FRIDAY NIGHT CUP FEVER GROWS AS ASCOT FACE HOLYPORT

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Ascot United’s season kicks off on Friday night as near-neighbours Holyport face off in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (7.45pm).

The FA Cup is in its 150th season, and the tie is one of four being played one day ahead of a glut of clashes on Saturday and Sunday – one of them including Risborough Rangers v Lydney Town – who will entertain the winners of Friday night’s clash in the next round.

The tie has added interest. Not only are the two sides separated by a strip of the same road (making it the little – or even unknown – ‘A330 Derby’!), ‘Port are managed by popular ex-Ascot coach Derek Sweetman and also boast Steven Deverall and Jean-Claude Etienne in their ranks, who amassed a total of 88 appearances for Ascot between 2015-2019.

And, with representatives from the Non League Paper, FA Cup Factfile and no-doubt the Groundhopping community in attendance, a bumper crowd is expected to welcome both sides.

Entrance is by card only at the gate, and as our matchday programme is online then you will need to download it using this simple link (available now) or by scanning the QR code when you enter the ground. The opening edition includes Jamie’s synopsis on pre-season and how his squad is shaping up, Chairman Simon Negus’s opening gambit, and updated player profiles for the current squad.

Look out for a match report later (at some point!) and remember you can follow our match on twitter. If the tie is level after 90 minutes then there will be a replay, displacing next Tuesday’s home opening league match against Burnham. Note – Burnham also play in the FA Cup on Saturday (Shrivenham, away), so a draw in that game would also impact our league game on Tuesday.

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