The Fourth Round will take place over the weekend of the 5/6 January so BotP has been busily analysing all the facts and figures to give you a comprehensive run-down of the fixtures. Using an algorithm based on the Vase history of each team, we have come up with a BotP FA Vase Index. It is worth noting that the FA Vase statistics are based upon the team's current incarnation rather than the combined history. An example of this would be Hebburn Town where we have only used the history since they became Town. The statistics do not include the FA Vase runs when they were just known as Hebburn. The higher the index, the more chance hat team has of winning the competition. Of course, this is by no means fool-proof. If it was, the betting companies would be bankrupt and I would be writing this from my poolside office in Bali rather than the back-room of my house in Oxfordshire. Still, it's a bit of fun and might provide some interesting Christmas reading but please don't take it too seriously, it's certainly not meant to be a scientific breakdown of each team's Vase chances. However, you never know, it might even prove to be accurate and maybe I could put a down payment on that poolside office?
So, let's look at each Fourth Round (all games playing Saturday 5th January, 3pm unless stated) tie individually, with each team's BotP Vase Index in brackets:
Godmanchester Rovers (17) v Sporting Khlasa (11)
The David Wilson Homes Ground, PE29 2LQ. http://godmanchesterroversfc.co.uk/contact-us/
Rovers will be playing in the Fourth Round for the first time in their history whereas Khalsa made it through to the Quarter-Finals two seasons ago. Along with Hamworthy United, Khalsa have played the most number of games to get this far, 6 in total. Both sides can score goals, Khlasa have scored two or more in all but one of their six games so far. Rovers have averaged over two per game in their three ties.
Godmanchester Rovers - West Essex (a) 2-1, Great Yarmouth Town (a) 3-1, Holbeach United (h) 2-0
Sporting Khalsa - Coventry Sphinx (a) 2-2, Coventry Sphinx (hR) 3-0, Stone Old Aleynians (a) 7-3, Winsfod United (h) 1-0, Hucknall Town (h) 3-2, Walsall Wood (h) 3-1
Irlam (4) v Cadbury Athletic (2)
Silver Street, M44 6JJ. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/irlamfc/contact/
Both of these sides are playing in the Fourth Round for the first time. In fact, Irlam had never made it past Round Two and Athletic could only boast a First Round appearance before this season. Both have played four games to get this far and, interestingly, until this round neither side had been drawn away from home. Neither side has scored fewer than 2 goals in any of their Vase games so far.
Irlam - Burscough (h) 4-2, Handsworth Parramore (h) 2-0, Hemsworth MW (h) 3-1, Winterton Rangers (h) 2-0
Cadbury Athletic - Wem Town (h) 2-0, Hanley Town (h) 4-0, Heather St Johns (h) 3-2, Desborough Town (h) 3-2
Hebburn Town (4) v Shepshed Dynamo (13)
The Energy Check Sports Ground, NE31 1UN. http://www.hebburntownfc.co.uk/ground/
Town started their Vase campaign in the first Qualifying Round, averaging three goals per game and only conceding once in their two home games. They produced what could easily have been the result of the Third Round with a stunning 5-3 win at last season's beaten finalists Stockton Town. Dynamo, who joined in the Second Qualifying Round, have a perfect home record, played there, won three, conceded zero. However, they will need to be at their best on their travels to progress.
Hebburn Town - Eccleshill United (a) 1-0, Billingham Synthonia (h) 3-1, City of Liverpool (h) 4-0, Hallam (a) 2-1, Stockton Town (a) 5-3
Shepshed Dynamo - Whitchurch Alport (a) 3-2 (aet), Bewdley Town (h) 2-0, Blidworth Welfare (h) 3-0, NKF Burbage (h) 3-0
Newcastle Benfield (29) v Northwich Victoria (0)
Sam Smiths Sports Ground, NE6 4NU. https://newcastlebenfield.com/contact-us-page/
On paper, looking at the Vase Index, this should not even be a contest. However, if you take into account that Northwich, in their five games so far, have yet to concede a goal, you will see that it may not be as straight-forward as it seems. Benfield, who have only played two games, have certainly given their supporters value for money, averaging almost four goals per game.
Newcastle Benfield - 1874 Northwich (h) 2-0, Runcorn Town (h) 5-4
Northwich Victoria - Maltby Main (h) 2-0, Cammell Laird (h) 5-0, Prestwich Heys (a) 0-0, Prestwich Heys (h) 1-0, Silsden (h) 3-0
Sunderland RCA (19) v West Auckland Town (70)
Meadow Park, SR2 0NZ. https://www.sunderlandrca.co.uk/find_us
Another team to not concede yet in this campaign is West Auckland Town who are also the top-ranked team according to the BotP Vase Index. This figure comes largely from the fact that they have appeared in two finals and consistently make it past the qualifying stages. RCA have made it into Round 5 previously and also disposed of highly-fancied Shildon in the previous round. This will be the third consecutive tie that West Auckland have had to travel for.
