Just six months after their history-making FA Cup run of last season, Hastings United have discovered their opening opponents in next season’s competition.
The U’s, who went all the way to the third round before losing to Championship giants Middlesbrough in January, will host Ramsgate in the preliminary round on Saturday August 31.
United were relegated from the Ryman League Premier Division last term into Division One South, where Ramsgate finished seventh, missing out on the promotion play-offs by a solitary point.
The winners will receive £1,925 from the FA’s prize fund and a home tie against Crawley Down Gatwick or Guernsey - two more Ryman Division One South sides - in first round qualifying on Saturday September 14.
Rye United will travel to fellow Sussex County League Division One side Arundel in the extra preliminary round on Saturday August 17. Sidley United have been drawn at home to Erith Town at the same stage, although the Blues’ future is very much in doubt in the absence of a ground and manager.
Hastings will also be at The Pilot Field in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy. Their opponents on Saturday October 5 will be Brentwood Town, who came ninth in Ryman Division One North last season.
Sidley are due to visit Phoenix Sports in FA Vase first round qualifying on Saturday September 7, while Hastings will entertain Chipstead in the FA Youth Cup preliminary round in the week commencing Monday September 9.