Our two best meet at Parkside. Aveley and Potters Bar Town each have just one defeat in their five league matches so far, and each have won in the other four, so this should be a competitive encounter. The last meeting between the two was also in the cup, with goals from Dernell Wynter and Bradley Sach earning the Scholars victory on August 25, 2018.

Billericay Town didn’t get the start they might have expected for our Pitching In Isthmian Premier campaign. The Blues are hoping to kick off their season by beating Leverstock Green of the Spartan South Midlands League. Green lost for the first time last season last weekend, leaving the FA Vase against Edgware & Kingsbury after a penalty shootout.

Bishop’s Stortford will miss keeper Jack Giddens, who will be married, when they host St Neots Town. The Blues are winless from three, a knock off the start of the season perhaps, while their visitors – from Pitching In Northern Premier Division One Midlands – found their way back to winning ways on Monday after two defeats, beating Hinckley LRFC by three goals to zero. They have scored nine goals and conceded just one in their two FA Cup appearances this season.

The town of Bognor Regis hosts Pitching In Isthmian Premier rivals Cray Wanderers at Nye Camp. The two have met before this season – a two-two draw at Hayes Lane on August 17 – and Wands will have fond memories of the last time they visited Nyewood Lane, a three-two win in March. Prior to this, the Wands had failed to defeat the Rocks in six attempts; maybe their luck has changed? Bognor picked up our Pitching In Isthmian Premier Performance of the Month award earlier this week, for their six-to-one win over Aveley.

Brightlingsea Regent welcomes Mildenhall Town to the Taydal. Regent have won two of their last three games, beating Margate and Billericay, while their visitors have already knocked Hadleigh United and Histon out of the competition.

Another Pitching In Isthmian Premier clash sees Canvey Island host Enfield Town. The Gulls come into the game fresh off a win over Hornchurch and a draw with Bowers & Pitsea, while the Towners took three points from Bowers but lost to Potters Bar Town last time out. The Gulls reached the second round of the competition as recently as 2020-21, while the Towners have never made it past the qualifying rounds. Maybe it’s their year?

The two will meet again in the league seventeen days later.

Carshalton Athletic welcomes VCD Athletic to Colston Avenue. Robins have lost their last two games and had a hesitant start to the campaign, while a similar charge can be leveled against Vickers, who beat Tooting & Mitcham United in the final round. Maybe this will be the weekend to kick off someone’s season?

Corinthian-Casuals are the hosts as Burgess Hill Town travel to Tolworth. The Hillians got off to a torrid start to their Pitching In Isthmian South East campaign, losing every league game, despite recording a win over Stansfield in the final round. The casuals have been a bit of a hit or miss, with one win, two draws and two losses in their last five, but hope to have too many for their Sussex opponents. The hosts enjoyed their best run in the competition for many years last season, exiting the competition in the final qualifying round after taking St Albans City to a replay. The visitors’ best recent run was that memorable 2017-18 season, when they reached the fourth qualifying round.

Cray Valley PM welcomes Hastings United to Kent. The two know each other well, having met in the Pitching In Isthmian South East in recent seasons. United have generally had the best of their fixtures, with three wins and two draws in their last six encounters; but that victory for the Millers was not so far away, November of last year seeing them triumph at Pilot Field. The Millers enter the fray with four games unbeaten, while United have started to find their Premiership marks and, alongside a victory over Brightlingsea Regent, have taken points from Lewes and Folkestone Invicta, who are among the favorites of the promotion.

Folkestone Invicta have had a strong start to their Pitching In Isthmian Premier campaign and have won their last three games. Their visitors are North Greenford United, who currently sit in 13th place in the Combined Counties Premier North. United have won their last three Cup, Vase and League matches, and will do so; be confident as they board their bus for the seaside.

Herne Bay hosts Horsham by the sea in a Pitching In Isthmian Premier clash. The Hornets sit fourth in the table after a strong start, Bay are nineteenth – but it should be noted that having had extensive fieldwork over the summer, Bay has yet to manage to play a match on its own ground. This one, again, will be held along the coast at Ramsgate FC. The Hornets, you may recall, went all the way to the first round of the competition last season and have a fine cup pedigree; while Bay never reached the first round. The last time the two met in the cup, in 2017, Bay was five-two winners. Dukali, Schafer, Embery, Aikhionbare and Carlton scored for Bay, Hyde and House answered for the Hornets.

Ipswich Wanderers are hosts to Hornchurch. The Urchins have had a mixed start, with three wins and two losses, but still find themselves in the top five. Wanderers, who have drawn their opening three league games of the campaign, comfortably beat Pitching In Isthmian North Gorleston in the final round.

Maldon and Tiptree host Haringey Borough, the Jammers reeling from a run of four successive league defeats, conceding two goals in each. They did, however, win in the final round of the cup, beating Harpenden Town – and of course have a fine cup pedigree, reaching the first round on 20-21 and the second round the previous season. That first-round run saw them defeat Borough, so the White Hart Lane side will be looking for revenge – and are three games unbeaten in the league.

Sevenoaks Town welcomes Kingstonian to Greatness Park. Oaks lost for the first time this season on Monday as Chatham Town came from behind to claim victory – perhaps they were too focused on that tie against Premier Division opponents? The K’s are unbeaten but have drawn the first four of their five matches so far before beating Carshalton Athletic on Monday.

Sheppey United beat a Sussex side, Newhaven, in the last round – and their reward is to face another, Lewes. The Ites have yet to win a league game, but they have scored eleven cup goals after being taken out twice in replays; while the Rooks are undefeated but have drawn three of their five games.

Finally, Wingate and Finchley welcome Bowers and Pitsea to North London in a Pitching In Isthmian Premier clash. The second bottom hosts the third bottom, with both sides looking for shape. The host Blues are yet to claim a win, but have drawn three of their five games, while the visitors are one point up, following a win over Herne Bay and a draw against Canvey Island. The last time the two met, in January, Wingate won, but it was their only victory in five against these opponents.

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