Bracknell Town and Ascot United are headed East-wards in the first round proper of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.
United had been given a ‘bye’ from the qualifying rounds, but Bracknell have battled past Hook Norton and local rivals Binfield on their journey so far and will visit Croydon, while the Yellamen travel to Hollands & Blair.
Which sounds like a health food shop, but isn’t.
Both sides play in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division – the south London equivalent of the Hellenic Premier Division.
Croydon – we’ve profiled the journey for anyone wanting to travel here, but suffice to say the Croydon Sports Arena is surrounded by a running track. Atmospheric it is not.
However, it should be a good game between the sides. The Trams one their last fixture 5-0 while Bracknell meated out a 9-0 pasting on Tuesday night
Hollands & Blair – Based down in Gillingham in Kent, the ‘Blair’ are a that a Twydall-based factory team formed in 1967 and sit fifth in the Division.
They’ve lost their last two games – both cup ties, but beat league leaders AFC Croydon Athletic in the last league fixture.
We’re pretty sure it will be the first meeting for Ascot United and Hollands & Blair, but Bracknell Town have crossed paths on at least four occasions between 2002 and 2004 in the Ryman League Division 1 South.
If anyone recalls the scores from those ties please let us know in the comments below!
Bracknell finished a point behind Croydon in 2002/03 in 20th place as both sides sandwiched Croydon Athletic, but the Robins did much better the following season finishing seven places above the trams in 14th.
As we’ve talked about elsewhere, the only way we can see Bracknell not progressing is complacency.
The Robins have scored 17 in their last three games without conceding a goal and will be the favourites going in to the tie.
Ascot have been written off before but have great pedigree in the FA Vase having twice been quarter finalists this decade. However, given the player availability issues the Yellamen have suffered in recent weeks and a long trip to Kent you’d have to think United would take a draw and a replay before kick-off.