Sunderland RCA - Bridlington Town (h) 3-2 (aet), Garstang (a) 6-2, Shildon (a) 3-2
West Auckland Town - Thackley (a) 1-0, Avro (a) 2-0
Coventry United (6) v Leicester Nirvana (6)
Butts Park Arena, CV1 3GE. http://www.coventryunited.co.uk/about-us/our-home-visitor-info/
Both of these sides have had three FA Vase campaigns and share a BotP Vase Index of 6. However, looking at the statistics we can see that United have a 100% qualifying record whereas Nirvana have, on one occasion, failed to get through the qualifiers. United's home record in this season's competition is very impressive played four, won four and with a goal tally of 14-1. Nirvana have played three of their four ties away from Hamilton Park, so will not be deterred by a trip to Butts Park.
Coventry United - Droitwich Spa (a) 4-2, Atherstone Town (h) 2-1, Wednesfield (h) 5-0, Boldmere St Michaels (h) 3-0, Hinckley (h) 4-0
Leicester Nirvana - FC Bolsover (a) 2-1, Wellington Amateurs (a) 2-1, Saffron Dynamo (h) 3-0, Westfields (a) 4-0
Deeping Rangers (17) v Eastwood Community (3)
The Haydon Whitham Stadium, PE6 8LQ. http://www.deepingrangersfc.co.uk/contact/
Eastwood are one of only two Step 6 sides left in the competition. They face a very difficult trip to Lincolnshire and a Rangers side who have been challenging near the top of the United Counties Premier fairly consistently for over 10 years. Eastwood, however, have already put out two Step 5 sides in Quorn and, more recently in Round 3, local rivals and promotion favourites, Ilkeston Town. Rangers are the sixth highest scorers, averaging pretty close to 4 goals per game.
Deeping Rangers - Blackstones (h) 7-1, Walsham Le Willows (a) 4-1, Newmarket Town (a) 1-0, Wantage Town (a) 2-1, FC Clacton (h) 4-2
Eastwood Community - Anstey Nomads (a) 5-2, Sherwood Colliery (h) 3-2, Selston (h) 3-0, Quorn (a) 2-1, Ilkeston Town (a) 2-1
Histon (32) v Lye Town (18)
The Glassword Stadium, CB24 9PH. https://www.histonfc.co.uk/directions/
Two teams that are both in the top ten according to their BotP Vase ranking. Histon entered i Round 1 this season and, after needing a reply to get through, then fired in five in both Round 2 and Round 3. The Flyers came in at the final qualifying stage and have cruised through to this Round averaging 3.75 goals per game. However, this will be their first away tie of the competition.
Histon - Team Bury (h) walkover, Colney Heath(a) 1-1, Colney Heath (h) 2-0, Woodbridge Town (h) 5-4, Leverstock Green (h) 5-1
Lye Town - Bolehall Swifts (h) 2-0, Chelmsley Town (h) 5-2, Brocton (h) 4-1, Leighton Town (h) 4-0 (aet)
Willand Rovers (36) v Hamworthy United (8)
Silver Street, EX15 2RG. http://www.willandrovers.co.uk/
Along with Khalsa The Hammers have played the most games to get this far, six in total. In 19 previous campaigns they have only made it past qualifying four times and have never before been as far as the 4th Round. Willand are third favourite on the BotP Vase Ranking scale.They have been to this stage twice previously and have also made it into Round 5 once. This season they have averaged three goals per game and have only conceded twice in total so far.
Willand Rovers - Odd Down (a) 4-1, Tavistock (h) 2-1, Bodmin Town (h) 3-0
Hamworthy United - Amesbury Town (h) 3-0, Fawley (h) 3-1, Shaftesbury (a) 2-1, Falmouth Town (h) 3-1, Hamble Club (a) 1-1, Hamble Club (hR) 4-1
Canterbury City (9) v Newport Pagnell Town (27) - Playing Sunday 6th, 2pm
Salters Lane (Faversham Town FC), ME13 0DL. http://www.canterburycityfc.net/contact/
City are into Round 4 for the first time in their history. They have kept three clean sheets in the five matches this season, so are clearly going to be difficult to beat. The Swans have a recent Quarter-Final under their belts as well as a previous Round 4 visit. They have scored at least 2 in each Vase game this campaign so will prove to be a tough test for City's tight defence.
Canterbury City - Langney Wanderers (a) 2-0, AFC Varndeanians (a) 2-0, Saltdean United (h) 2-1, Corinthian (a) 4-2 (aet), Southall (h) 1-0 (aet)
Newport Pagnell Town - Newbury Forest (a) 3-2, Thame Rangers (h) 3-2, Hullbridge Sports (a) 2-0
AFC Uckfield Town (0) v Windsor (13)
The Oaks, TN22 5QL. http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/afcuckfieldfc/contact/
Uckfield are one of the surprise packages of this season's competition. Having never made it past qualifying before they now find themselves in Round 4 on the back of some superb results including a 5-2 drubbing of Combined Counties premier high-flyers Sutton Common Rovers in the last round. They take on a Windsor side who only joined in Round 2 and have been drawn away from home at every stage so far.
