AFC St Austell
The lowest ranked team left in the competition and the only Step 6 side to remain. They have already taken a couple of noteable scalps in Stanway Rovers and Greenwich Borough. They are currently sitting in fourth place of the South West Peninsula Premier League, 7 points adrift of the leaders but with 5 games in hand. Only two defeats in all matches since the end of August and withg leading scorer Liam Eddy notching 35 times, they will be a handful for any opposition.
The Yellamen also sit in fourth place in their league, the Hellenic Premier Division. Tehy also have games in hand over leaders Highmoor Ibis, but not enough to catch them. They are also in good form with only two cup and league defeats since the start of December last year. Ascot have scored twenty goals in their six FA Vase ganes so far, conceding only four.
Erith & Belvedere
The Deres are having a good season in the Southern Counties East Premier. They are second in the table, 5 points clear of third place but 10 adrift of leaders Phoneix Sports and have only lost once in league and cup this year, a 3-1 reversal to Beckenham Town in the League Cup Quarter Final. Alfie May is their leading scorer with 28 to his name this season.
The Robins are currently in fourth place of the EBAC Northern League Division One, four points adrift of leaders West Auckland Town and with a game in hand. They will be hoping that leading scorer Gareth Bainbridge, with 15 in the league, will help to fire them into the next round, especially as their current form is not particularly good.
Shaw Lane Aquaforce
Shaw Lane are currently fourth in the Northern Counties East Premier, 8 points behind fellow quarter-finalists Tadcaster Albion but with four games in hand. The are just 9 goals shot of the century in the league and have scored 17 in the FA Vase so far. So , it's not just 23-goal Lee Morris that teams will have to look out for.
Glossop North End
Glossop have been playing catch up with Runcorn Linnets all season and are still sitting in second, 18 points adrift of them. They do have a massive 7 games in hand so, in theory, could catch them. Defence appears to be their strong point, with only 10 conceded in 25 league games. Jason Carey has 26 goals to his credit this season.
Of the eight remaining teams Highworth are lowest ranked in their respective division, currently sitting in 8th spot of the Hellenic Premier. Promotion is probably out of the question, so will the Vase be their focus? Defeat at home to Flackwell Heath last weekend was only their second this year but they are the lowest scorers in the top half of the table with just 49 in 26 games. A lot will rest on the shoulders of top scorer TJ Bohane.
Six points clear at the top of the Northern Counties East Premier but, as stated earlier, under some threat from Shaw Lane, Worksop and Cleethorpes. Tadcaster have the best goal difference in the league at +53 but have conceded 8 in their last three games (cup and league). A lot will depend on the scoring power of 26-goal Josh Greening.
So, who will be lifting the Vase at Wembley on May 9th? It's a difficult one to answer. Obviously, by this stage of the competition, it goes without saying that all eight teams are good sides. They wouldn't have got this far if they weren't.
Much as the romantic in me would love it, it is hard to see a Step 6 side going all the way. Having said that, I have a sneaky feeling that St Austell might make it to the semis. So, on that assumption, I am also ruling out Ascot.
I have tipped North Shields to beat Erith & Belvedere, Shaw Lane to edge out Glossop North End and Tadcaster to have too much for Highworth. So, that would make my Semi-Final line-up, St Austell, North Shields, Shaw Lane Aquaforce and Tadcaster Albion.
The draw will obviously have a big effect on who gets to Wembley but, regardless of the who plays who, my gut instinct is that Tadcaster Albion will be victorious in May. They have had a winning mentality all season and, despite a few glitches recently, I see no reason that this will not continue.