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Harleston Town to host Norfolk rivals Heacham in opening FA Cup round

Harleston Town have been handed home advantage against a Norfolk rival in the opening round of the 2024/25 Emirates FA Cup.

Danny Crow’s side will play host to fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division outfit Heacham on Saturday, August 3 (3pm) in the extra preliminary round.

Harleston will be favourites for the tie, having finished sixth last season compared to Heacham ended one from the bottom.

The Emirrates FA Cup trophy which will be contested at Wembley Stadium once again in May Picture: FA
The Emirrates FA Cup trophy which will be contested at Wembley Stadium once again in May Picture: FA

Esewhere, Suffolk Step 4 promotion hopefuls Bury Town and Felixstowe & Walton United are set to kick off their 2024/25 Emirates FA Cup campaigns against each other in west Suffolk.

The preliminary tie scheduled for Saturday, August 17 (3pm) has been revealed today as part of the two opening rounds of the latest edition of the world’s oldest and most famous domestic cup competition.

Only goal difference ended up separating Cole Skuse’s Bury and Stuart Boardley’s Felixstowe sides in the 2023/24 Pitching In Isthmian League North Division campaign as the former finished as runners-up with the Seasiders third.

Bury Town and Felixstowe & Walton United are set to go up against each other in the FA Cup preliminary round Picture: Mecha Morton
Bury Town and Felixstowe & Walton United are set to go up against each other in the FA Cup preliminary round Picture: Mecha Morton

Both clubs ended up missing out on promotion to Step 3 in the end-of-season play-offs and will now consequently go head-to-head in the preliminary round of the FA Cup, as well as two league games.

Their last meeting saw a bumper crowd of 1,285 at Ram Meadow in Bury witness a 3-3 thriller on March 30 as the visitors came back from 3-0 down at half-time, while an August meeting on the Suffolk coast had seen Felixstowe prevail 3-0 in front of a gate of 401.

But before they come together in the cup next month, teams from the area will hope to have kept themselves in the competition as part of the 221 extra preliminary round ties set for Saturday, August 3 (3pm).

Among them, Lakenheath will hope to cause an early upset when travelling to ex-professional Jamie Cureton’s new-look Cambridge City while Thetford Town will hope to use their home advantage to good effect against higher-league Ipswich Wanderers.

Stowmarket Town, who were relegated back to Step 5 last season, will play host to Cambridgeshire equivalent-level opponents Histon.

Cornard United’s promotion to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division sees the club set to play their first FA Cup tie in 15 years when new divisional rivals Fakenham Town visit Blackhouse Lane.

Elsewhere, newly-promoted Isthmian League North Division outfit Newmarket Town will play host to March Town United while fellow new Step 4 side Mildenhall Town will have a local derby away to previous divisional rivals Soham Town Rangers.

Long Melford (against Downham Town), Ely City (against Mulbarton Wanderers) and Harleston Town (against Heacham) will all have home advantage to progress to the next round.

But Kirkley & Pakefield (against Great Yarmouth Town), Walsham-le-Willows (against Wroxham), Hadleigh United (against Gorleston) as well as Brantham Athletic (against Shefford & Campton), Woodbridge Town (against Sheringham) and Halstead Town (against Harpenden Town) have all been handed away ties.

They will all be playing in the knowledge of whether they will be at home or away in the following round and the permutations of their opponents already laid out – see below draws.

Emirates FA Cup

Extra Preliminary Round (Saturday, August 3) (winners £1,125 / losers £375)

Ely City v Mulbarton Wanderers

Sheringham v Woodbridge Town

Cambridge City v Lakenheath

Harleston Town v Heacham

Great Yarmouth Town v Kirkley & Pakefield

Wroxham v Walsham-le-Willows

Thetford Town v Ipswich Wanderers

Stowmarket Town v Histon

Cornard United v Fakenham Town

Newmarket Town v March Town United

Gorleston v Hadleigh United

Long Melford v Downham Town

Soham Town Rangers v Mildenhall Town

Shefford Town & Campton v Brantham Athletic

Harpenden Town v Halstead Town

Preliminary Round (Saturday, August 17) (winners £1,444 / losers £481)

Ely City or Mulbarton Wanderers v Gorleston or Hadleigh United

Bury Town v Felixstowe & Walton United

Stowmarket Town or Histon v Cornard United or Fakenham Town

Soham Town Rangers or Mildenhall Town v Harleston Town or Heacham

Wroxham or Walsham-le-Willows v Newmarket Town or March Town United

Long Melford or Downham Town v Thetford Town or Ipswich Wanderers

Great Yarmouth Town or Kirkley & Pakefield v Cambridge City or Lakenheath

Dereham Town or Wisbech Town v Sheringham or Woodbridge Town

Potton United or White Ensign v Shefford Town & Campton or Brantham Athletic

Harpenden Town or Halstead Town v Swabridgeworth Town or FC Romania

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