The FA Cup is all about stories and making history and this Saturday St Ives Town have a chance of doing just that as they host Chasetown in the third qualifying round of the competition.
The Ives have never got past this stage before, the closest they came was in 2018 which was their only other appearance in the third qualifying round and that ended in defeat at York City.
Whilst the league form of the hosts has been a bit patchy of late with one point from the last nine available, they have convincingly beat Barking and Canvey Island in the previous two rounds of the competition. With home advantage, and being a league higher than Chasetown, it may point to the Ives having the edge but the visitors, who have previously reached the third round of the competition, despatched AFC Telford United from the National League North in the previous round.
The Ives go into the game fresh from a 1-1 draw at Hitchin on Monday night. Tyrone Baker returned from suspension to put the Ives ahead only for ex-Histon player Finley Wilkinson to equalise for the hosts. The good news is that Greg Kaziboni and Michael Richens have returned from injury and will be available for selection. Jonny Edwards and Nabil Shariff look set to be the striking partnership in a game that is arguably the biggest to be played at Westwood Road since May 2016 when the Ives beat AFC Rushden & Diamonds in a play-off final to gain promotion.
Chasetown were Formed in 1954 as Chase Terrace Old Scholars Youth Club. However, it was in season 2005/06 that they shot to fame as they drew Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup First Round. In front of the TV cameras, the Scholars held their football league opponents to a 1-1 draw but lost the replay 4-0 at Boundary Park.
A more memorable FA Cup run was to follow in 2007/08 when they beat Team Bath in the first round before eliminating Staffordshire neighbours Port Vale. This set-up a clash with Championship side Cardiff City and despite Chasetown taking the lead, the Welsh side eventually secured a path into the next round courtesy of a 3-1 victory.
Chasetown are currently 13th in the Northern Premier League Midlands, and have won one, drawn four and lost one of their opening six league games. They came close to gaining promotion last season only to lose out in the play-off final to Belper Town, who the Ives will face in the FA Trophy next weekend.
Their FA Cup progress has seen them beat Coleshill Town, Stone Old Alleyans and AFC Telford United.
One to watch – Look out for striker Joey Butlin. He scored two of the goals in the second qualifying round victory at AFC Telford United.
The club is appealing for local football fans to come out and give the Ives their support as they bid to make history. Season tickets are not valid for the match, so it is pay on the day at the turnstiles. The admission prices are:
Adults – £11
Concessions (Over 65) – £8
Military Discount (with ID Card) – £5
Students (With ID Card) – £5
U16’s to 12 – £2
U12’s – Free (Accompanied with an adult)
Kick-off at the Quattro-Tech Westwood Road is at 3:00pm.
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