Written by: Chris Brenta
Christmas has come early as football makes its much needed return next week, and what better way to kick things off than under the Colston Avenue lights with the FA Trophy first round proper. It’s been over a month since the Robins last took to the field which was in the 3rd qualifying round of the competition, a game which they comfortably dispatched of Merstham 3-1.
Barking will be Carshalton’s opponents for the next round, and they have had a slightly longer journey to make it to the first round. The team from Essex had to go through all three qualification rounds, beating AFC Sudbury and Harlow Town in the first and second qualifying rounds respectively before needing penalties to overcome Sittingbourne in the round previous.
Robins fans will be looking to number nine Harry Ottaway to have a similar performance as he did in the game against Merstham which saw him net twice in what was only his second start the of the season. The other goal came from David Fisher who got his first since scoring in the 2-2 draw against Margate back in September.
The away team haven’t been shy of a goal this season either bagging 23 already this season with to scorer Junior Dadson grabbing seven, half his total from last season and two of which came in the 2-1 win over Sudbury. Barking will be hoping that last season’s top scorer Michael Dixon can get back to his goalscoring best, last season’s top scorer has only one to his name so far but finished with 17 last season.
Barking may apply their trade in the Southern Central League but a word of warning to anyone who feels that this one is a walk in the park, the last time the Robins played a team from the league below was in this seasons FA Cup, and the less said about the trip to Bedfont Sports the better. Barking are also ahead of Bedfont in the league, so this will be far from a given when the two sides meet on Tuesday.
The next round will take place the following week on Tuesday December 15th, and for those optimists out there the date for the final is scheduled for Saturday 8th May at Wembley Stadium.
Tickets are available for this one but are selling out quick so if you want to be there to cheer the Robins on for their first game back you better be quick! The club are currently in discussions with Sutton Council as to whether we can open our tea bar and/or serve takeaway drinks.