Preview: Billingham Town vs West Allotment Celtic - FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (07/08/21)
This Saturday sees West Allotment return to action in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round as we face fellow Northern League Division One side, Billingham Town away from home.
Allotment returned to the FA Cup last season for the first time since 2017/18 as we did not meet the entry requirements in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Last year saw Allotment equal their best ever run in the competition reaching the 1st Qualifying Round. In the Extra Preliminary Round last year, our game away at Whickham ended goalless with the game going to penalties where we were able to come out on top and advance to the Preliminary Round.
In the Preliminary Round, we faced a long trip to Penrith. Again, the boys came out victorious with a 3-1 away win with the goals coming from Baxter (2) and Dean Walker.
The 1st Qualifying Round was always going to be a tough one for Allotment as we were drawn against Northern Premier League outfit, Hyde United at home (the game took place at Newcastle Benfield's Sam Smith's Park which was where we were playing at the time.) With Allotment being a Northern League Division Two team at the time, this meant that Hyde were 3 leagues above us in the pyramid and the quality of our opponents showed as they ran out 0-5 winners on the day.
This year, West Allotment will be hoping to go even further but first, Billingham Town stand in the way. The record between the two teams is fairly even in the past with Billingham winning 8 times and Allotment winning 9 times (one draw).
Billingham Town have also had a very similar start to the Northern League Division One season. They have recorded one draw and one loss which is the same as West Allotment's start to the season.
Allotment began with a very impressive 1-1 draw at North Shields however, despite producing some good attacking football on Tuesday evening, Allotment slumped to a 3-5 defeat at home to Thornaby. Allotment were leading the game 3-2 with 10 minutes to go therefore will be looking to bounce-back immediately.
The winner of this tie will face the winner of Whitley Bay vs North Ferriby in the Preliminary Round which will take place on the 21st August.
If the tie is level after 90 minutes against Billingham Town, the game will go to extra-time. If it is still level after extra-time then the tie will go to a replay at East Palmersville Sports Pavilion on Tuesday evening with a 7:30pm kick off.
Centre forward Matty Hayton may be available after recently being on the side-lines. He will face a fitness check.
Gilberto Chapim should be available after missing out on the mid-week game against Thornaby due to other commitments.
Midfielder Jake Forster may also come back into the squad after being unavailable for the first two league games.
The game will take place at Billingham Town's ground, Bedford Terrace. The full address is below:
Bedford Terrace, Billingham, Cleveland TS23 4AE
The game will kick off at 3:00pm and, as previously mentioned, the tie will go to extra-time if level after 90 minutes. There will be no penalties after this and instead, the game will be replayed at our home, East Palmersville Sports Pavilion, on Tuesday evening (7:30pm).
Tickets for Saturday's game are priced at £7 adults, £5 concessions and kids go free.