Five CCL clubs have made it through to the 1st Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup, following Saturday’s results, in which not a single match was drawn after the plethora of draws in the previous round.
Perhaps the tip is to play on Friday nights with both Sutton Common Rovers and Badshot Lea overcoming tough opposition to go through. SCR in particular were up against a club, in Eastbourne Town, whose playing record has been excellent in recent seasons and who had started in their league with four straight wins.
Matters were a little less rosy on Saturday with three more clubs joining the first two, although two of Saturday’s winners had to knock out fellow CCL opposition to proceed. Balham are on fire at the moment and seemingly had little difficulty in overcoming Redhill on their own patch, 4-1, whilst a tough encounter between Southall and Spelthorne Sports saw the latter emerge with a 2-1 victory.
Perhaps the most impressive performance on Saturday though came from Abbey Rangers who overcame Isthmian opposition in the shape of East Grinstead Town on their own ground by a solitary goal.
Disappointing results from the CCL point of view saw Egham Town, Guildford City and Knaphill exiting the competition with odd goal defeats, as did Hanworth Villa two miles down the road at Bedfont Sports, despite the Villans having taken a two goal lead only to be pegged back at the death. CB Hounslow completed the group of clubs to go out with an unexpectedly heavy 0-3 defeat at home to ex-CCL club Horley Town.
In terms of being home or away, the draw for the 1st Qualifying Round has not been over kind to our clubs with only one of the five being drawn at home, namely SCR who will face Southern League Premier side Beaconsfield Town in a match that will be played on either the Friday or Sunday as Sutton United are at home to Notts County on Saturday 7 September.
Of the remaining four, three have been drawn away to ex-CCL clubs, with Spelthorne at Hartley Wintney, Badshot Lea at South Park and Balham at Horley. Completing the draw are Abbey Rangers who find themselves travelling down to Brighton to face Whitehawk, who were relegated to Step 4 at the end of last seaon.