FA Cup 2016-17 3rd Qualifying Round Tie-by-Tie Preview

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Overview

The 80 clubs in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round comprise of 27x National League Step 2 clubs (15 from the ‘North’ and 12 from the ‘South’), 26x Step 3 clubs (11 Isthmian, 8 Southern and 7 Northern Premier clubs), 18x Step 4 clubs (3 Isthmian South and 1 North, 5 Southern South and West and 3 Central, and 4 Northern Premier South and 2 North), and 9x Step 5 clubs (2 Northern League, 2 Northern Counties East League, and 1 each from Hellenic League, Midland Football League, Eastern Counties League, Spartan South Midlands League and the Western League)!

The Nine Step 5 clubs will be competing in their 5th FA Cup tie of this season – Handsworth Parramore, Bishop Auckland, Morpeth Town, AFC Mansfield, Brimscombe and Thrupp, Felixstowe and Walton United, Cadbury Heath, Westfields and Hadley – for comparison playing five ties would take a Premier League club to the Semi Finals!

Morpeth Town and Hadley are facing a daunting trip to Step 2 National League opponents, Altrincham and Eastbourne Borough. All Step 5 clubs are drawn against higher league opposition!

Westfields and Cadbury Heath are the joint top scorers so far in this season’s FA Cup with 17 goals scored each!

A dozen of the 80 clubs are appearing in the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time ever – Farsley Celtic, Faversham Town, Beaconsfield SYCOB, Felixstowe and Walton United, Cadbury Heath, Westfields and Thamesmead Town have all made 2nd Qualifying Round before; Lincoln United, Brimscombe and Thrupp and Hadley had only ever made the Preliminary Round in the past; AFC Mansfield had only had one FA Cup campaign and were knocked out in the Extra Preliminary Round; and Hereford are the last club remaining of the original 18 FA Cup debutants!

Four more clubs are just one win away from creating a new personal best in the FA Cup – North Leigh, Merthyr Town, Walton Casuals and Merstham – resulting in three ties where there are guarantees that a team will be in the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time ever – Beaconsfield SYCOB v Felixstowe and Walton United, Westfields v Walton Casuals, and Merstham v Thamesmead Town!

Ten other clubs are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run to the 4th Qualifying Round – King’s Lynn Town, Curzon Ashton, Ilkeston, Spennymoor Town, Morpeth Town, Egham Town, Potters Bar Town, AFC Rushden and Diamonds, Burgess Hill Town and Winchester City – none of them face any of the other nine!

Just seven of the 40 ties have clubs from facing each other who will meet in league matches this season – from the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Halesowen Town v Nantwich Town, Ilkeston v Stourbridge, and Matlock Town v Workington; from the National League North, FC Halifax Town v Stalybridge Celtic, Worcester City v Brackley Town, Stockport County v Salford City, and FC United of Manchester v Harrogate Town – there is one other all National League clash as Gloucester City from the ‘North’ take on Hemel Hempstead Town from the ‘South’ meaning that at least five more Step 2 clubs will join 17 others in exiting this year’s FA Cup before the top National League clubs come in!

Just six of the 40 ties involve clubs who have met in the FA Cup in the past – Faversham Town v Egham Town (0-1 to Egham), Hendon v AFC Rushden and Diamonds (1-0 to Hendon), Slough Town v Dartford (0-1 to Dartford), Merstham v Thamesmead Town (1-0 to Merstham), Wealdstone v Banbury United (3-0 to Wealdstone) and the most common tie of the round, Kettering Town v Boston United (3-4 to Boston)!

Several clubs are looking to try to make the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time for quite a while – Hungerford Town and Potters Bar Town (10 years), Halesowen Town and Lancaster City (12 years), Bishop Auckland and Worthing (17 years), Morpeth Town and Taunton Town (18 years), Egham Town (26 years), Matlock Town (27 years), Banbury United (36 years) and Winchester City (62 years)!

Some clubs are defending long periods since they were knocked out of the FA Cup as early as the 3rd Qualifying Round – Welling United (5 years), Alfreton Town and Gloucester City (6 years) and Kidderminster Harriers (33 years)!

