Tuesday 11th October
This Saturday 15th October we are pleased to welcome supporters, players and officials of Potters Bar Town to The Meadow for this FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round match. We also welcome and thank our Match Sponsors Chesham United Directors
If pundits were asked to choose which match from the 2016/17 Fourth Qualifying Round best encapsulates the spirit of the FA Cup, then many would very likely plump for this Saturday's tie at The Meadow
At home are Chesham Utd, winners of last season's FA Ronnie Radford award, presented on the Wembley pitch at the FA Cup Final in May for The Generals' famous giant-killing 1-0 win away at Bristol Rovers. The same Generals who so nearly didn't make it through to this stage of this season's competition when trailing plucky Sevenoaks away in added time in 2RQ, before Barry Hayles saved the day with the latest of late equalisers. And in the visiting dressing room, Potters Bar Town who have already twice knocked out higher ranked opposition in Canvey Island of the Ryman Premier and Bath City of the National League South to reach this stage. Add in to the mix that Potters Bar are Chesham Utd Management team Andy Leese and Jon Meakes’ previous club and you have all the elements that make the FA Cup special.
What is perhaps less well known to Chesham fans is that Jon and Andy both also played for Potters Bar, and that Jon took over as 1st team Manager in his time there during the mid to late 1990's, whilst Andy managed the Reserves. And as if that wasn’t enough in the way of connections, the teams have also already faced each other this week in the League Challenge Cup Round One on Tuesday evening, Chesham winning 3-2 on a night where both sides, understandably reluctant to reveal their full hands ahead of Saturday’s game, fielded much changed line ups
The Scholars arrive at The Meadow fully battle hardened in this season's competition, having already played and won through seven matches including three replays, one period of extra time and one penalty shoot out. Potters Bar are also no strangers to FA Cup success having previously reached the Fourth Qualifying Round in 2006/7 under Andy and Jon, coming within a whisker of snatching a draw before narrowly losing 3-2 away to full-time Woking of the Conference National. More recently our visitors reached the Third Qualifying Round in 2009/10, and also have Wembley connections of their own: when Potters Bar built their turnstile block in preparation for joining the Southern League in 2005 their turnstiles came from the old Wembley Stadium, and they possess a certificate from Wembley to prove it.
So we have last season's most famous FA Cup giant-killers faced by visitors who want to take that mantle for themselves and have good form of their own in their cup campaign to date. Chesham will be looking to get the job done on the day, and with Drew Roberts, Brad Wadkins (pictured below) and Dave Pearce already having scored three FA Cup goals apiece, to add to strikes from Barry Hayles and Ryan Blake, The Generals have the firepower to trouble any team on their day, For their part our visitors have the equal lowest no of goals conceded in their league and have just four defeats in eighteen starts (all competitions)
When the white line is crossed and the whistle blows at 3 o' clock on Saturday it’s eleven v eleven winner take all cup football, and the fact that Potters Bar ply their trade one league below Chesham has absolutely no significance at all. Everything points to a great afternoon's do or die knock-out football. At the conclusion of this tie (replay in midweek if necessary) one of these teams will have the coveted prize of being in the draw for the First Round Proper when League One and Two clubs also enter this, the oldest and most famous football competition in the world.
If you have already attended any of The General's FA Cup games either last season or this then you'll need no encouragement - you're already planning to be at The Meadow on Saturday. If you haven't then come down to Chesham Utd, enjoy the game and the proud tradition of the FA Cup, and support your local team loudly and proudly as they strive to reach the First Round Proper for the second year running, and match last season's epic run
Admission Adults - £10, Concessions (over 65s, students with ID) - £8, Under 16s - £3, Under 12s - £1. Programme £2.50. Free Parking. Click here for directions and parking information
Manager Andy Leese's commented ahead of Saturday's kick off:
"It is FA Cup time again this weekend, and a chance to repeat last season's memorable run in the competition. We face Potters Bar Town FC who have had a great run to get here, taking some notable scalps along the way. They are a confident well drilled team who will not fear anything tomorrow. They have recruited well over the last 2 seasons, and it is evident in the start to the season.
"We are in good form and know we have to be at our best tomorrow to progress. We have trained well this week, we know how we want to play, and we have to deal with the expectation created at this stage of the competition. We did that last year and I am confident this squad will handle the day. It is an important game as is every round of the FA Cup, and the players know what it means to progress.
"We need a good crowd to inspire us at the Meadow as we did at this stage last year. Hope to see you in good numbers tomorrow for what is always a special day in the football calendar
Other Chesham Utd News
If there is no midweek FA Cup 4RQ replay the 1st XI's next fixture after the Potters Bar Town game will be away at Cinderford Town (SPL) on Sat 22/10 KO 15:00
Reserves match away at Hale Leys United (Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup) scheduled for Sat 15/10 KO 14:30 has been called off as Hale Leys are unable to raise a side. Reserves next match is at home v Penn & Tylers Green (Wycombe Challenge Cup First Round) on Wed 19/10 KO 19:45
Ladies won 2-1 at home v London Corinthians (FA Cup Third Round Qualifying) on Sun 9/10. Ladies next match is away v Marlow Ladies (Berks & Bucks Women's Senior Cup First Round) on Sun 16/10 KO 14:00 (NB change of venue: Ladies were originally drawn at home but match has been switched).
U18's next match is away at Hemel Hempstead Town Whites on Thu 13/10 KO 19:30
Images courtesy of Trevor Hyde
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