Step 6 Preview: Holyport face tough FA Vase tie and AFC Aldermaston at home



Holyport's Fabian Driffill. Photo: Richard Tyrell.


The FA Vase kicks off up and down the country on Saturday. The Vase is a national competition for teams from below Step 4 of the English National League System, with the final being played at Wembley Stadium in May.

Last season Thatcham Town came out on top of the 619 entries, beating Stockton Town in the final.

Holyport start their journey in the competition by travelling to Hellenic League Premier Division side Ardley United.

Ardley, who were promoted from the Division One West last season, have secured six points from their opening six games and currently sit 15th in the league. It will be a tough game for the Villagers having to travel to a team in the step above, but if they are looking for some encouragement, last weekend Ardley were defeated by fellow Division 1 East side Burnham in the FA Cup.

Related: Everything you need to know about the 2018/19 Buildbase FA Vase

Another side travelling to face Step 5 opposition is Woodley United, who face Chertsey Town of the Combined Counties League Premier Division. The Kestrels will have to be at their best as Chertsey currently sit top of their division having won their first five league games.

Eversley & California welcome Sydenhams (Wessex) League Division One side Downton. The Robins have had a mixed start to the season with two victories and two defeats in their opening four league games and they currently sit 10th out of 19 in the table. The Boars will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome the Wiltshire outfit, having had a few disappointing results of late.

Sandhurst Town host Kensington Borough at Bottom Meadow in a tie between two sides from the same division. Boro currently sit in 16th place in the CCD1, nine places below the Fizzers. Sandhurst are looking to maintain the good form that has seen them win their last three matches.

Wallingford Town will be playing only their second game of the season when they host Hellenic League Premier Division side Abingdon United to the Wallingford Sports Ground. Despite the visitors coming from the step above, Wally will be hopeful of an upset as the Us have not won a game so far this season and sit bottom of the division without a point in four games.

League action

Away from the FA Vase, AFC Aldermaston play their first home game of the season when Didcot Town Development travel to the Aldermaston Recreational Society. The Atom Men are looking to maintain their 100% start to the season and to keep the pressure on at the top of the division but will be without manager Kieran Jennings who has left the club.

Also in the Hellenic League Division One East, Wokingham & Emmbrook make the trip to pre season favourites Burnham.

Despite being well fancied, the Blues have had an indifferent start to their league campaign, winning one and losing two, but they have progressed to the FA Cup First Qualifying Round where they will face Bury Town at home next weekend. The Sumas will hope to continue their goal scoring form after they put five past Bicester Town last weekend.

FA Vase First Qualifying Round

  • Ardley United vs Holyport
  • Chertsey Town vs Woodley United
  • Eversley & California vs Downton
  • Sandhurst Town vs Kensington Borough
  • Wallingford Town vs Abingdon United

Hellenic League Division One East

  • AFC Aldermaston vs Didcot Town Development
  • Burnham vs Wokingham & Emmbrook


Main image: Holyport’s Fabian Driffill by Richard Tyrell.

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