Hendon, still looking for their first points of the season, take a break from the hurly-burly of League action to start on the trek towards FA Cup glory.
The first steps will be taken tomorrow at a place well-known to manager Lee Allinson, who spent time as a player at Potton United – as did Luca Allinson on a brief loan spell. Potton – situated just north of Biggleswade and east of Sandy – have played in both the United Counties and Spartan South Midlands Leagues top flight in recent seasons and successfully applied to return to the latter a couple of years ago.
So far Potton United have drawn two and lost one of their three SSML matches, but they have won twice in the FA Cup. In the extra preliminary round, they travelled to Plantation Park and returned as 3–2 winners against Norwich United. A fortnight later, they held Soham Town Rangers to a 1–1 draw at Julius Martin Lane before winning the preliminary round replay at their The Hollow home 3–1.
Hendon fans visiting The Hollow for the first time, the postcode is SG19 2LX, and I am assured there is WiFi available in the clubhouse, where they serve, as they say, “The best beer in Potton”. Kick-off is at 3.00pm and admission charges are £8.00 for adults, £4.00 for concessions and £1.00 for Under-16s. If the match ends in a draw after 90 minutes, there will be a replay at Silver Jubilee Park on Tuesday 6 September.
Prize money at this stage is £2,250 for the winners of the tie and £750 for the losers. So far Potton have won £2,569. The winners – or, if it is a draw, both teams – will be listening out for the draw for the second round qualifying on Monday lunchtime, with the tie to be played over the weekend of 17 September. Clubs in the National League North and South Divisions enter the competition at this stage, where the winners will receive £3,375 and the losers £1,125.