BILLERICAY owner Grant Gordon joked that the FA should start holding their qualifying-round draws in public after yesterday’s draw handed his side a tough test against derby rivals Hornchurch.
Town will host the Urchins in the second qualifying round at New Lodge on Saturday, September 22, with £4,500 in prize money at stake and a step closer to a dream tie with a league club potentially in front of the TV cameras in the first round proper.
The two Conference South new boys played out a 1-1 draw when they met at New Lodge in the league on the August Bank Holiday Monday.
And Gordon, who learnt from the Echo who his side had drawn while away in Spain, said that while he was happy the fixture was at home he felt it would be a tough test.
“When we played them recently I thought they were the better team on the day,” he said.
“But we battered Eastleigh on Saturday and we have grown into this division, so we are ready to play anyone.
“But this will be a big game — there’s no doubt about it.
“And it’s funny how the draw always seems to put the Conference sides together — perhaps they should do it in public!
“But seriously I’m just happy we are at home because I’m sure it will attract a big crowd.
“And we’d love to go on a good run because we know from having Swansea here a few years ago just how good that can be.”
Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley said a good run in the world’s most famous competition is one of the only things they have not achieved in recent years.
The Beachboys were handed a tough-looking test at home to Conference South heavyweights Welling in yesterday’s FA Cup draw at Wembley. Cowley said: “The furthest we’ve got during my time as manager here was two seasons ago when we were knocked out by Hythe Town in the third qualifying round.
“We’ve won a few cups and had some promotions while I’ve been here — but it would be great to go on a nice run in the FA Cup because it has the potential to breed a lot of confidence in a side.”
East Thurrock were also handed a tough-looking assignment — away to fellow Ryman Premier side Kingstonian.
John Coventry’s side, who reached the first-round proper last year, knocked Witham Town out of the competition with a 2-0 win at Rookery Hill on Saturday.