A few interesting facts about this year's competition:
- The Quarter-Final will be the first game that Thatcham have played away from home.
- Windsor are the only remaining side who have played more away games than home games in the competition
- Windsor have also scored exactly the same number of goals on the road as at home
- Six teams who were exempted into the Second Round qualified for the last sixteen. Only one got through, MelkshamTown
- Between them, the eight remaining sides have scored a colossal 166 goals in the competition so far. They have conceded a total of just 47.
How did they get here?
Despite predicting the outcome of all eight matches in the previous round, I am feeling far less confident of doing the same in the Quarter-Finals. Also, call me sentimental, but I genuinely feel for any team that gets this far and then goes out of the competition. I know that is the nature of the game but all eight of these teams have done magnificently well to get this far and I can only imagine the feeling of losing when so close to a Wembley final.
So, I have to admit, I have struggled to write the conclusion to this blog. After the success of the last sixteen predictions, I had set out to do exactly the same for the Quarter-Finals. However, despite a number of late nights and early mornings studying form and looking for clues, I am still none the wiser. I honestly think that these four ties could go either way. Whatever the case, I am certain that there will be plenty of entertainment at all four matches. BotP will be at Leighton Town for their clash with 1874 Northwich but, whichever game you choose (and you really should choose one), expect it to be a close run thing.
Quarter-Final fixtures. Saturday 24th February. All 3pm ko.
Bracknell Town V Marske United.
Larges Lane, Bracknell, RG12 9AN.
Melksham Town V Thatcham Town
The Oakfield Stadium, Melksham, SN12 7GU.
Stockton Town V Windsor
Bishopton Road West, Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 0QD.
Leighton Town V 1874 Northwich
Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1RX.
A much more in-depth look at each of the eight sides can be found in this week's Non-League Paper which you can subscribe to through the link at the top of this page.