Berks County and Wallingford Town flying the flag in FA Vase on Saturday

Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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Phil Annets, the man behind the excellent FA Cup Factfile Twitter account calls the FA Vase ‘the egalitarian competition’ – all clubs are equal, and Berks County and Wallingford Town are proving his point somewhat this season.

Both sides are Football in Berkshire’s remaining representatives in the 2021/22 FA Vase and as well as a Wembley date at the end of the season, are playing for seeded qualification (or exemption) to the First Round Proper in 2022/23.

The two Step 6 Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division One sides face step 5 competition with County away at Harefield United and Wallingford at home to CCL Premier Division North North Greenford United on Saturday 20th November.

Speaking to FiB ahead of the Swords trip to Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Harefield, Berks County’s co-boss Lee Simpson said he believed if his side were tuned in they had every chance: “We’re 100% excited for the game. It’s a first for the club.

“We’ve had them watched, we know they beat Binfield and as our landlords, we’ve tapped up for Jamie McClurg and Carl Withers for information, but it’s up to us, we’ve got to go out there and impose ourselves as a step 6 side against step 5.

“We’ve struggled a little bit recently for a few reasons but our squad has great character and ability, and if we are tuned in on the day I give us a chance.”

“Brought the club together”

Ellis Woods and Lee Simpson.
Berks County FC managers Ellis Woods and Lee Simpson.

Simpson added: “The FA Vase run has been great so far for the club. It’s brought us all together a little bit. The juniors have been down to Hill Farm Lane when we played at home and been mascots. It’s been really exciting for the club.

“As well as that, because we ground share, the prize money has been good and it’s been great for the team to be able to bring some money in to the club.

“Being in the next round? It’d mean loads but most importantly it’d just give us a chance to keep proving ourselves. We have a great opportunity.”

Saturday’s Buildbase FA Vase Second Round Proper

Wallingford Town vs North Greenford United
Harefield United vs Berks County

A full list of weekend fixtures is here.

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