Signing off

Well it certainly could have been worse for Chester.

While a home draw against a minnow is always preferable at this stage of the competition, an away trip to teams in leagues below you isn’t all bad when you consider that the Blues have avoided National League opposition.

A horror draw for Wrexham against Tranmere highlights how tough it could have been, although Chester will have to be on their game whoever they face in round one.

There have been memorable moments for Blues fans at both Witton (George Horan’s late winner in 2010) and Boston (Derek Asamoah’s hat-trick in 2006) so neither ground will hold too much fear for the Blues.

We’ll find out for definite tomorrow night but the Blues will themselves be occupied with looking to secure the three points at home to North Ferriby United.

Thanks for joining us for our coverage, hopefully we will be able to do it all again for round two!

Fan reaction

Where will we be on December 10?

It’s either here

Boston United
Boston United

or here

Witton Albion
Witton Albion

Where do you fancy?

Some interesting draws

Wrexham v Tranmere looks like the big clash while Kidderminster v Telford is pretty tasty. York City won’t relish another clash with Curzon Ashton following their FA Cup misery.

Ouch!

Rearranged game

The rearranged clash between Witton and Boston will take place tomorrow night.

Could have been worse

Both winnable games. Evo-Stik First Division South side Witton Albion saw their third-qualifying round clash with Vanarana National League North side Boston United abandoned due to fog at half time on Saturday. Ex-Chester striker Rob Hopley had given Witton a 1-0 lead.

Here's the draw

The first round draw

1 Gateshead v King’s Lynn Town
2 Farsley Celtic or Tamworth v Southport
3 Solihull Moors v Matlock Town or FC Halifax Town
4 Shaw Lane Association v Lincoln City
5 Gainsborough Trinity or Alfreton Town v North Ferriby United
6 Kidderminster Harriers v AFC Telford United
7 FC United Of Manchester or Nuneaton Town v Stocksbridge Park Steels or Stalybridge Celtic
8 Harrogate Town or Salford City v Barrow
9 AFC Fylde v Mickleover Sports or Brackley Town
10 York City v Curzon Ashton or Worcester City
11 Chorley or Stafford Rangers v Guiseley
12 Witton Albion or Boston United v Chester
13 Wrexham v Tranmere Rovers
14 Altrincham or Blyth Spartans v Macclesfield Town
15 Stockport County v Darlington 1883 or Marine
16 Ebbsfleet United v Woking
17 Chelmsford City v Hitchin Town
18 Dagenham & Redbridge v Worthing or Hemel Hempstead Town
19 Harlow Town v Eastleigh
20 Whitehawk or St Albans City v Poole Town or Weymouth
21 Braintree Town v Torquay United
22 Margate or East Thurrock United v Aldershot Town
23 Dulwich Hamlet v Hampton & Richmond Borough or Royston Town
24 Welling United v Hythe Town
25 Maidenhead United or Wealdstone v Wingate & Finchley
26 Dartford v Dover Athletic
27 South Park v North Leigh
28 AFC Sudbury v Gosport Borough
29 Sutton United v Bath City
30 Forest Green Rovers v Truro City
31 Boreham Wood v Maidstone United
32 Bromley v Leiston or Eastbourne Borough

Witton Albion/Boston United v Chester FC

An away trip for the Blues.

Great banter...we hope

Yep

Come on, lads

As expected, the ‘due by 1pm’ line means that it will probably end up being 1pm on the nose. They need to get a shift on as a comfort break is definitely on the cards here at Chron Towers.

Probably Brexit...

Let's hope so, Ben

Never ends well

Bodes well...

That's what we're hoping for

Draw is nearing

We’re expecting the draw anytime between 12.30pm and 1pm. Stay tuned!

A fair few replays

There will be a few teams in the hat who will have to go again before booking their place in round one. Sides like FC United, Salford City and Darlington 1883 will all have to win their replays to progress after drawing at the weekend.

Possible opponents

The first round draw is regionalised so the Blues, hopefully, won’t have too many miles to travel should they be drawn away from home. There are plenty of strong sides in the hat for the first round with the likes of AFC Telford United, Stockport County and big-spending AFC Fylde all entering.

Shaw Lane Aquaforce have been the surprise package so far and they will be looking for a plum tie after dumping out Nantwich Town 3-1 at the weekend in the third qualifying round.

Exiting at the third round stage

Chester exited the FA Trophy with a 1-0 defeat at FC Halifax Town, who won the right to host Gateshead in the quarter-finals.

Jordan Burrow’s strike in the final seconds of the first-half settled a contest in which the Blues were the better side for long periods.

But much like the season as a whole, Chester didn’t quite have the tools to open up the opposition defence and saw the end of the Wembley dream.

Halifax celebrate Jordan Burrow's match-winner at the end of the first-half
Halifax celebrate Jordan Burrow's match-winner at the end of the first-half (Photo: Terry Marland)

The second round...

Four second-half goals from Jordan Chapell, Ross Hannah, Johnny Hunt and Jason Gilchrist sent the Blues into the draw for the third round as they beat Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division side Hungerford Town 4-0.

It was far from routine for the Blues at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium and they were made to work for their success in front of a small 1,276 crowd.

http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/chester-fc-4-hungerford-town-10744942

Johnny Hunt makes it 3-0 to Chester against Hungerford
Johnny Hunt makes it 3-0 to Chester against Hungerford (Photo: Terry Marland)

Last year's journey - first round

The Blues were 2-0 winners at AFC Telford United in last year’s first round clash at New Bucks Head. It wet and boggy conditions in Shropshire, a Ross Hannah brace was enough to seal progression to round two.

http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/afc-telford-united-0-chester-10590432

Ross Hannah is mobbed by teammates after netting against Telford
Ross Hannah is mobbed by teammates after netting against Telford (Photo: Terry Marland)

What time is the draw?

It isn’t being broadcast live and direct from Wembley today but we are expecting to hear details of the first round draw sometime between 12.30pm and 1pm.

Is there a financial reward?

There certainly is. While it may not be eye-watering Champions League-style sums of money, there is still a sizeable financial reward for success. Teams who progress from round one will receive £5,000. Winners of the competition stand to pocket a cool £50,000.

When will the first round be played?

All ties first round ties will take place on Saturday, December 10. Definitely a date to keep free in your diary.

Welcome

It’s that time of the season again, when National League clubs can dream of a Wembley final.

Chester will find out their opponents in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy this afternoon, hoping to get their campaign started with a favourable home draw.

The premier cup competition involving non-league sides, a chance for glory at the world-famous Wembley Stadium on Sunday, May 21 beckons, as well as a chance to benefit financially from progression deep into the competition.

We’ll bring you the draw news as soon as it comes in as the Blues start their journey.