It’s time for a bit of a non-league round-up (as is our wont at this time of the week), with highlights of three matches from the last couple of weekend’s worth of matches. First up, we’re taking the opportunity to catch up with one of the matches from the weekend of the 15th of January, with the FA Trophy Second Round match between Blyth Spartans. To people of a certain edge, hearing these two names together will send a shiver down the spine. Blyth Spartans, of course, made the Fifth Round of the FA Cup in 1978 and the Quarter-Finals of the FA Trophy in 1980 and 1983 (beating Altrincham on the way). Altrincham, meanwhile, were setting records of their own at the same time. They missed out on a place in the FA Trophy final in 1977 after a marathon four match long semi-final against Scarborough, but won the competition two years later and were runners-up again in 1982. Anyway, it was a cracking match at Croft Park last weekend.
Our second match comes from the Blue Square South, and is a local derby from the south-east between Ebbsfleet United and Bromley. Bromley, the visitors, started the season with seven successive league wins and remained unbeaten until the middle of October. The chasing pack has since caught them up and they recently suffered the ignominy of a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Weston-super-Mare. They remain in the cashing pack behind leaders Braintree Town but, having played as many as five games more than the teams around them in the table, every point now counts. Ebbsfleet are also looking for at least play-off place after their relegation from the Blue Square South at the end of last season.
Finally, we have a match for you from the FA Vase’s Third Round, which was played last weekend. Some of you remember Leiston FC from the Eastern Counties League, who made the First Round Proper of the FA Cup a couple of years ago. Well, they had a trip to Surrey on Saturday to play Guildford City. The original Guildford City won the Southern League in 1937 and 1956 but folded in 1974. This club was founded in 1996 as AFC Guildford, and subsequently changed its name. They play in the Combined Counties League and a win would do a lot to help to publicise a club that regularly played host to four figure crowds during the 1950s and 1960s.
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