Once again, our clubs have done well collectively following the weekend’s FA Cup results, with three of the five involved going through to the 2nd Qualifying Round, as opposed to just one last season.
Abbey Rangers were one of them and they saw off Whitehawk, near Brighton, by the only goal of the game. Whitehawk are at Step 4 in the Isthmian League these days but were a National League South club until they were relegated at the end of season 17-18 and another followed last season with a second relegation putting them back at Step 4. However, they are unbeaten in the Isthmian South East Division this season so it was a remarkable scalp for Abbey, who have become redoubtable cup opponents in recent seasons.
Doing equally well were Badshot Lea who travelled to East Surrey to meet ex-CCL side South Park and came away with a 3-1 victory.
The third club to make it through were Balham, playing away against familiar opposition in the shape of Horley Town, again with a scoreline of 3-1.
Sadly, we lost both SCR and Spelthorne Sports. The former actually took the lead against Beaconsfield but were eventually defeated 1-3 whilst another ex-CCL side Hartley Wintney were too strong for Spelthorne Sports, winning 3-0.
The draw is now to hand for the 2nd Qualifying Round. Abbey will be away to Walthamstow, who also play at Step 5 in the Essex Senior League, They currently sit in 7th place in their table.
Badshot Lea have been favoured with a home draw and face a tough game against Hayes & Yeading who were promoted to Step 3 at the end of last season. Now in the Southern League they have not set the world alight with just one league win on their opening sequence of league matches but it is a tough ask for the Baggies.
Finally Balham also have a home tie and will face Royston Town from Step 3 in the Southern League. Royston play in the Southern League Premier Division (Central) and are near to the top of the table, so another tough match.
Good luck to all three of our clubs with the ties due to be played on Saturday 21 September.