Step 6 Preview: Holyport and Eversley & California in action in the FA Vase




The stand out matches this weekend are the fixtures in the FA Vase. Two local sides, Eversley & California and Holyport, have come through two qualifying rounds and have made it to the first round proper.

Despite the competition still being regionalised at this stage, Holyport have been given a 404-mile round trip to West Devon having been drawn away at Ivybridge Town. The Ivies are a fellow Step 6 side and play in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division where they currently sit 18th out of 19 teams.

With the cost of such a large trip being a major burden for a club at this level, Port started a Crowdfunder in the hope that football fans would donate towards the travel costs. Fans could pay to sponsor players and could even pay for a place on the coach and travel to the game with the team. The idea was a great success with Holyport raising enough to cover all their travel costs and sponsor all players.

Club Secretary Richard Tyrell said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from local clubs, companies and fellow supporters of grass roots football. We have 10 supporters coming with us which is great considering how far the journey is; it’s going to be a 16-hour day for everyone.

“My only concern is the weather at the moment; Ivybridge has heavy rain forecast for the next 3 days and after raising my concerns of a postponement to the FA yesterday, they confirmed that we would have to travel there for Tuesday night if the match is postponed.”

Cameron Miller scoring for Eversley & California FC. Photo: Richard Milam.
Cameron Miller scoring for Eversley & California FC. Photo: Richard Milam.

Eversley & California had no such travel issues for their tie as they were drawn at home to Sydenhams (Wessex) Premier League side Horndean. The visitors are in fine form and have won 10 of their last 11 games in all competitions, with the only blip coming in the form of a 3-2 defeat away at Step 3 Margate in the FA Cup. The Boars will need to be on top form to progress, but they will take heart from their midweek 3-0 league victory at Bagshot.

No more draws for Fizzers?

In the Combined Counties League Division One, Sandhurst Town travel to Chessington & Hook United looking to improve on a run that has seen them draw 3 of their last 4 games. Chessington currently sit two places and four points above the Fizzers in the league, but they have played two extra games.

Luke Scope. Photo: Graham Tabor.
Luke Scope. Photo: Graham Tabor.

There are two matches with local interest in the Hellenic League Division One East this weekend. Wokingham & Emmbrook host Milton United who sit one place above them on goal difference only. After a couple of disappointing cup defeats in the last week, the Sumas will be looking forward to getting back to league action where they are undefeated in their last three matches.

The other match sees Wallingford Town look to extend their unbeaten start to their league campaign when they entertain Penn & Tylers Green. Penn currently sit five places and five points above Wally, but they have played two extra games.

Can the Kestrels stop Gudger?

In the Bluefin Sports (UHL) Challenge Cup Woodley united welcome Cirencester Town Development of the Hellenic League Division One West to Scours Lane. Cirencester sit fifth out of thirteen in their league and boast one of the division’s top scorers in Danny Gudger who has eleven goals in ten appearances in all competitions. The Kestrels, who are playing their first match in almost two weeks will be hoping that the rest period and home advantage enable them to progress on Saturday and should debut a new forward.

FA Vase

  • Eversley & California vs Horndean
  • Ivybridge Town vs Holyport

Combined Counties League Division One

  • Chessington & Hook United vs Sandhurst Town

Hellenic League Division One East

  • Wallingford Town vs Penn & Tylers Green
  • Wokingham & Emmbrook vs Milton United

Bluefin Sports (UHL) Challenge Cup

  • Woodley United vs Cirencester Town Development


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