The League Management Committee has decided to run two separate cup competitions for Division One and Division Two.
Previously the plan was to run the Brooks Mileson League Cup which is for teams in both divisions, along with the Ernest Armstrong Cup which is just for Division Two clubs.
However, the two competitions were suspended before the first round matches due to uncertainty over the pandemic and the weather affecting the league fixture programme.
The League Cup will now be replaced by a cup competition just for Division One clubs. This is due to the pressure of fitting all the ties for a competition for teams in both divisions alongside league matches, which are the priority. (The FA has also brought forward the date by which all league fixtures must be completed.)
The committee considered a number of options, including whether to run just a league cup without a competition for Division Two teams, however the committee decided that it was preferable to provide the opportunity for teams from both divisions to be able to take part in their own cup competition.
The draw for the new Division One Cup has been made and the first and second rounds are below. The draw for the first two rounds of the EA Cup had already been made. The dates for the first round and some second round matches have been set and where possible, they are on the graphic too.
League chairman Glenn Youngman said: “Our decision to delay the start of the league cup and EA cup was welcomed by clubs, given the uncertainty that we faced at the time.
“However, cup competitions provide much-needed revenue for clubs as well as giving supporters the chance to see further competitive matches before the end of the season.
“Completing the league programme has been our main priority and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we have tried to deal with the effects of the pandemic and weather.
“We will continue to monitor the progress of the two cup competitions as we move forward.”
(NB – There will be a separate posting with fixture changes. North Shields have been given a clear week leading up to their Buildbase FA Vase quarter final tie.)