ESSEX’s non-league clubs have learned their fate in the early rounds of the FA competitions.
Draws in the FA Cup, FA Vase, FA Trophy and FA Youth Cup were made today with sides from the south of the county facing a number of exciting ties as they bid to go on a cup run.
Clubs from the Essex Senior League will enter the FA Cup at the extra-preliminary round of the competition, with ties being played on August 16, the weekend after the start of the new football season.
Bowers & Pitsea travel to Clapton, Southend Manor visit Colney Heath, Basildon United host Stanway Rovers, whilst Gordon Brasted Trophy winners Hullbridge Sports will travel to Cockfosters.
Winners of those ties will be awarded £1,500 and will progress to the preliminary stage a fortnight later on August 30, where clubs from the Ryman North division enter the fray.
Thurrock will travel to Cheshunt, Aveley will play Basildon United at Mill Field if the Bees overcome Stanway Rovers, whilst Tilbury will visit Brantham Athletic or Codicote.
A South Essex derby will be on the cards if Bowers & Pitsea and Southend Manor come through their respective ties, whilst Hullbridge will earn a match at Waltham Abbey if they are victorious. Newly promoted Great Wakering Rovers will play Haringey Borough, who ran them so close in the Essex Senior League last year, or Hertford Town.
Winners will receive £1,925.
The first qualifying round will see sides from the Ryman Premier Division enter the fray, including East Thurrock United who had a terrific run in the competition back in 2012, making the first round before losing to Macclesfield Town.
However, Rocks have a very tricky looking assignment at AFC Hornchurch on September 13. Elsewhere, Billericay Town could play Suffolk side Hadleigh United if they progress to this stage and Canvey Island may have to travel east to Great Wakering Rovers, should they win in the previous round.
Aveley or Basildon could play Paul Vaughan’s Tilbury at Chadfields whilst Hullbridge could host Barkingside or Wivenhoe Town.
Bowers & Pitsea or Southend Manor will have to beat newly promoted Witham Town if they make it this far and new Grays Athletic boss Jody Brown will start the competition at home, against Hatfield Town, Baldock Town or Harlow Town.
Winners will receive £3,000.
The FA Trophy kick off on October 18, with Ryman North sides set for some tasty looking ties in the preliminary round, none more so than the Thurrock derby, which sees Thurrock travel to Tilbury – the side who derailed Mark Stimson’s push for promotion last campaign.
Aveley will make the journey south to play Burgess Hill Town with Great Wakering Rovers drawn against Ware.
The first qualifying round, on November 1, welcomes the Ryman Premier sides, with Billericay travelling to Met Police. Great Wakering Rovers will need to beat Horsham or Sittingbourne to progress whilst Thurrock or Tilbury will play at Ramsgate or Folkstone Invicta.
Grays travel to Hampton & Richmond Borough, with East Thurrock also on the road at Hungerford Town.
Aveley will host Chesham United if they win.
In the FA Vase 1st qualifying round, on September 6 Bowers & Pitsea will play Codicote and Basildon United will play Haverhill Borough.
On October 4 Southend Manor will play Wivenhoe Town or Takeley and Basildon United will play London Bari at home if they progress.
Bowers & Pitsea will take on Haverhill Rovers.
In the FA Youth Cup East Thurrock United will host Witham Town, Billericay Town host Tower Hamlets, Canvey welcome Cheshunt whilst Concord Rangers will play St Albans City. Hullbridge Sports will play Hitchin Town.