Bracknell Town, Maidenhead United and Slough Town will all be bidding to reach the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup when they compete in the fourth and final qualifying round this Saturday.
Bracknell Town vs Dagenham & Redbridge – FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (12:30pm BBC Red Button)
First in action will be Bracknell as they take on Dagenham & Redbridge
at the SB Stadium at 12.30pm with the tie being shown by the BBC via
the red button, on BBCiplayer and the BBC sport website.
The Robins, who lost to 3-0 to Ipswich in a televised first-round tie
last season, have been doing their homework on the Daggers by viewing
footage of their recent games and realise they appear a better side
than their recent form suggests.
They sit fourth from bottom of the National League with just three
wins from 15 games, and have not won a game since early September.
But joint manager Carl Withers believes the former Football League
outfit “are going to prove very tough opponents. He said: “There is a
lot of experience in their side and they’ve recently signed Freddie
Sears, the former West Ham player.”
The 33-year-old striker played for the Hammers from 2007 to 2012, and
went on to play for
Crystal Palace, Coventry, Ipswich and Colchester. Sears, who played
for England at under-19 and under-21 level, joined Dagenham last
Facing Sears and Co will be keeper Simon Grant, who, after recently
quitting Hayes and Yeading, has joined the Robins to deputise for
regular stopper Michael Eacott, who has taken four weeks off due to
his wedding and honeymoon.
Bracknell are looking to the local community to support them and
hoping for a crowd of around 1,000.
Form guide (latest result on right)
Weston super Mare vs Maidenhead United – FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (3pm)
Maidenhead United reached the first round last year before losing to
Dagenham & Redbridge, the only goal coming in the 81st minute. And
they currently sit one place below Dagenham in the bottom four of the
The Magpies have won only two of their 15 league games so far – whilst
drawing seven – and their last win at York Road was against Dagenham
back in August. They have struggled to score goals, only 11 so far,
with two coming in a 2-2 home draw with Rochdale last Saturday with
manager Alan Devonshire admitting to the Maidenhead Advertiser’s Dan
Darlington: “I don’t think we look fit enough. We’re going to have to
get fitter, so we’ll be working harder next week.”
They travel down the M4 to face a Weston-super-Mare who currently
occupy 16th place in National League South and their form is nothing
to shout about, but the Seagulls have done better in the FA Cup with
wins over Truro City 2-0 and Farnborough 1-0 in the qualifying rounds.
This week they lost the services of teenage defender Ed James, who was
recalled from his loan by Exeter City.
Ebbsfleet United vs Slough Town – FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (3pm)
Slough are fifth from bottom of National League South, but will not be
lacking in confidence when they travel to Ebbsfleet United as they are
unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, their last defeat coming on September 2nd at Tonbridge Angels.
The Rebels have gone three games without conceding a goal, which
underlines their strength in defence, where former Bracknell
centre-backs Dan Bayliss and Temi Eweka have been a tower of strength.
Last Saturday, they were held to a 0-0 draw at Arbour Park by Bobby
Wilkinson’s Weymouth in a match that saw Johnny Goddard make 26 ‘key’
passes, a total only bettered on the day in the division by Bath
City’s Ewan Clark.
Looking ahead to the tie, player-manager Scott Davies said on the
club’s website: “It is a great game to have; we’ve got nothing to
lose. We need to go there and make sure we put on a good show for the
fans who follow us, and I’m sure they will be there in their numbers.”
Ebbsfleet completed a double over the Rebels last season on their way
to winning the title.
They currently sit 16th in the Vanarama National League with 16 points
from 15 games after losing four of their last six matches, conceding
six goals at Altrincham and five at Eastleigh.
The winning clubs on Saturday will collect £9,375 from the FA Cup
prize fund, with the losers receiving £3,125.
The first round will be played over the weekend of November 3rd to 5th, with the possibility of a Monday evening tie on the 6th.
And don’t forget that for the first time for quite some time, Reading FC will also be in the hat for the first round.