The draw for the Fourth Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Vase has been released by the FA this lunchtime. Teams involving our sides are as follows:
Abbey Hey v AFC Liverpool
Consett v Wythenshawe Town
Prestwich Heys or Harborough Town v North Shields
Whitchurch Alport v Congleton Town
Ties will be played on Saturday 15th January 2022 and settled on the day. Winners will receive £1,875, with losers receiving £625.
Its the final round before the Vase draw becomes a national draw, which means we are still subject to regionalisation. This means a far higher chance of some all-NWCFL ties, and that has been the case with two of the five drawn against each other.
Abbey Hey will host AFC Liverpool, ensuring at least one NWCFL side in the Fifth Round. They have met 13 times previously with AFC Liverpool winning six, Abbey Hey winning three with four draws. Saturday 2nd December 2017 was the last meeting between the two, with AFC Liverpool running out 3-1 winners at home. The last meeting at the Abbey Stadium resulted in a 3-3 draw a few months before that.
It's new ground for both clubs, who have reached the Fourth Round for the first time in their history.
Wythenshawe Town have also reached the Fourth Round for the first time this season, and they will face off against Northern League side Consett. Its a chance for Town to atone for their previous meeting, which came in the Third Round of the Vase in 2019/20. That saw Brad Byrne's penalty cancelled out by Dale Pearson in a 1-1 draw, with Pearson scoring the only goal in the replay a week later.
Consett went on to reach the Final at Wembley that year, where they were beaten by fellow Northern League side Hebburn Town. This season they are flying and currently lead the Northern League having picked up 51 points from their 22 games.
Prestwich Heys will try again next Saturday for their game against North Shields, and the winners of that tie will face another Northern League side in North Shields.
There have been no previous meetings between Prestwich Heys and North Shields, but Shields do like this competition - they won it in 2014/15 against Glossop North End! Since then they reached the Fourth Round the following year, and this is the first time that they have got this far since then. Shields currently sit fifth in the Northern League.
The final match sees Congleton Town travelling to former NWCFL members Whitchurch Alport, who were laterally moved to the Midland League at the start of this season. They are currently 10th in the league having won seven of their 15 league games. They have met four times previously with one win each - curiously both away from home - with two draws.
Its completely new ground for Alport, who had previously reached the First Round just once! Congleton have reached the Fourth Round for the sixth time, and will be looking to at least match last season's run when they reached the Fifth Round.