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Holyport, Woodley United and Sandhurst Town on the FA Cup trail

Rob Davies latest step 6 preview looks at the Hellenic League Division 1 East and Combined Counties sides in FA Cup action

Holyport, Woodley United and Sandhurst Town on the FA Cup trail

The FA Cup kicks off this weekend with Extra Preliminary Round fixtures being played up and down the country.

Teams entering the competition at this stage have to get through six rounds before playing in the First Round proper, and three of our local step 6 clubs have been included in the draw for this round based on last season’s league performances.

Holyport were the first Hellenic League Division One East side out of the hat, being drawn at home to Brimscombe & Thrupp.

Related: The full weekend fixture list is here

Brimscombe, known as the Lilywhites currently sit 9th in the Hellenic Premier Division after an opening day 3-1 victory against local side Windsor, and a 2-0 mid-week defeat to Bishops Cleeve.

Holyport's Fabian Driffill. Photo: Richard Tyrell.

Holyport’s Fabian Driffill. Photo: Richard Tyrell.

The Villagers will need to be on top form to beat the side from the division above, but if they are looking for a good omen, the last time they faced the Gloucestershire outfit, in March, they came away with a 1-0 win en route to their Supplementary Cup victory.

With Reading, Maidenhead and Slough all away this weekend, Holyport are hoping for a bumper crowd of local fans who are looking for a game to watch.

The Dirty Clarets

Woodley United are the only one of our local Step 6 sides to be drawn away from home as they travel to South Bedfordshire to face Crawley Green.

The Dirty Clarets currently sit third in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, Step 5, after winning their first two league games. The Kestrels will have to keep an eye on striker Oluwanimilo Ajigbolumu who has got two goals in two games despite coming off the bench in both.

The last of our local Step 6 representatives in the competition are Sandhurst Town who have been drawn at home to face another Step 5 side, Lymington Town.

The Linnets, who play in the Sydenhams (Wessex) League, Premier Division have started the season with two draws in two games, and currently sit 13th out of 20 teams in the league.

Lymington have gone out at this stage of the FA Cup in each of the last four seasons, so the Fizzers will be hoping to continue that record on Saturday.

Eversley and California score. Photo: Richard Milam.

Eversley and California score. Photo: Richard Milam.

Away from the FA Cup, Eversley & California are back in league action with a home league game against AC London.

The Boars opponents are playing their first game of the season as they did not have a fixture last weekend, but they finished last season one place above Eversley & California in 8th.

The Surrey club were formed in 2012 after the London riots by 16-year-old Prince Choudray to help stop teenagers in Croydon falling into a life of gangs. Ellis Woods will be hoping the Boars can continue their winning start to the season on Saturday afternoon.

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Rob Davies

Rob is a keen fan of football at all levels and has been watching non-league since he was 12. Since moving to Reading in 2015, Rob has tried to get to as many of the local non-league sides as he can, and can often be found at a game with his dog Filbert.

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