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It’s time again for our weekly round-up of non-league videos, which this week focusses on the last sixteen of this year’s FA Trophy. Although some of the gloss from this competition may have been lost as the Blue Square Premier has come to be the behemoth of the non-league game, there is still a lot to play for with a place at Wembley at stake – these are days out that players, supporters and staff don’t forget in a hurry and the winners of this weekend’s matches will find themselves just three matches from a trip there.
Our first match is yesterday’s match between AFC Telford United and Darlington. During their previous one season in non-league football – the 1989/90 season – Darlington made the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy before losing to Leek Town. They went on to win promotion straight back into the Football League before losing this status again at the end of last season and, although they currently have games in hand on the teams above them, making the BSP play-offs this season seems as if it will be a tall order. The FA Trophy, therefore, may be their best chance of success at the end of a transitional season. AFC Telford United, meanwhile, are the spiritual heirs to Telford United, whose record of five appearances in the FA Trophy final is a record, which included an appearance in the first final, in 1970, and winning the competition in 1971, 1983 and 1989.
Our second match is also from the FA Trophy, and it’s the match between Woking and Salisbury City. Woking are another club with a strong record in this competition, having won it in 1994, 1995 and 1997, as well as having been the runners-up in it in 2006. The club is currently playing in the Blue Square South and is in mid-table, although they have games in hands on many of the teams above them. Salisbury City, perhaps, have a point to prove. They were demoted from the Blue Square Premier to the Premier Division of the Southern League at the end of last season after failing to exit administration in accordance with Football Conference rules. They are currently in second place in the table, five points behind leaders Truro City but with five games in hand on them.
Our final match comes from the Premier Division of the Ryman League, and is the match between Lowestoft Town and Hastings United. In a winter that has been seriously disrupted by the weather, Lowestoft may still be in touch with the leaders Sutton United although they also have to win their games in hand in order to keep up with them. Hastings, meanwhile, are sitting just above the relegation places and are pretty desperate for points themselves.
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Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.