A couple of trivial facts – the tie with the shortest combined club names is Slough Town v Dartford (18 letters) – the only tie where both clubs have the same initials is Stockport County v Salford City!

 

To follow is THE most comprehensive tie-by-tie preview available on-line or anywhere!

  1. Halesowen Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division) v Nantwich Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of three all Northern Premier League Premier Division ties in this round. It’s 12 years since Halesowen Town made it to the 4th Qualifying Round, the 9th season the Yeltz reached the 1st Round Proper, their best ever FA Cup run, and the second highest 1st Round total appearances without ever going any further. The Dabbers best FA Cup run is also to the 1st Round Proper, achieved just once in 2011/12, and this will be the first season since then the club has not gone out of the competition in the 1st Qualifying Round.

 

   2. Kettering Town (Southern League Premier Division) v Boston United (National League North)

Step 3 v Step 2

Seven previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, the most common FA Cup match-up in this 3rd Qualifying Round. The Pilgrims won 1-0 in their last FA Cup meeting four years ago to give Boston United a 4 to three lead over The Poppies in FA Cup wins between the two teams.

Both clubs have reached at least the 3rd Round Proper in the past with Boston United reaching the last of their 3rd Round appearances 12 years ago. Kettering Town have reached the 4th Round twice, most recently in 2008/09 season.

 

    3. Lincoln United (Northern Premier League Division 1 South) v Handsworth Parramore (Northern Counties East League Premier Division)

Step 4 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

After winning four FA Cup ties already this season Handsworth Parramore are now three rounds further in the competition than they have ever been before. They have already despatched two Step 4 clubs, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Burscough, and will be looking to make it a hat-trick of Cup upsets. Lincoln United have a giant-killing of their own this year after knocking out National League North opposition in the shape of Nuneaton Borough in the last round. United have made the 1st Round Proper twice in the past, but this year they are trending to make it only as far as this round having been knocked out one round further than the previous season over the past three years.

 

  1. Farsley Celtic (Northern Premier League Division 1 South) v Bishop Auckland (Northern League Division 1)

Step 4 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs

Farsley Celtic are appearing in the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time since re-forming in 2010, whilst Bishop Auckland are looking to reach the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time this Century. The Bishops have actually made it as far as the 4th Round Proper in the past, but that was 62 years ago. However, they’ve already won through four FA Cup ties this season scoring 14 goals on the way and defeating two Step 4 clubs in the process.

 

  1. FC Halifax Town (National League North) v Stalybridge Celtic (National League North)

Step 2 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of four all National League North ties in this round. FC Halifax Town have made the 1st Round Proper in each of the last three seasons and four times in total, whilst Celtic have gone one better making the 2nd Round Proper three times in the most, most recently at the turn of this Century.

 

  1. Worcester City (National League North) v Brackley Town (National League North)

Step 2 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of four all National League North ties in this round. The Saints made the 2nd Round Proper as recently as three seasons ago whilst Worcester City famously made the 4th Round Proper in 1958/59 when as a Southern League Northern Division club they beat Second Division Liverpool 2-1 in the 3rd Round.

 

  1. King’s Lynn Town (Southern League Premier Division) v Alfreton Town (National League North)

Step 3 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Linnets are one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run since re-forming in 2010. Alfreton Town have made the 2nd Round Proper twice in the past and it is six years since they last failed to go beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round.

 

  1. Curzon Ashton (National League North) v Bedworth United (Northern Premier League Division 1 South)

Step 2 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Bedworth United are one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, but it is seven years since they last achieved that feat for what was the 6th time, the equal highest total of any club never to have made the Proper Rounds. Curzon Ashton reached the 2nd Round Proper for their only time one year before their opponents last equalled their best run and they haven’t been beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round since then.

 

  1. Ilkeston (Northern Premier League Premier Division) v Stourbridge (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

One of three all Northern Premier League Premier Division ties. The current incarnation of Ilkeston FC formed in 2010 are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, whilst the Glassboys have made it as far as the 2nd Round Proper three times in the last five seasons.

