The FA Vase returns this weekend, with a number of mouth-watering fourth round ties set to take place. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
By Amos Murphy
Wythenshawe ready for fourth round debut
Triumphing 3-0 over Billingham Synthonia in round three, Wythenshawe Town of the North West Counties Football League Premier will take their place in the Fourth Round for the first-ever time.
Starting their campaign on 11th September against Litherland Remyca, Town have battled their way through the rounds, and have been handed a tricky assignment in round four.
Beaten at Wembley in May 2021, Consett AFC’s FA Vase dreams were shattered by Hebburn Town, who ran out eventual 3-2 winners in the delayed 2019/20 final.
Having caught the Wembley bug, the side from County Durham will look to pounce on the fourth round newbies this weekend.
Plenty of round four debuts across the weekend
Wythenshawe Town are just one a number of sides making their fourth-round debut this weekend, with Lakenheath appearing at this stage after five seasons trying.
Their reward? Rugby Town, the 1982/83 FA Vase winners, who have failed to reach round for the past 38 years.
Similarly, Raynes Park Vale have been trying to reach this stage for 25 seasons, and they’ll come up against Stansfeld, whose wait has lasted just five.
Elsewhere, Abbey Hey, AFC Liverpool, Harborough Town, Whitchurch Alport, Loughborough Students and Athletic Newham will feature in the fourth round for the first time ever this weekend.
Past winners a plenty in Vase round four
Rugby Town represents one of two former FA Vase winners left in the competition, with the other being North Shields, who lifted the trophy in 2014/15.
Looking to add to an illustrious trophy cabinet, Harborough Town will be the opponents for North Shields, whose fight for a league and cup double continues.
Third in the Northern Division 1 table, 2021/22 could yet prove to be a profitable campaign for the Tyne and Wear side.
Date with destiny for Vase suitors
Whilst there may only be two winners, there remain a number of sides with plenty of FA Vase experience.
Southall, Wroxham and Tunbridge Wells will be looking to go one better than their best ever finish in the FA Vase, having finished as runners-up in previous campaigns.
For Littlehampton Town, their target remains reaching the final itself, having been knocked out in the semi-finals – fourth round newbies Athletic Newham are their opponents.