FOOTBALL: Ryman League test next for Tulips

TOUGH TEST: Pat Rayment (left) and his number two Marcus Ebdon know their Spalding side will be up against it in the next round of the FA Cup. Photo by TIM WILSON
TOUGH TEST: Pat Rayment (left) and his number two Marcus Ebdon know their Spalding side will be up against it in the next round of the FA Cup. Photo by TIM WILSON

Spalding United have been handed a tough home draw against either AFC Hornchurch or East Thurrock United in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Both teams play at step three of the non-league ladder in the Ryman League Premier Division, which places them two rungs ahead of Pat Rayment’s Tulips.

Hornchurch would perhaps be the tougher test, as they currently sit fourth in the table with 18 points from nine games – some seven points and nice places ahead of East Thurrock.

The duo meet in a first qualifying round tie on Tuesday night, at East Thurrock’s Rockery Hill base (7.45pm). The winners will visit the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field on Saturday, September 28 (3pm).

On the draw, Spalding chief Rayment said: “We want to go as far as we can in the FA Cup and I doubt either Hornchurch or East Thurrock will relish coming here next.

“We’ve got a home draw, which is all we can ask for. The lads will be looking forward to testing themselves against Step Three opposition.”