Balham had a dream start in their first ever game in the FA Cup away on the South Coast to East Preston. Those who were playing were well aware that they were making history and were clearly determined to do everything possible to make sure they stayed in the world’s oldest football competition when the final whistle blew. They started the game in fine style and deservedly took the lead midway through the first half when, fittingly, Jack Haire, a product of the Balham age group system, opened the scoring with a flashing left foot shot from just inside the penalty box. Tino Carpene added a second, to give the away side the cushion they craved, early in the second half, when he volleyed home a fine cross from Eliot Garcia. East Preston had their moments throughout the game and were unlucky not to score at the death, when they hit the top of the crossbar. In truth though the scoreline was a fair reflection of play and Balham fully deserved their victory and the place that comes with it in the second qualifying round, only twelve games from Wembley.

TEAM: Neish, Frew, Goodband(capt), Erriu, Garcia, Gallagher, David, Savage, Haire, Adebayo, Carpene
SUBS: Fuller J, Farquharson L, McConnell, Henry
GOAL SCORERS: Haire, Carpene