FA VASE: Brantham Athletic drawn away; Hadleigh United may get bye

Hadleigh United v Welwyn Garden City - FA Vase. Hadleigh score early in the first half.

Hadleigh United v Welwyn Garden City - FA Vase. Hadleigh score early in the first half. - Credit: Archant

Hadleigh United could be handed a bye into the last 16 of the FA Vase, after being drawn away in the next round of the competition.

The Brettsiders beat Welwyn Garden City on Saturday 3-2 and were then drawn away to either Moneyfields FC of Portsmouth, or Bath-based AFC Bitton, in the fourth round.

However, the Moneyfields/AFC Bitton game was abandoned on Saturday when the referee called the match off after a mass brawl on the pitch.

Even spectators breached the playing area and with that the referee called the last 64 Vase tie off.

Bitton manager Paul Britton said the club are expecting to be told of the FA’s decision on the game this week, which could result in both teams being thrown out of the competition – handing Hadleigh a bye into the last 16.

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“There was a challenge and it did look quite a bad one from where we were,” said Bitton boss, Britton.

“When their player got up he walked all over our player, you could still see the marks from his boots after.

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“It just reacted from there and unfortunately it just turned into a mass brawl.

“Worst case scenario is that we both get knocked out.”

Hadleigh boss Stuart Crawford said: “If we have to play one of them we are away again which isn’t great, but we’ll prepare well.

“The FA Vase is a massive competition for all clubs at this level.

“Of course if both teams are kicked out and we go into the last 16 without having to kick a ball, I’ll be more than happy.

“The FA tend not to mess about in situations like this and it wouldn’t surprise me if they both did get kicked out.”

Fellow Suffolk team Brantham face a tough test away from home at East Preston, from Sussex, who are currently unbeaten in Sussex League One.

The south coast side are already eight points ahead of their nearest rivals and have conceded just seven goals in the league.

Brantham earned their place with a 3-2 win at Haringey Borough at the weekend, having come from 2-0 down.

Brightlingsea Regent, should they overcome Colney Heath in their replay this week, are at home to Bodmin Town.

Full draw: Newcastle Benfield v Congleton Town, Spennymoor Town v Causeway United, Ashington v Wisbech Town, AFC Rushden & Diamonds v St Andrews, Morpeth Town v Westfields, Dunston UTS v Coleshill Town, Brighouse / Whickham v West Auckland Town, Larkhall Athletic v Blackfield & Langley, Ampthill Town v Norwich United, Hallen v Alresford Town, Sholing v Hullbridge Sports, Moneyfields / Bitton AFC v Hadleigh United, Hanworth Villa v Eastbourne United, Hanwell Town v Ashford United, Brightlingsea Regent /Colney Hth v Bodmin Town, East Preston v Brantham Athletic

Ties to be played January 18.

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