The draw for the first round of the FA Trophy has been made, and it’s the stage that sees the big boys of the Conference Premier enter the fray.
The draw is still regionalised at this stage, but is the round that the Conference National clubs make their debuts. From a personal point of view, I am delighted with the potential draw handed out to Hampton & Richmond Borough. Following Saturday’s draw at Leiston FC, the two will contest a replay tomorrow night (Tuesday November 13th) at Beveree Stadium, with the winners being handed a very attractive home tie with either Chelmsford City or Dover Athletic of Conference South. Last season, Hampton disposed of then Conference South club Hayes & Yeading United at the first round stage, while Leiston went out at the earliest possible stage, losing 1-0 at Brentwood Town in the Preliminary Round.
There are several excellent looking ties in the draw, in both sections. In the north, Mansfield Town will host Northern Premier League side Matlock Town, while NPL Division One North side Ossett Albion will travel to Edgeley Park to face Conference Premier Stockport County. Tamworth v Lincoln City also stands out, as does NPL Premier mid table side Rushall Olympic’s trip to Conference high flyers Wrexham.
In the Southern section, meanwhile, Welling United of the Conference South got the plum draw, with a home tie against Newport County, who are of course top of the Conference Premier at the time of the draw. Shortwood United or Merthyr Town, of the Southern League Division One South & West, have been handed a very good looking home draw with Conference South side Tonbridge Angels, with the two sides needing to contest a replay this Tuesday after Ryan Prosser’s 87th minute strike saved the tie for the Welshmen. Elsewhere in the section, FA Cup giantkillers Dorchester Town have another chance to upset the odds with a plum draw at home to Luton Town.
The full draw is as follows:
Alfreton Town v Kidderminster Harriers
Hednesford Town v Solihull Moors
Gainsborough Trinity v Harrogate Town or Hinckley United
Wrexham v Rushall Olympic
Tamworth v Lincoln City
Boston United v Skelmersdale United
FC Halifax Town v Altrincham
Mansfield Town v Matlock Town
Stafford Rangers v Southport
Guiseley v Brackley Town
Chester or Worksop Town v King’s Lynn Town
AFC Telford United v Nuneaton Town
Gateshead v Macclesfield Town
Hyde v Barrow
Stockport County v Ossett Town
Grimsby Town v Buxton
Woking v Farnborough
Oxford City v Bishop’s Stortford
Kingstonian or Brentwood Town v Dartford
Welling United v Newport County
Ebbsfleet United v Hereford United
Dorchester Town v Luton Town
Braintree Town v Havant & Waterlooville
Canvey Island or Chesham United v Leatherhead or Bath City
Wealdstone or Corby Town v Hayes & Yeading United
Bromley or Staines Town v Boreham Wood
Billericay Town v Cambridge United
Shortwood United or Merthyr Town v Tonbridge Angels
Maidenhead United v Sutton United
Forest Green Rovers v AFC Totton
Maidstone United v Salisbury City
Leiston or Hampton & Richmond Borough v Chelmsford City or Dover Athletic
Ties will be played the weekend of November 24th.