Chris Evans reports…
SENIOR AND SATURDAY PREMIER CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAWS
Intriguing Ties as County Cups Reach the Last Eight
Some fascinating County Cup ties were generated when the Essex Senior and Saturday Premier Cup Quarter-Final Draws were completed on Wednesday.
Sky Bet Football League club Southend United are still involved in the Senior Cup, and the eight clubs left all have one eye on the final at Colchester United FC’s Jobserve Community Stadium on Tuesday 9th April. The Shrimpers were handed a tough Quarter-Final tie, however, as they head to the AGP Arena to face Vanarama South challengers, Billericay Town.
Billericay won comfortably at Saffron Walden Town while Southend launched a second-half fightback to emerge past Waltham Abbey. Town’s fellow Vanarama South neighbours, Chelmsford City, defeated Braintree Town 2-0 to get to the last eight. Traveling to face the Clarets at Melbourne Stadium will be Coggeshall Town, who edged out Hullbridge Sports.
Elsewhere, AFC Hornchurch, 3-0 winners at home to Great Wakering Rovers in the previous round, entertain Brentwood Town, victors by the odd goal in three against Heybridge Swifts. Bowers & Pitsea are currently second in the Bostik North table and they now host East Thurrock United, who overcame Southend Manor 5-0 moments after the draw.
Two special guests helped out with the proceedings. Coggeshall Town Commercial Manager, David Kerr, pulled out the home clubs while Billericay Town Chairman, Dan Groves, was responsible for the away sides. Kerr explained that the Hullbridge game was very difficult, and that a run beyond the Quarter-Finals would mean a huge amount to his club.
David said: “Hullbridge have performed very, very well this season. We got through, and that’s very commendable. It’s now a local derby [against Chelmsford], effectively. We would have preferred a home tie but we’re not unhappy with that. It would be enormous to go further. It’d give us more media attention on Twitter and Facebook, which could only be good for the club.”
Of the remaining teams in the Saturday Premier Cup, six are from the ProKit UK Essex Olympian League and two come from the Essex & Suffolk Border League, with a wide spread of teams from various parts of the county. They’re all working towards a place in the final on Wednesday 10th April. Two of the leading Olympian Premier sides were handed tricky away draws.
Kelvedon Hatch, second with a game in hand, travel to Galleywood, the only Division One side left in the competition. Rivals Buckhurst Hill, themselves chasing the Olympian title, face a long journey to a club going well in the Border League, Alresford Colne Rangers. Meanwhile a side pushing for the Border League crown, Tiptree Heath, host Catholic United and Hutton play Rayleigh Town.
Essex Senior Cup Quarter-Finals (on or before 12th January)
Chelmsford City vs Coggeshall Town
Billericay Town vs Southend United
AFC Hornchurch vs Brentwood Town
Bowers & Pitsea vs East Thurrock United
Essex Saturday Premier Cup Quarter-Finals (Saturday 2nd February)
Galleywood vs Kelvedon Hatch
Alresford Colne Rangers vs Buckhurst Hill
Hutton vs Rayleigh Town
Tiptree Heath vs Catholic United