3rd and final FA Trophy qualifying round – at Home!

Hastings United vs Felixstowe & Walton United – FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round – Preview

After a brief run of league games attention returns to the FA Trophy. On Saturday 30th October Hastings United play Felixstowe & Walton United in a third qualifying round tie at the Pilot Field. Unlike the FA Cup which failed to deliver any favourable draws, this is our third FA Trophy tie at home this season.

United’s six-game form – WWLWWL

Tuesday night’s defeat at home to Ashford United followed away wins in the league at Hythe Town and Phoenix Sports. Which in turn followed wins away to Chippenham Town (FA Cup), Ashford United at home (FA Trophy) and the away defeat to Maidenhead United (FA Cup).

Chris (Agutter) was of course disappointed to exit the FA Cup but considered a loss in the cup but a win in the league as a ‘good week’.

The same thought was being discussed around the ground before the Ashford FA Trophy game i.e. if we couldn’t win both games then the preference would be the league over the cup. However it played out the other way around. Ashford won the league game while United progressed in the cup.

Let’s put those two Ashford games into some perspective. We’ve played four halves against fierce rivals and come out on top, scored and not conceded, in three of those halves. Ashford won the fourth half and in doing so took home the points. It demonstrates if your level drops, or you don’t match the oppositions level, you can get punished. Was it disappointing to lose? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. It’s only October and there are still plenty of games to play. United also have a habit of recovering well following a defeat.

Who are Felixstowe & Walton United and what’s their six-game form? WLDLWL

The Seasiders, as they are known, are based in Felixstowe, Suffolk and are the result of a merger in 2000 between Felixstowe Port & Town and Walton United. They play in the Isthmian League North Division having won promotion in 2017-18 as runners up in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division. This means they are also Step 4.

F&WU are currently mid-table in eleventh place having played ten league games, winning four, drawing one and losing five. Last Saturday they lost 2 – 0 away to AFC Sudbury who are fourth in their table.

After receiving a bye in the FA Trophy first qualifying round, they won their second qualifying round tie 7 – 6 on penalties against Maldon & Tiptree, following a 1 – 1 draw. That’s the ‘D’ in their six-game form sequence.

FA Trophy

The FA Trophy is a competition open to Step 1 to 4 clubs and this is the third of the three qualifying rounds, after which comes the first-round proper. The reward for reaching the final is a visit to the national stadium for ‘Non-League Finals Day’ next May. With the exception of the final, if a match is drawn after 90 minutes, the winner shall be determined by penalties.

Any recent previous meetings?

Not that I can find from when the current F&WU club was formed in 2000. There are games against Walton Casuals, and Walton and Hersham from the Isthmian Division One South a few years ago, but these are different and unrelated teams. So, no previous meetings unless anyone knows any better?

Bottom line

United will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday night, and there’s prize money on offer with the winners receiving £2,450 while the losers receive £625.

Match information

Saturday 30th October, 3pm kick off at the Pilot Field, Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX.

Tickets available here

Can’t attend? You can follow live game updates via Twitter: @hastingsufc

Bob Quinn
Twitter: @BobJQuinn