The eagerly awaited FA draws have been published and disappointingly the FA Cup extra-preliminary round ties include no less than nine all Toolstation Western League ties, to be played on August 5 writes Media and Press Officer Kerry Miller.
Arguably the juicest match up is the furthest west where Buckland Athletic entertain SW Peninsula League Bodmin Town, who have been in the last five Cornish Senior Cup finals, winning four of them.
Buckland will look forward to a bumper crowd at Homers Heath where Ellis Laight’s squad will be looking to advance as well as pocketing a handy £1,500.
There are two real local derbies with Bradford Town entertaining Odd Down and Cadbury Heath home to Longwell Green Sports. Bradford will be hoping to build on last season’s FA Vase run which ended in dramatic fashion at the hands of Southall, while Sports will be able to walk to Springfield for their game which should also attract a good attendance.
The league welcome back Bridgwater Town after their relegation from the Southern League and the Robins begin their campaign under the new management team of Karl Baggaley and Dave Pearse with a home tie with the Canaries from Keynsham Town.
Keynsham’s neighbours Brislington are home to Dorset side Sherborne Town, who suffered relegation to Division One last May and they swap places with Division One champions Wellington, who have been drawn at home to runners-up Hengrove Athletic, although due to the Somerset side sharing the ground with the cricket club, the tie may well be played in Bristol.
Street are looking at a tilt at the Premier Division title as well as a good FA Cup run and Richard Fey and Nathan Rudge have been given a home tie at the Tannery Ground against Hallen, who just avoided the drop while the Somerset side were pipped at the post by champions Bristol Manor Farm.
Not far away Cheddar are home to Willand Rovers at the ‘Theatre of Cheese’ and Wells City have home advantage at the same time, against Cribbs FC.
The final all Western League clash is at the Hand Stadium where Clevedon Town take on Bitton.
Shepton Mallet have the unenviable task of once again entertaining SW Peninsula League champions Tavistock, who won 6-1 in the Vase at Old Wells Road last September, while Chipping Sodbury Town must be thinking that the FA have mixed them up with Chipping Norton as they have been drawn at home to Brackley Town Saints, who ply their trade in the Hellenic League from distant Northamptonshire.
Two member clubs with awkward away trips are Melksham Town, who go to Wessex League Horndean and Bridport, who have a long trip to Cornwall to face St Austell.