AFC Uckfield Town - Hollands & Blair (h) 2-0, Southwick (h) 5-0, Tunbridge Wells (a) 2-0, AFC Croydon Athletic (a) 2-1, Sutton Common Rovers (h) 5-2
Windsor - Chichester City (a) 2-0, Erith Town (a) 2-1
Cribbs (1) v Sholing (21)
Cribbs Sports & Social Club, BS10 7TB. https://www.cribbssportsandsocial.co.uk/contact-us
The Boatmen are the only past winners remaining in the competition but, despite that fact, they only make 7th in the BotP Vase Ranking. However, their past Vase history combined with their superb league form this season must put them up there as contenders. They'll certainly provide a stiff test for a Cribbs side who are in the Fourth Round for the first time in their history having only ever once before made it out of qualifying.
Cribbs - Shortood United (a) 5-1, Brimscombe & Thrupp (a) 3-2, Newport (IW) (a) 2-0, Saltash United (a) 4-2
Sholing - Torpoint Athletic (a) 1-0, Malmesbury Victoria (h) 5-1, Pagham (h) 6-2
Bearsted (0) v Abbey Rangers (5)
Otham Sports Club, ME15 8RG. http://www.bearstedfc.co.uk/ContactUs.aspx
Bearsted are another side who have never before made it past the qualifying stages but, this season, find themselves at the heady height of Round 4. They take on a Rangers side who, even though this is only their fourth ever Vase campaign, have only failed to qualify once and have a second and third round appearance under their belt. Four of Abbey's five games have been played away from home, so another road trip will not phase them.
Bearsted - Bexhill United (h) 4-1, Selsey (a) 2-0, Beckenham Town (h) 3-0, Newhaven (h) 1-0, Steyning Town (h) 3-2 (aet)
Abbey Rangers - Lydney Town (a) 3-1, Chipping Sodbury Town (a) 3-1, Rayners Lane (a) 3-2, Lordswood (h) 5-0, Eastbourne Town (a) 1-0
Chertsey Town (59) v AFC St Austell (14)
Alwyns Lane, KT16 9DW. http://www.chertseytown-fc.co.uk/directions/4529930309
Second favourites on the BotP Vase Ranking and in fantastic league form, The Curfews are certainly one of the contenders this season. They have already scored 18 goals in their 5 games, conceding just 3. St Austell, the other remaining Step 6 side, punch above their weight in the Vase. A couple of season back they made it into the Semi-Final stage, narrowly going out to Glossop North End. They also clocked up a stunning 8-4 away win at Cadbury Heath in the last round.
Chertsey Town - Woodley United (h) 4-2, Tadley Calleva (a) 1-0, Flackwell Heath (h) 6-1, Horndean (h) 2-0, Redbridge (a) 5-0
AFC St Austell - Ilfracombe Town (h) 3-1, Wells City (a) 3-2, Plymouth Parkway (h) 6-1, Cheddar (a) 2-1, Cadbury Heath (a) 8-4
Biggleswade (6) v Stowmarket Town (2) - Playing Sunday 6th, 2pm
Langford Road (Biggleswade Town FC), SG18 9JT. https://www.biggleswadefc.co.uk/contactus.aspx
Two sides who are pushing for promotion in their respective leagues this season. They have very different Vase records. Biggleswade, who were only formed in 2016, have made it past qualifying in all three of their Vase campaigns, even making it to this stage before. Stow, who have 36 Vase entries in their history, have failed to et through qualifying on 24 occasions. they can, however, also point to a previous 4th Round appearance. Both sides needed a replay in Round 3, with Biggleswade eventually defeating Tring Athletic on penalties.
Biggleswade - Norwich CBS (h) 3-1, Tring Athletic (a) 1-1, Tring Athletic (hR) 0-0 (5-3p)
Stowmarket Town - Harpenden Town (h) 5-0, Baldock Town (h) 3-1 (aet), Saffham Town (a) 0-0, Swaffham Town (hR) 2-1
Cray Valley PM (4) v Baffins Milton Rovers (3)
Badgers Sports Ground, SE9 5HT. http://www.cray-valley.co.uk/visitors.php
Baffins are the competitions highest scorers so far this season with 25 goals in the five games. This also makes them the highest average scorers, with 5 per game. They owe this record mainly to their 2nd Qualifying Round demolition of New College Swindon, which Rovers won 14-1. The Millers, however, will not be too disturbed by this as they can point to 11 unanswered goals in the last two Vase matches. The signs are there that this could be a high-scoring, end to end game.
Cray Valley PM - Sutton Athletic (a) 2-1, Hailsham Town (h) 2-0, St Panteleimon (a) 3-1, Badshot Lea (h) 7-0, Sheppey United (a) 4-0
Baffins Milton Rovers - Fairford Town (a) 3-2, New College Swindon (h) 14-1, Bashley (a) 2-1, Bournemouth (h) 3-2, Bradford Town (a) 3-1