F.A. Vase Second Qualifying Round under way this week

For most non league sides, the most realistic way of getting to Wembley is through the F.A.’s Trophy, Vase, Youth Cup and Sunday Cup competitions instead of the Challenge Cup. Some clubs may enter the other F.A. competitions but decline the offer of appearing in the Football Association’s flagship one.

The area east of the M60 motorway is blessed by numerous semi-professional and amateur clubs from the Blue Square Bet North down to the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League. The F.A.’s Trophy, Vase and Sunday Cup competitions reflects this further.

Second Qualifying Round Draw (week beginning 23 September 2011):

Both Oldham Borough and Chadderton are through to this round of the F.A. Vase, following home wins against Daisy Hill (1 – 0) and Alsager Town (3 – 1) in the previous round. The draw affecting our local sides is now as follows:

  • Ashville v West Didsbury and Chorlton;
  • Oldham Borough v Wigan Robin Park (7.45 pm, Friday 23 September);
  • Formby v Chadderton;
  • Barnoldswick Town v Abbey Hey;
  • Shirebrook Town v Glossop North End;
  • Borrowash Victoria v Blidworth Welfare.

All matches will kick off at 3.00 pm unless stated otherwise.

F.A. Vase First Round Proper Draw (week beginning 07 October 2011):

  • Chadderton v Ashville or West Didsbury and Chorlton;
  • Oldham Borough or Wigan Robin Park v Padiham;
  • Runcorn Linnets or Bootle v Barnoldswick Town or Abbey Hey;
  • Shirebrook Town or Glossop North End v Borrowash Victoria or Blidworth Welfare.

Getting There:

Only one fixture will be at home this week; that of Oldham Borough’s match against Wigan Robin Park. To avoid clashing with Oldham Athletic’s home match versus Brentford, this game will kick off at 7.45 pm this Friday. Unfortunately, Limeside is not the easiest of places to venture to after 7 pm, though buses are still available. A walk from Ashton Road to Whitebank Stadium is not recommended due to Coal Pit Lane being poorly lit and free of pavements.

Bus: Bluebird Bus and Coach’s 78 service operates every hour from Manchester and Oldham after 7pm. Alight at Elm Road at the stop after (from Oldham) or (from Manchester) before Birch Avenue. Walk down Elm Road until you see Whitebank Road on the left hand side. The ground is about 50 yards to your left.

Times are 16 minutes past the hour from Oldham bus station and 5 minutes past the hour from Manchester (Piccadilly Gardens). Last Oldham bus from ground departs at 9.38 pm, last Manchester one, about 10.25 pm.

Taxis: Oldham and Bardsley Cars (telephone 0161 678 9999) or Village Cars (telephone 0161 628 7000) are worth considering. Taxi fare from Oldham town centre should leave you with change from a £10 note quite easily.

Bus and Taxi combination: 409 bus (First Manchester) operates every 20 minutes from Rochdale, Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne after 7 pm. Alight at the Half Way House stop at Bardsley then ring for a taxi from there. Taxi fare should leave you with change from a fiver. See Taxis paragraph above for recommended cab company numbers.

Best of luck to all those concerned…

Feel free to comment if you already follow the above teams, or thought of making an F.A. Vase match your first taste of non league football. You wouldn’t regret it.

S.V., 20 September 2011.

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