The opening matches in this season’s Buildbase FA Vase take place this weekend and no fewer than 26 CCL clubs are involved. It would have been 27 but Spelthorne Sports received a bye due to the removal of Sutton Athletic (reason unknown).
Whether by design or by coincidence, not one of our clubs is facing a fellow CCL club, which is very unusual but probably welcome as most clubs prefer to play teams from outside their own league.
Three of the matches involving CCL clubs are taking place on Sunday for various reasons, being Farnham Town at Ascot United, Bedfont & Feltham away to Stansfield and FC Deportivo at home to Lewisham Borough. It is understood that all three kick off at 3.00 p.m.
Where scores are level after extra time, there will be replays in midweek although there are a few exceptions to this as clubs can mutually agree to play to a finish (i.e. penalties) in the first match. CCL clubs who have opted for this along with their opponents, are AC London, away to Ringmer, Cobham away to Gravesham, Cove at home to Westbury United and Bedfont Sports at home to Three Bridges.
There are too many clubs involved for scientific accuracy but Ash United probably have the longest journey of any of our clubs, facing a 100 mile trip to meet Swanage & Herston, members of the Magna Dorset Premier League, whilst Eversley & California also have a fairly long journey, with a 60 mile plus journey to Ringwood Town, near Bournemouth. Fleet Town are off to Newport, IOW, a journey that will be familiar to them as the clubs met regularly in the Wessex League until Fleet transferred to the CCL.
By virtue of their final positions in the League last season, Epsom & Ewell, Hanworth Villa and Westfield are all exempt to the 1st Round Proper.
Two of our clubs will be making their first ever appearance in the competition, namely Balham, who have received a bye into the 2nd Qualifying Round and Bagshot who travel tomorrow to Wessex League, Hythe & Dibden FC, near Southampton.
Also returning to the completion after several years are Godalming Town, who have also received a bye.
Good luck to all the CCL clubs. Replays will show on this site tomorrow in the Fixtures Section.