their side that goes through.
Their best runs in the Cup have seen them reach the First Qualifying round twice during their seven previous seasons in the competition.
Progress beyond that stage will be an ambition of the Blue Imps’ joint-management in their first full season in charge.
The game will be Brantham’s third competitive match this season.
They have so far drawn 0-0 at Long Melford on the opening day of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division season and 2-2 at home against FC Clacton on Tuesday evening.
For the hosts it will be their first competitive encounter of the new campaign, in league or cup.
Theyopted for a run of tough home pre-season fixtures against mostly higher league opposition to test out their sparkling new pitchside facilities, making sure they are now fully operational for the season ahead.