Eastern Counties League Division One South side Holland were handed a tough tie at home to Isthmian League North leaders Canvey Island when the draw for the Third Round of the BBC Essex Senior Cup was broadcast on Thursday (18th November).
At this stage, clubs from the Football League, the National League and the Isthmian and Southern Leagues were introduced, along with the remaining clubs who survived Round Two. One of those teams was Holland, and their manager, Paul Phelan, was a Special Guest for the draw. He pulled out the home clubs, while the away sides were drawn by BBC Essex’s Glenn Speller.
Holland, 3-2 home winners against Burnham Ramblers in Round Two, have competed since the Preliminary Round - also progressing past Barkingside and Wivenhoe Town - to reach this stage. And Phelan knows they face a very difficult task to advance further. “I’m pleased it’s a home game but, obviously, it’s a tough one,” he reacted. “I think they’re flying at the moment.”
“I’m getting back to full-strength, so I like to think we’ll be competitive. A home game at Holland, especially during the week, is always quite special down there. It’s enjoyable - we’re in it and it’s a home game, which is what we wanted.”
“We’ve done well in this cup since I took over. We got to this stage last time and were only 20 seconds off going through against Grays [Athletic] away from home, so we’ve got to the same sort of stage this time around with another Step 4 team. Unfortunately, these ones are top!”
Elsewhere, Waltham Abbey host a Grays Athletic side going well in the Isthmian North, while 2014, 2015 and 2016 winners, Concord Rangers, also face an in-form side in Dagenham & Redbridge of the National League. Brightlingsea Regent host 2019 champions, East Thurrock United.
There will be some intriguing local derbies as Braintree Town host Witham Town, Maldon & Tiptree entertain 2017 winners Chelmsford City while Billericay Town, who lifted the trophy in 2018, look forward to facing White Ensign. Great Wakering Rovers travel to Bowers & Pitsea.
Saffron Walden Town’s reward for a 2-0 win over Redbridge in Round Two is a trip to face Colchester United, plus Coggeshall Town visit Southend United. All the Third Round matches are due to take place on or before 18th December.
Competition information, plus the latest fixtures and results, can be found here, by following @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
BBC Essex Senior Cup Third Round (on or before 18th December)
Basildon United vs Hornchurch
Heybridge Swifts vs Harlow Town
Walthamstow vs Brentwood Town
Bowers & Pitsea vs Great Wakering Rovers
Waltham Abbey vs Grays Athletic
Brightlingsea Regent vs East Thurrock United
Aveley vs Barking
Dagenham & Redbridge vs Concord Rangers
Hullbridge Sports vs Tilbury
Braintree Town vs Witham Town
Hashtag United vs Romford
Billericay Town vs White Ensign
Holland vs Canvey Island
Maldon & Tiptree vs Chelmsford City
Colchester United vs Saffron Walden Town
Southend United vs Coggeshall Town