Saturday sees the Blues embark on the road to Wembley with an international flavour when they "travel" to Parkside to meet Bostik South Central side FC Romania who won through the previous round 3-1 away to Southend Manor. After going behind as early as the 9th minute they secured victory scoring three late goals.
FC Romania have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the non-league ranks after being formed by a group of Romanian workers in August 2006 who wanted to play football in their spare time. Starting out in the Sunday London Weekend league playing at the famous Hackney Marshes they quickly enjoyed success winning their division in the first season and finishing runners-up in the next. 2008 saw them switching to Saturday football in the Essex Business Houses league. in 2010 they moved to the Middlesex County League. Success on the field again followed and in 2012 they started their current ground share agreement with Cheshunt FC. 2013/14 saw them playing in the Essex Senior League which eventually led to them winning promotion to the Bostik league for the first time this season.
So far they have played three games with one win at Southend Manor in the cup. Last Saturday saw them play their first league game at home to Northwood where they were beaten 3-1 succumbing to two late goals in the 80th and 87th minute. On Wednesday evening they entertained AFC Sudbury in the Velocity Trophy losing narrowly by 3-2 again from two late goals.
Blues have enjoyed an encouraging start to the fledgeling season with an opening day win at Witham Town and were unlucky not to claim all three points at home to old rivals Canvey Island - denied by visiting keeper Palmer who produced a string of saves to deny them. Manager Jamie Stuart has made a number of exciting signings in the close season and a change of formation has seen Blues look a more solid outfit in their two opening games.
This looks an intriguing cup tie with both sides looking to progress and claim the prize money on offer, a good cup run always generates interest for the fans and provides a break from the league campaign with the prospect of drawing one of the big boys in later rounds.
One person who is probably breathing a sigh of relief that this is an" away" tie will be our match day announcer Stewart Goshawk who will not have to wrestle with pronunciation of the FC Romania players!