FA Cup preview: Tough tests for Sussex sides in second qualifying round
No less than six Sussex clubs are set to battle out in the Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round this Saturday with £6,750 up for grabs to the winners of each tie.
Newly promoted BetVictor Isthmian South East side Chichester City, flying high near the top of the league, travel to division-higher Hartley Wintney, while Worthing travel to non-league giants St Albans City.
Horsham host National League South outfit Dartford, Bognor Regis Town face a stern test at Dulwich Hamlet, while Lewes and Eastbourne Borough face sides from each of their respective leagues. The Rooks are at home to fellow Isthmian Premier side Bowers & Pitsea, and the Sports make their bow in this year's competition away to Tonbridge Angels.
Hartley Wintney v CHICHESTER CITY - Saturday September 21, 3pm
After enjoying a smooth home passage against Chalfont St Peter in the previous round, winning 2-0, Chichester travel to Southern Premier side Hartley Wintney. The hosts currently hold a comfortable mid table position in the league and progressed in the previous round after a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Spelthorne Sports.
This will be the match of the day as I plan to make the trip into Hampshire to cover the action. It is going to be a very tough examination for the club.
St Albans City v WORTHING - Saturday September 21, 3pm
Both Worthing manager Adam Hinshelwood and Mackerel Men fans survived plenty of tense moments during two brilliant games against Hastings United in the previous round. The first ended 3-3 at Pilot Field in East Sussex with Worthing snatching a draw in the 92nd minute.
The replay was equally as entertaining with Worthing eventually ending Hastings' resolve thanks to Marvin Armstrong's winner in the last minute of extra-time.
Their reward is a 180-mile round trip to National League South side St Albans City. The Saints haven't started well in the league claiming just two wins from their first seven games and it would be a massive feather in Worthing's cap if they can be travelling back with a win under their belts.
HORSHAM v Dartford - Saturday September 21, 3pm
Under manager Dominic Di Paola, Horsham are another club on the rise. Fresh from moving to a brand new stadium, results are going through the roof and the Hornets' fanbase is increasing. They needed a replay to overcome Metropolitan Police in the previous round, after drawing 1-1 in Surrey, with Chris Smith the hero of a stunning evening in West Sussex, bundling in a 90th minute to see his side through 3-2.
Horsham now have a huge chance to showcase their new Camping World Community Stadium to a large audience and progress as their division-higher opponents Dartford are currently in the National League South relegation zone.
Dulwich Hamlet v BOGNOR REGIS TOWN - Saturday September 21, 3pm
Bognor Regis Town will welcome some much needed rest-bite having made a surprisingly poor start to their Isthmian Premier campaign, with Jack Pearce's squad given the chance to pit their wits against Dulwich Hamlet.
The South London side, who have one of the largest non-league fanbases in the country, have already recorded four wins in the National League South this season. It's a stark contrast to the Rocks who fell into the Isthmian Premier relegation zone following last Saturday's 3-0 loss away at East Thurrock United.
LEWES v Bowers & Pitsea - Saturday September 21, 3pm
Darren Freeman’s Lewes are beginning to recover after enduring a tough start to the season. A pulsating first qualifying round replay against Leatherhead at The Dripping Pan saw the Rooks prevail after a tense penalty shoot-out. They host fellow Isthmian Premier side Bowers & Pitsea this weekend.
The Essex side boast a good away record in the league with one of their wins coming at the Pan only a month ago so Lewes will look to heal some wounds.
Tonbridge Angels v EASTBOURNE BOROUGH - Saturday September 21, 3pm
New Eastbourne Borough boss Lee Bradbury aims to hoist the East Sussex club into the National League South Play-Offs come the end of the season yet they've made a rocky start, claiming two wins, five draws and suffering four defeats already this year.
The Priory Lane outfit have been handed a tough assignment at Tonbridge Angels and Borough will have to be at their very best. Although having ex-Hull City striker Greg Luer in their squad, can only be a huge advantage.
You can follow all the action on Twitter at @sussexintheFAcup this Saturday.