 

  1. Lancaster City (Northern Premier League Division 1 North) v Kidderminster Harriers (National League North)

Step 4 v Step 2

Despite the two clubs having a combined 200 FA Cup campaigns between them this is the first FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Lancaster City have made the 2nd Round Proper in the past but it is 12 years since they last progressed beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round. The Harriers have not been knocked out of the FA Cup as early as the 3rd Qualifying Round for 33 years, reached the 5th Round Proper in the intervening years, but will need to be wary as their lower league opponents defeated National League opposition in the last round.

 

  1. Matlock Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division) v Workington (Northern Premier League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

One of three all Northern Premier League Premier Division ties. Former Football League club Workington made the 4th Round Proper 83 years ago, bizarrely when they were still a non-league club competing in the North Eastern League Division One. The Gladiators made the 3rd Round Proper 40 years ago but have not gone beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round for 27 years.

 

  1. Stockport County (National League North) v Salford City (National League North)

Step 2 v Step 2

Despite their close proximity and a combined total of 142 FA Cup campaigns this is the first FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of four all National League North ties, and the only one of this round to pit two sides together with the same initials. Salford City achieved their best ever FA Cup run last season to the 2nd Round Proper whilst Stockport County were achieving their worst FA Cup run for almost 120 years being knocked out as they were in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

 

  1. Spennymoor Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division) v Chorley (National League North)

Step 3 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Moors are one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run since forming in 2005, whilst Chorley have made the 2nd Round Proper twice I  the past and have reached the 4th Qualifying Round in both the last two seasons.

 

  1. FC United of Manchester (National League North) v Harrogate Town (National League North)

Step 2 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both clubs have made it to the 2nd Round Proper in recent seasons, Harrogate in 2012-13 and the Red Rebels two years prior to that. FC United recorded their biggest ever win in the FA Cup in the last round, a 7-1 victory at Ossett Town.

 

  1. Altrincham (National League North) v Morpeth Town (Northern League Division 1)

Step 2 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of only two 3rd Qualifying Round ties that sees a Step 5 club have to travel to a Step 2 ground. Morpeth Town are appearing in this round for the first time in 17 years and last went one round further, their best run, a year before that. However, the Highwaymen have already knocked out two higher league opponents amongst their four FA Cup victories this season. Altrincham made the 4th Round Proper 31 years ago when as an Alliance Premier League side they famously won 2-1 at top flight Birmingham City in the 3rd Round.

 

  1. AFC Mansfield (Northern Counties East League Premier Division) v Stamford Northern Premier League Division 1 South)

Step 5 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

AFC Mansfield are only in their second ever FA Cup campaign having gone out at the first hurdle last season, they now have a 4 to one win ratio in the FA Cup. Stamford are unique in this year’s competition being as they are the only club not in their debut season who cannot equal their best ever FA Cup run. The Daniels made the 5th Qualifying Round the season before World War One broke out, a round that now no longer exists.

 

  1. Faversham Town (Isthmian League Division 1 South) v Egham Town (Southern League Division 1 Central)

Step 4 v Step 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, a 1982/83 1st Qualifying Round tie won by the Sarnies 3-1 after a goalless draw.

The Lilywhites are into the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time in their history and in their 39th campaign, the most FA Cup campaigns of any club making it this far for the first time. Egham Town are just one won away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run last achieved 26 years ago.

 

  1. North Leigh (Southern League Division 1 South and West) v Folkestone Invicta (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Step 4 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

North Leigh are already matching their best FA Cup run set only last season, whilst it is nine years since the Seasiders made it to the 4th Qualifying Round just two seasons after achieving their best FA Cup run to the 1st Round Proper.

 

  1. Ebbsfleet United (National League South) v Havant and Waterlooville (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two.

Both clubs have made it as far as the 4th Round Proper in the past, Ebbsfleet 54 years ago when still known as Gravesend and Northfleet, and the Hawks nine seasons ago when they famously briefly headed Premiership side Liverpool at Anfield before succumbing to a 5-2 defeat.

