A little less than two weeks ago Bromley and Eastbourne Borough were winning their FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round home ties against Dartford (1-0) and Welling United (2-1) respectively. Those results set up the big game at Priory Lane tomorrow in the last qualifying round of the competition.
And now it gets really tasty.
The big prize awaiting the winner of tomorrow's game is an entry in the draw for the FA Cup First Round Proper.
But first things first.
In between FA Cup games both clubs have had other matches to concentrate on and I would have to say that Eastbourne Borough appear to be in better form. One week ago Bromley won 3-2 in a league game away at Dorchester Town but followed that up on Tuesday with a bizarre result at home to St. Albans City. Bromley scored first in this match after only three minutes, but then conceded an amazing three goals in four minutes to trail 3-1 before some supporters had even finished their pre-match bovril. Bromley eventually fought back to 3-4 but couldn't quite snatch a result. The news on the streets of Bromley was that their defending was woeful.
As for Eastbourne Borough, they had one more game to play than Bromley following their win in the last round. On the Tuesday after their success over Welling United, they disposed of Ringmer (3-0) in the Sussex Senior Cup and then went on to beat Sutton United at home in the league by the same score. Last Tuesday they had another league game up at Cambridge City which ended 1-1. Defensively a bit meaner for the South Coast club.
And so to tomorrow's game, and I anticipate a good match and a great atmosphere. Financially, the rewards aren't insignificant; clubs winning in the 4th Qualifying Round receive a tidy £10,000 which is not to be sniffed at for these non-leaguers.
But the biggest prize of all for club and fans alike must be the opportunity in the next round to pit your talents against a league outfit. The draw numbers have already be allocated by the FA; Eastbourne Borough or Bromley have been given number 74.
I have more than a sneaking suspicion that both sets of fans have one eye on the next round and 74 versus either 22 or 32 would be rather nice. Leeds United or Nottingham Forest.
Now that's what you would call a prize draw.