East of the M60‘s preview of one of the F.A.’s non-league cup competitions from a Greater Mancunian perspective

Who’d have thought by this of writing we would have seen Brazil turned over by Germany. What score was it again: 7-1? I bet Pele threw a wooden clock through his living room window. Never mind.

The 06 September will see the start of the F.A. Vase campaign. A competition which for many smaller non-league sides is their chance of getting to Wembley. Or at least entry to any national competition.

In Greater Manchester, our clubs are well represented with some tasty ties in the First Qualifying Round.

F.A. Vase First Qualifying Round (Saturday 06 September 2014, k.o. 1500 hours):

  • Daisy Hill v Newton Aycliffe;
  • Oldham Borough v 1874 Northwich;
  • Appleby Frodingham v Ashton Town;
  • Winsford United v Cheadle Town;
  • Irlam v St. Helen’s Town;
  • Stockport Sports v Selby Town;
  • Vauxhall Motors v Rochdale Town;
  • Atherton Collieries v Penistone Church.

This year’s competition sees some of our North West Counties League sides starting early doors. The draw has granted us two Manchester v Merseyside clashes, with St. Helen’s Town making a short trip to Silver Street, where they face Irlam. This is one of five home ties within Greater Manchester alone. Both Atherton Collieries and Oldham Borough have been drawn at home to Penistone Church and 1874 Northwich respectively. One curveball is the fact Oldham Borough are still groundsharing with Atherton Collieries, so Boro’s fixture could well be the following Sunday.

The second Merseyside v Manchester clash is at Rivacre Park, where Rochdale Town travel to Vauxhall Motors. Last season, the Motormen were playing Skrill North football, though decided to resign from the league owing to the league’s financial demands (particularly greater travelling and higher wage bills).

At the New Sirs, Daisy Hill‘s visitors will be Newton Aycliffe. The Newts, visiting Lancashire, have yet to equal their best F.A. Vase performance in the Third Round Proper, achieved in 1991 – 92. They are members of the Northern League First Division.

Travelling the farthest will be Ashton Town, whose opponents will be Appleby Frodingham. The present guise of the North Lincolnshire side was formed in the late 1980s after the original club went bust. The original club was the works’ team for Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company and attracted some fame in the late 1970s with excellent cup runs in the F.A. Vase and the F.A. Cup. In 1977 – 78, they bowed out of the latter competition at the Fourth Qualifying Round, losing 2-0 to Mossley A.F.C.

Cheadle Town travel to Winsford United in the only all-Cheshire clash at this stage. Stockport Sports entertain Selby Town at Lambeth Grove.

F.A. Vase First Qualifying Round: Getting to Greater Manchester’s and Derbyshire’s home games:

Daisy Hill v Newton Aycliffe:

  • Rail: regular services to Wigan Wallgate, Atherton, Walkden, Swinton, Salford stations and Manchester Victoria. Then walk along Leigh Road till you see St. James Street. Walk along St. James Street; ground on left hand side.
  • Bus: 517 (South Lancs Travel) from Leigh and Blackrod or 540 from Wigan and Bolton (Wigan Coachways). Both services stop outside Daisy Hill railway station. Alight at Lower Leigh Road/Daisy Hill church stop, then walk along Leigh Road till you see St. James Street. Walk along St. James Street; ground on left hand side.

Atherton Collieries v Penistone Church and Oldham Borough v 1874 Northwich:

  • Rail: regular services to Wigan Wallgate, Swinton, Salford stations and Manchester Victoria. Ground is ten minutes walk from railway station via Bolton Road (A579), Bolton Old Road, Alderfold Street and Alder Street. You will find the ground next to the Formby Hall.
  • Bus: First Greater Manchester’s 582 service from Bolton and Leigh stops nearby as does Jim Stones Coaches’ 681 and 682 services to Hag Fold and Leigh. Alight at stop near HPL Motors showroom then walk up to High Street before turning right there and carry on till you see Alder Street on your left. Turn left: you will find the ground next to the Formby Hall.

Irlam v St. Helen’s Town:

  • Bus: you can’t go far wrong with First Greater Manchester’s 67 service, operating every fifteen minutes from Manchester city centre. Alight at Liverpool Road/White Lion stop then walk up Silver Street.
  • Train: Northern Rail services to Irlam. Then board 67 to Liverpool Road/White Lion stop and walk up Silver Street. On foot, from the station to the ground, please allow 40 minutes! Failing that, just catch the bus instead, or get the train to Eccles and transfer to the bus station for your Irlam bound 67 bus.

Stockport Sports v Selby Town:

  • Bus: Stagecoach Manchester’s 330 service from Stockport, Hyde, Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne operates every 10 minutes. Also, First Greater Manchester’s 380, 381 and 386 services from Romiley and Stockport, via a more circuitous route. Alight at Woodley Precinct. 12 minutes walk to Stockport Sports Village via Mill Lane and Lambeth Grove.
  • Train: Northern Rail services to Rose Hill Marple, Hyde stations, Guide Bridge and Manchester Piccadilly, every half hour. 14 minutes walk via Woodlands Drive, Braddon Road and Lambeth Grove. Woodlands Drive may be a bit steep for less agile walkers.

*                              *                              *

Still to come:

  • East of the M60‘s preview of the First Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup, results from the Extra Preliminary and Preliminary Rounds;
  • From Moor Lane to Wembley: East of the M60‘s preview of the F.A. Trophy ties affecting Greater Manchester sides;
  • From Alder Street to Wembley (Part Two): a preview of the F.A. Vase Second Qualifying Round ties affecting Greater Manchester’s sides.
  • Plus, our round-up of the important fixtures affecting Greater Manchester’s non-league sides.

S.V., 09 July 2014.

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