 

  1. Hungerford Town (National League South) v Leiston (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two.

Both clubs have appeared in the 1st Round Proper in the past, but it’s been a few years since either went beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round. Leiston made the 1st Round in 2008/09 season and were last in the 4th Qualifying Round two years after that. Hungerford made the 1st Round 37 years ago and were last in the 4th Qualifying Round in the 2006/07 season.

 

  1. Potters Bar Town (Southern League Division 1 Central) v Bath City (National League South)

Step 4 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs

The Scholars are one win away from emulating their best ever FA Cup run achieved 10 years ago, whilst Bath City have reached the 3rd Round Proper on six occasions, the most times for any club that has always been non-league and never gone any further.

 

  1. Hendon (Isthmian League Premier Division) v AFC Rushden and Diamonds (Northern Premier League Division 1 South)

Step 3 v Step 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs just two seasons ago won 1-0 by Hendon.

The Diamonds are looking to emulate their best FA Cup run to the 4th Qualifying Round achieved only last season, whilst Hendon made the 3rd Round Proper for their one and only time 43 years ago.

 

  1. Margate (National League South) v Hastings United (Isthmian League Division 1 South)

Step 2 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs although Margate met the original Hastings United three times being successful on two of those occasions.

Both clubs have made the 3rd Round Proper in the past, Margate twice (last in 1972/73) and the Arrows just four seasons ago. Since then Hastings have gone one round further than the previous season in the FA Cup and are trending to make the 4th Qualifying Round this year.

 

  1. Taunton Town (Southern League Division 1 South and West) v Hampton and Richmond Borough (National League South)

Step 4 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both clubs have appeared in the 1st Round Proper in the past, Taunton Town in 1981/82 season although they haven’t gone beyond the 3rd Qualifying Rou d this Century. In that time the Beavers have twice made it to the 1st Round.

 

  1. Weymouth (Southern League Premier Division) v Brimscombe and Thrupp (Hellenic League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Lilywhites are already three rounds further in the FA Cup than they’ve ever been before and might be considered fortunate to have only faced other Step 5 clubs so far in their four FA Cup matches this season. Having said that, you can only beat what’s put in front of you. Weymouth knocked out National League opponents in the last round and made it as far as the 4th Round Proper 55 years ago.

 

  1. St Albans City (National League South) v Worthing (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs

Both clubs have made it as far as the 2nd Round Proper in the past, St Albans three times and Worthing just once. The Rebels have also so far been unable to progress beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round this Century.

 

  1. Wealdstone (National League South) v Banbury United (Southern League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 3

Three previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs and all three won by Wealdstone, most recently a 2-1 victory in the 2004/05 season.

It is 36 years since Banbury United last made the 4th Qualifying Round, and their best run is to the 1st Round Proper which they have achieved four times, but not since 1973/74 season. The Stones reached the 3rd Round Proper four years after then.

 

  1. Tonbridge Angels (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Hereford (Southern Premier League Division 1 South and West)

Step 3 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs as Hereford are in their debut FA Cup season.

Hereford are the last club standing of all this season’s FA Cup debutants and defeated a Northern Premier League Premier Division side in the previous round. The Angels have appeared in the 1st Round Proper five times, but have not gone beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round for none seasons.

 

  1. Beaconsfield SYCOB (Southern League Division 1 Central) v Felixstowe and Walton United (Eastern Counties League Premier Division)

Step 4 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Neither side has ever appeared in the 3rd Qualifying Round before, so this is one of three ties in this round which guarantees a first-timer in the 4th Qualifying Round, too. SYCOB have faced three Step 4 sides to make it this far whilst the Seasiders beat a Step 4 club in the 1st Qualifying Round and National League South club Bishop’s Stortford in the last round.

 

  1. Whitehawk (National League South) v Merthyr Town (Southern League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Hawks set their personal best FA Cup run last season by reaching the 2nd Round Proper whilst the Martyrs are equalling their best FA Cup run since re-forming in 2010.

 

  1. Chesham United (Southern League Premier Division) v Staines Town (Isthmian League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Swans have made the 2nd Round Proper twice in the last nine years, whilst the Generals reached the 3rd Round Proper 37 years ago and the 2nd Round last season.

