Monday 25th October 2021
Royal Wootton Bassett Town will have the benefit of being at home in the Buildbase FA Vase second round. However, they will face an extremely tough test having been paired with Cornish-side Torpoint Athletic in a tie that is due to take place at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground on Saturday 20 November.
Bassett have already recorded home wins against Knaphill (1-0) and Downton (4-0) - as well an away victory against Portishead Town (3-1) - on their journey to the second round of this year's competition.
And Sam Collier's side - who will make club history if they are able to advance to the third round - will no doubt be pleased that it is Torpoint having to travel to Wiltshire rather than Bassett having to make the journey to the Cornwall coast.
Yet there is no doubt that the second round draw represents the toughest challenge Bassett have faced in the Vase so far this season.
At present Torpoint sit fifth in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division East. However, that is something of a false position given that the Windmills have at least four games in hand over three of the teams above them.
Most impressively, they have lost just two of fourteen league games to date, having won eleven and drawn one of the fixtures they have played so far.
Torpoint's eyes are no doubt set on gaining promotion to the Western League at the end of the campaign. But they will also be equally intent on a deep run in the Vase, which their early season form suggests they are more than capable of.
Their current Vase exploits have seen them play all three of their ties so far on home soil. They began with a narrow 1-0 first qualifying round win against Callington Town before a much more straightforward 6-1 triumph against Stoke Gabriel and Torbay Police in the second qualifying round. The first round then saw Torpoint granted their first encounter with a side outside of the South West Peninsula League - and they were more than up to that test as they impressively beat Bassett's Hellenic League Premier Division rivals Chipping Sodbury Town 4-1.
Torpoint have plenty of Vase pedigree too. They first entered the competition in 1991-92 and two seasons later advanced to the fourth round before going a stage further in 1995-96.
While not competing in the Vase between the 1997-98 and 2009-10 seasons, the past decade has seen them advance beyond the second round on two further occasions.
Torpoint reached the quarter final stage in 2010-11, where they were narrowly beaten by Poole Town, and advanced to the third round in 2016-17 before losing at Bradford Town.
Despite that rich history in the competition though, their visit to face Bassett will only be their third ever Vase encounter against a Hellenic side. In addition to their recent win against Chipping Sodbury, Torpoint visited Brimscombe and Thrupp in the 2015-16 second round and were beaten 3-2.
It will be an equally unique experience for their hosts too as Bassett have only ever faced South West Peninsula League opponents twice before in the Vase. And - like Torpoint against Hellenic League sides - Bassett hold a 1-1 record, having lost 2-0 to St Blazey in 2001-02 before beating Camelford 4-0 last season.
The impending contest - a rare, challenging matchup that would not happen outside of a national cup competition - therefore represents what would be widely considered an ideal Vase tie.
Bassett will also be hoping that it is a fixture in which they are able to make club history.
Regardless of the outcome though, it will be an afternoon to look forward to at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground.
Admission has been set as £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under 18s.Last modified on Sunday 14th November 2021 at 10:36.