Round Up: Vitality FA Cup Third Qualifying Round

While Gareth Taylor and Willie Kirk’s sides were battling out at Wembley Stadium for the 2019/20 Vitality FA Cup Final plenty of other teams were fighting for their place in the first round proper of the 2020/21 competition. I look at the biggest stories from the weekend’s round of fixtures in the third qualifying round.

The most heartwarming story of the round was Stourbridge making it into the first round for the first time in their history with a 3-0 win against Crusaders at the War Memorial Ground. Goals on the day came from Ruby Meeson, Amber Lawrence and Courteney Murphy and their reward is a first round tie against National League Midlands Div One league leaders, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

There will be another south-coast derby for AFC Bournemouth as they have been drawn against Marieanne Spacey-Cale‘s Southampton FC. To get to this point they have beaten league and promotion rivals, Moneyfields. As well as upsetting Southampton Women and Buckland Athletic, both in the league above them. In each of those ties, they could have been seen as the underdogs but with the addition of England and Team GB Beach Soccer stars Gemma Hillier, Molly Clark and Rebecca Barron, the club is playing without fear and will go into the game feeling that they can come away victorious.

It took the eventual FA Cup winners Manchester City to halt Ipswich Town‘s cup run in last season’s fifth round. The National League South East Div One league leaders continued their unbeaten start to the season as Eloise King, Sophie Peskett and Paige Peake were all on target against their local rivals, Norwich City.

Ipswich Town will take on Dean Perrett’s Harlow Town in the next round. Harlow looked to be on their way to a comfortable win when they stretched their lead to 3-0 in the 51st minute. Their opponents, Royston Town, fought their way back and scored a 92nd minute equaliser through Paige Rolfe to make it 3-3 and take the tie to penalties. However, Kaydee King spared her team’s blushes as her spot-kick sealed a 4-2 win for Harlow and sparked celebrations on the home team’s bench.

You can find the details of the first round draw below.

FC United of Manchester v Fleetwood Town Wrens or Liverpool Feds
Chester-Le-Street Town v Brighouse Town
Newcastle United v Barnsley
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Stourbridge
Lincoln City v Solihull Moors
Wem Town v Boldmere St Michaels Women
Harlow Town v Ipswich Town
Kent Football United v Luton Town or Enfield Town or AFC Wimbledon
Billericay Town v Maidenhead United
Eastbourne Town v Actonians or Leyton Orient
AFC Bournemouth v Southampton FC
Exeter City v Cheltenham Town

The FA remain in dialogue with the UK Government in relation to women’s ‘non-elite’ football in England and will release the dates for the first round in due course. As soon we find out we’ll be sure to share them with you.

Photo: Paul Rose