Today sees the start of another football season, with the opening fixtures in the Bostik League and also the Extra Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup. Step 4 clubs have in previous seasons been exempt from the Extra Preliminary Round, but due to the league restructuring in the summer affecting Steps 3 and 4, there are now 18 Step 4 clubs entering the competition in the Extra Preliminary Round. These are the 18 lowest ranked newly promoted clubs based on their points per game from the 2017-2018 season. From the Bostik League South East therefore, Sevenoaks Town, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath Town and Whitstable Town will start their season with a cup tie.
The fixtures involving Bostik League South East teams for Saturday 11th August are:
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (Winners £2,250, Losers £750)
Crawley Down Gatwick v Three Bridges
Haywards Heath Town v Lancing
Deal Town v Whitstable Town
Sevenoaks Town v Lordswood
Bostik League South East
Ashford United v Hythe Town
East Grinstead Town v Phoenix Sports
Faversham Town v Herne Bay
Greenwich Borough v Cray Wanderers
Hastings United v Thamesmead Town
Horsham v Sittingbourne
VCD Athletic v Ramsgate
Whyteleafe v Guernsey
This will be the 6th occasion that Whitstable and Deal have met in the FA Cup. The teams also played each other three times last season, twice in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division and also in the Challenge Cup quarter final. Whitstable won two of the games, but lost the league fixture at Deal early in the season. The winners will face an away trip in two weeks’ time to a Combined Counties Premier Division team, either Sutton Common Rovers, who finished last season in 3rd place or CB Hounslow United, who finished 9th. Sutton Common Rovers play their matches on the artificial pitch at the Knights Community Stadium, Gander Green Lane, the home of Sutton United.
Kick off at the Charles Ground is at 3 pm. Please note that should the scores be level after 90 minutes, the replay will take place at the Belmont Ground on WEDNESDAY 15th August at 7.45 pm.
Whitstable do not have a league fixture until Sunday 19th August at 3 pm, when they face a trip to Bromley FC to play Cray Wanderers.