Grier's Guide to Maldon and Tiptree
Who: Maldon and Tiptree, Saturday 31 October, 3.00pm kick-off
The club: The Jammers formed in 2010, when Maldon Town merged with Tiptree United. They've spent all of their existence in Isthmian 1 North, with three playoff final defeats denying them promotion, and then coronavirus stopping them going up despite being comfortably top when last season was called off. They've had more joy in the FA Cup though, reaching the second round last season thanks to a win over Leyton Orient and now the first round of this year's competition.
The town: They play in Maldon, a small town on the Essex coast to the east of Chelmsford. Sir Alastair Cook played for the local cricket club as a youngster.
The ground: The Wallace Binder Ground, Wallace Binder Close, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5JQ. It has a small main stand and another seated stand behind one of the goals.
Ticket prices: £10 adults, £5 concessions, £2 U16s. (Ed: We will print ticket news as soon as we get it.)
Covid security: Maldon is in Essex so, like Kingston, is at time of writing (Sunday 25th) in tier 2. As a side from the level below their capacity is limited to 400 - a sellout is possible, given the interest their FA Cup run will have generated, but no details have yet been announced for online sales. At the ground, fans are expected to scan a QR code using the NHS test and trace app, adhere to social distancing and wear face coverings in the bar.
Directions: A challenge by public transport even if there wasn't a pandemic, you'd need to take a train to Chelmsford and then the hourly 31X bus half an hour to Maldon. Most fans will surely drive but it's not much fun by car either, requiring fans to go half way round the M25 to then take the A12 and A414, which could be 2.5 hours with Saturday traffic. You can park at the ground.
Our record there: This will be our first ever visit to Maldon, the closest we've come being their neighbours and rivals Heybridge Swifts who were in our league in the early 2000s. A 3-0 defeat in 2005 was Scott Steele's last game as manager. We went back in 2018 for an FA Trophy replay, going down 5-1 as Leigh Dynan struggled to cobble together a side that wasn't cup-tied.
Players to watch: Their free-scoring front three from last season have all been signed by Dean Brennan's Wealdstone but their form this season is testament that they still represent a massive threat. Adam Vyse has six goals already this season having signed over the summer from Basildon United.
Recent form: Very strong - they're unbeaten in the league, although that's only from four games because they've been so busy in the cups. They won five games to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup, including against Conference South Braintree and Haringey Borough from our league. They also hammered Grays 4-1 to reach this stage of the Trophy.
Crowd: Their last FA Cup game was a sellout. Previous crowds were up to 319 but Ks fans will be keen to know how to get tickets in advance as it's a long way to go to not get in.
Drinking: With Essex in tier 2, only outdoor drinking will be allowed outside of your own household, in groups of up to six. The Hythe Quay area is a 15 minute walk from the ground and looks pleasant - the Queens Head has a large outside terrace overlooking the river and the Jolly Sailor also has a beer garden.
Food: The Bakehouse coffee shop is right by the ground and does cake and lunches with an outdoor seating area. Lakeside Cafe also has some outdoor seating and Fish Inn, a chippy, is one of numerous takeaways on the high street.