Buildbase FA Vase Third Round Draw

Mon 22nd November 2021 | Buildbase FA Vase
By Martin Fallon

The draw for the Third  Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Vase has been released by the FA this lunchtime. Teams involving our sides are as follows:

AFC Liverpool v Pilkington
Abbey HeyBury AFC
Lichfield City v Congleton Town
Loughborough Students v Sandbach United 
Prestwich Heys
 v Harborough Town
Wythenshawe Town
 v Billingham Synthonia

Ties will be played on Saturday 11th December 2021 and settled on the day. Winners will receive £1,125, with losers receiving £350.

ANALYSIS

Vase history is being re-written for the North West Counties League with an unprecedented eight sides still in the competition at the last 64 stage this season.

With it being regionalised, there was always the prospect of some all-NWCFL ties, and that has been the case with four of the eight drawn against each other.

AFC Liverpool will host Pilkington, with that tie due to be played on another day with Marine at home to Ramsbottom United on the Saturday of the round. They are always close games between these two sides with two of the three previous meetings ending in draws with AFC winning the other by the odd goal in three. 

AFC Liverpool have reached the Third Round before in 2010/11 season when they were heavily beaten at then holders Whitley Bay, who went on to retain their trophy. For Pilkington this is only their third Vase campaign and they have never gone beyond qualifying before so every round is new ground. 

Abbey Hey host Bury AFC in what will be a first ever meeting between the two sides, and it guarantees a side from one of our First Division's a place in the next round.

Abbey Hey have only once reached the Third Round of the Vase in 23 previous campaigns, that coming back in 2002/03 when they lost to Fleetwood Town. For Bury AFC, this is only their second campaign and they had never won a match in the competition until this season, so like Pilks before them, history is being made with each round played.

Sandbach United pulled off one of the shocks of the round on Saturday when they beat former NWCFL side Hanley Town 1-0. Their reward is a trip to United Counties League side Loughborough Students, who sit in fourth place in the Premier Division North which is the equivalent of our Premier Division.

Loughborough have only once played a NWCFL side, that coming last season in the Second Round of the Vase when they were beaten 2-1 at - ironically - Hanley Town! That was also the best they have ever done in the Vase. For Sandbach, they have never got past the First Round before, so a place in the Fourth Round would be new ground for either club.

Lichfield City are the opponents for Congleton Town, and its a first ever meeting between the two sides. Lichfield play in the Midland League Premier Division, the same level as Congleton Town, and they currently sit in second place in the table having not lost a league game so far this season. 

Lichfield have only twice met NWCFL sides with both in the FA Vase, beating Eccleshall 4-1 in 2013/14 but losing 5-1 at Hanley in 2017/18. The Third Round is new ground for them having reached the Second Round once previously, that coming back in 2016/17. Congleton have 27 previous Vase campaigns going back to 1976/77, and this is the ninth time that they have reached the Third Round, with the Fifth Round being their best, that coming last season and in 2003/04.

Billingham face a trip to Wythenshawe Town, with Synthonia being a North East side with rich history. They have faced NWCFL sides a whopping 27 times in the past in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase, with Wythenshawe a new opponent for them! Their last meeting with a side from our league was in October this year when Ben Henderson scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over FC Isle of Man.

This is the tenth time Billingham have reached the Third Round, with their best being the Semi Finals in 2006/07 when they missed out on a place at Wembley by losing 5-4 to AFC Totton on penalties. For Wythenshawe, they are at the opposite end of the spectrum, this being only their fourth Vase campaign. They have reached the Third Round before though, that coming in 2019/20 when they lost to Consett after a replay.

The final match sees Prestwich Heys host Harborough Town, and not only is it a first meeting between the two sides but it is the first time that Harborough will have faced a NWCFL side. They are based in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and are currently members of the United Counties League Premier Division South, the same level as Prestwich.

Harborough are having a great season so far, sitting second in their league with 15 wins from 17 games, losing just once at leaders Hinckley. This is Harborough's 11th season in the Vase, and this is the first time they have reached the Third Round with the Second Round being their previous best in 2019/20. For Prestwich, they have a similar record with them also never reaching the Third Round before. Their previous best was Second Round in 2018/19.

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