 

  1. Burgess Hill Town (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Cadbury Heath (Western League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Cadbury Heath are into the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time ever in what is their 10th FA Cup campaign, whilst the Hillians are one win away from reaching the 4th Qualifying Round for the fourth time, last achieved just two seasons ago. However, the Heathens are joint top scorers in this season’s FA Cup with 17 goals so the Hillians will need to be wary of a Cup upset.

 

  1. Slough Town (Southern League Premier Division) v Dartford (National League South)

Step 3 v Step 2

One previous FA Cup meeting a 1988/89 4th Qualifying Round tie won 2-1 by Dartford.

Dartford made the 3rd Round Proper twice in the 1930s and the 2nd Round just two seasons ago, whilst Slough Town’s best is the 2nd Round Proper, achieved six times, the equal highest number of times for any club yet to appear in the 3rd Round. The Rebels are also trending to just reach this 3rd Qualifying Round having gone one round further than the previous season for the last two years.

 

  1. Billericay Town (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Chippenham Town (Southern League Premier Division)

Step 3 v Step 3

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Both clubs have appeared in the 1st Round Proper in the past, the Bluebirds twice (most recently in 2005/06 season) and Billericay Town three times (most recently in 2007/08 season), but they haven’t gone further than the 3rd Qualifying Round since then.

 

  1. Welling United (National League South) v Swindon Supermarine (Southern League Division 1 South and West)

Step 2 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

Supermarine made the 2nd Round Proper six years ago but this is the first time they have made the 3rd Qualifying Round since then. Welling reached the 3rd Round Proper in the 1988/89 season, but have not gone out of the FA Cup as early as the 3rd Qualifying Round for five years, making the 2nd Round twice in that time.

 

  1. Gloucester City (National League North) v Hemel Hempstead Town (National League South)

Step 2 v Step 2

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is the only National League North versus South clash of the round. The Tudors made the 1st Round Proper for just the second time two seasons ago, whilst Gloucester City have reached the 2nd Round Proper (1989/90 season) and the Tigers have not gone out of the FA Cup as early as the 3rd Qualifying Round for six seasons.

 

  1. Westfields (Midland Football League Premier Division) v Walton Casuals (Isthmian League Division 1 South)

Step 5 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of three ties in this round that guarantees a first-timer into the 4th Qualifying Round. Walton Casuals are equalling their best FA Cup run achieved six seasons ago whilst Westfields are appearing in this round for the first time ever. The Fields are joint top scorers in this season’s FA Cup with 17 goals and have already despatched one higher league club, Step 3 side St Ives Town in the 1st Qualifying Round.

 

  1. Eastbourne Borough (National League South) v Hadley (Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division)

Step 2 v Step 5

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

This is one of two 3rd Qualifying Round ties that require a Step 5 club to travel to the ground of a National League side. Hadley are already three rounds further than they’ve ever been before, have one Step 3 scalp in the shape of Kings Langley, but have been sparse with their goals having scored just five (and conceded just once) in four ties. In fact, 163 clubs have scored more goals than Hadley have done so in the Cup this year, the majority of which are no longer in the competition. The Sports have made the 1st Round Proper three times this Century and the 4th Qualifying Round in each of the last two seasons.

 

  1. Merstham (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Thamesmead Town (Isthmian League Division 1 North)

Step 3 v Step 4

One previous FA Cup meeting between the two clubs a 2008/09 2nd Qualifying Round tie won 5-1 by Merstham after a 1-1 draw.

This is one of three ties in this round that guarantees a first-timer in the 4th Qualifying Round. The Mead are appearing in the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time ever in what is their 23rd FA Cup campaign, whilst the Moatsiders are equalling their best FA Cup run achieved eight years ago.

 

  1. Harrow Borough (Isthmian League Premier Division) v Winchester City (Southern League Division 1 South and West)

Step 3 v Step 4

First FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.

The Boro made the 2nd Round Proper 33 years ago whilst Winchester City are just one win away from equalling their best ever FA Cup run, achieved three times before but not for 62 years ago.

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