Why Sandhurst Town and Woodley United aren’t in the FA Cup

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The 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary and Preliminary Round draws were made on Friday lunchtime with some notable Berkshire sides missing from the list.

Last season, Bracknell Town missed out due to an administration error, this season it seems clubs at step 6 have fallen victim to the Football Association’s points per game metric.

Sandhurst Town for example are absent from this seasons competition after featuring in 2018/19, taking Lymington Town to a Extra Preliminary Round replay.

Related: Virginia Water to make their FA Cup bow

Also missing are Woodley United after two consecutive seasons in the competition and Hellenic League Division One East neighbours Holyport who featured last season and a further six times since 2010.

Port will have to wait a little longer to banish this stat.

The reality of the FA Cup and its prize fund which can be pretty lucrative for clubs that go on a bit of a run, is that there simply aren’t enough spaces in the competition which this season will feature 736 clubs.

We believe the FA use a points per game metric at step 6 – Hellenic League and Combined Counties Division One level, similar to that used to decide promotion factors at step 5 in the 2017/18 season.

There are also rules around clubs ground grading’s and how soon they can enter which is one reason why Wokingham & Emmbrook miss out – although it’s likely they’d not have qualified via PPG anyway.

Fortunately for all these clubs, there is still the FA Vase.

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