(Wealdstone, 30th Sep 2014, FA Cup)

With all the fuss over the FA Cup qualifying rounds this past week (and of course tonight) we should remember that it isn?t the only cup we take part in as a club this season. There?s the FA Trophy, which we enter in the 3rd Qualifying Round at the end of November, and of course there?s the Essex Senior Cup, which we enter at the third round stage, and the draw was made about a week ago.

Last season we enjoyed a fantastic run in the Essex Senior Cup and beat Braintree 2-1 in the final playing at the home of Dagenham and Redbridge. The defence of this cup though will start with a tough encounter at home to Colchester United, a team we faced en route to the final last season. The fixture has to take place prior to the 1st of November; the exact date though is yet to be confirmed.

There were issues around this cup fixture last season, as it came in the middle of a period of bad weather and a hell of a lot of rain! The game was scheduled though and after a lot of work on the pitch during the day everything seemed good to go that evening. However although the officials were there well before kickoff (as they should be), given the recent weather they waited until there was just 20 minutes before kickoff before inspecting the pitch, when no more work could be done on any areas that may have been questionable. So when the ref got to a corner of the ground he thought wasn?t in the best shape, the game was called off when everyone was ready to go.

The frustrating part of all this was that Colchester brought a strong side with them, including a number of first team players who needed game time, and it would have been a good test for our lads. It wasn?t to be though, and the game was rescheduled for a week or two later when a younger squad would have to play. Ultimately it saw Concord Rangers emerge victorious and go on to win the trophy for the first time in our history.

A quick note on another cup the club is involved in, the FA Youth Cup. Our Under 18s side have played Preliminary & 1st Qualifying round fixtures, beating St Albans City (3-1) and Redbridge FC (5-4 after penalties) respectively. This has set up a 2nd Qualifying Round fixture at home to Fisher FC, which will take place at Thames Road on Wednesday 8th October. If you can get down to the Aspect Arena that night I?m sure the Under 18s will appreciate the support you provide!

Here?s to plenty of Cup success this season!

You Are My Concord!