The draws for the Preliminary, First and Second Rounds of the 2018/19 BBC Essex Senior Cup will be broadcast by the competition’s official supporters on their ‘Wednesday Sport’ show on 1st August, featuring a number of new entrants.
The Preliminary and First Rounds will be aired at around 7:20pm, with the Second Round following at approximately 7:50pm. With the introduction of a new Step Six league in Essex, a few structural changes have been made to this season's competition. As normal, however, 26 teams from Step Four and above receive a bye to the Third Round (the last 32). They are:
Football League: Southend United, Colchester United. National League: Braintree Town, Dagenham & Redbridge. National League South: Billericay Town (holders), Chelmsford City, Concord Rangers, East Thurrock United. Isthmian League Premier: AFC Hornchurch, Brightlingsea Regent, Harlow Town. Isthmian League North/Central: Aveley, Barking, Basildon United, Bowers & Pitsea, Brentwood Town, Canvey Island, Coggeshall Town, Grays Athletic, Great Wakering Rovers, Heybridge Swifts, Maldon & Tiptree, Romford, Tilbury, Waltham Abbey, Witham Town.
Six Second Round winners can, therefore, proceed to the Third Round. 27 Essex-affiliated clubs play at Steps Five and Six. This means the Second Round will have six ties (twelve teams) and the First Round will have twelve ties (24 teams). As a result, three ties will form a Preliminary Round, the first time this has been required since 1997/98.
Only Step Six clubs will (potentially) be involved in the Preliminary Round, depending on the draw. Included amongst these are newcomers Benfleet, Coggeshall United, Fire United Christian, Frenford, Lopes Tavares London, May & Baker Eastbrook Community, Newbury Forest and White Ensign, while Harwich & Parkeston return. Clubs involved in the Second Round Draw will be:
Step Five: Barkingside, FC Clacton, Hullbridge Sports, Ilford, Leyton Athletic, Redbridge, Saffron Walden Town, Southend Manor, Stansted, Stanway Rovers, Takeley, Walthamstow, West Essex. Step Six: Benfleet, Burnham Ramblers, Coggeshall United, Fire United Christian, Frenford, Halstead Town, Harwich & Parkeston, Holland, Little Oakley, Lopes Tavares London, May & Baker Eastbrook Community, Newbury Forest, White Ensign, Wivenhoe Town.
You can listen to BBC Essex on digital/DAB radio or by visiting www.bbc.co.uk/essex. Competition information is also shared in the menus above, by following @EssexCountyFA on Twitter (including the #EssexSeniorCup hashtag) and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.