From Moor Lane to Wembley: The Magic of the 2014-15 F.A. Trophy

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

It may be a while off yet, but the preliminary round draw for the F.A. Trophy has already been made. Ties will take place on the 18 October 2014.

For the first time, all ties will be settled on the same day. Therefore, if scores are level after 90 minutes, extra time will follow. If the two sides are still level after extra time, a penalty shoot out.

In Greater Manchester, only two of its five sides have been granted a home tie: Salford City and Radcliffe Borough. Both of these teams a short 98 bus ride away. As our area east of the M60 motorway includes the High Peak, three if you count New Mills.

F.A. Trophy Preliminary Round (Saturday 18 October 2014, k.o. 1500 hours):

  • Salford City v Prescot Cables;
  • Clitheroe v Droylsden;
  • Radcliffe Borough v Darlington 1883;
  • New Mills v Ossett Town;
  • Warrington Town v Mossley.

The Class of ’92’s new side, Salford City, face a Salford/Merseyside clash with Prescot Cables, a game which could well be feisty. The Cables is a supporter owned club managed by former Stalybridge Celtic player Neil Prince. Last season, they were the second club managed by a former Stalybridge Celtic player to stave off relegation. (The other being The Mighty ‘Bridge of course, under the tutelage of Keith Briggs). Another ‘Bridge favourite manages the Ammies: Phil Power from Phil Wilson’s first Football Conference side in 1992-93.

Making the shortish trip to Shawbridge is Droylsden, who are drawn away to Clitheroe. In the Ribble Valley, we have another Stalybridge Celtic connection: their manager Simon Garner. He turned out for the ‘Bridge under Steve Burr’s tenure, the same time as… Keith Briggs.

The tie of the round could well be at Stainton Park, where Radcliffe Borough are home to Darlington 1883. Formed after the loss of the original club, the Quakers’ successors share Heritage Park with Bishop Auckland F.C., their replacement for the iconic Kingsway ground. The Quakers are likely to bring a fair number of fans to this fixture, so arrive a little earlier than normal.

Our third home tie is at Church Road, where New Mills entertain Ossett Town, whereas Mossley travel to Warrington Town. The Wire could prove to be a stern test for the Lilywhites. They tried, without success last season, to gain promotion to the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division (losing out to Curzon Ashton and Ramsbottom United).

F.A. Trophy Preliminary Round: Getting to Greater Manchester’s and Derbyshire’s home games:

Salford City v Prescot Cables:

  • Bus: 98 (First Greater Manchester) from Manchester Shudehill Interchange and Bury Interchange or X43 limited stop service from Chorlton Street Coach Station or Albert Square, Rawtenstall, Burnley and Nelson  (Transdev Burnley and Pendle). Alight at Bury New Road/Moor Lane stop, walk back and turn right onto Moor Lane. Carry on till you see Nevile Road. Turn left and continue along the road till you see the ground entrance on the right hand side.

Radcliffe Borough v Darlington 1883:

  • Bus: First Greater Manchester’s 98 service offers a frequent link to the ground from Bury, Whitefield and Manchester city centre. Alight at Pilkington Road stop; ground two minutes walk from stop.

New Mills v Ossett Town:

  • Rail: New Mills Central is your best option then a five minute walk uphill into the town centre. From there, you could continue to Church Lane on foot or, if you’re unable to hoof it up to the ground, by…
  • Bus: High Peak’s 61 (Glossop – Buxton) and Stagecoach Manchester’s (Stockport – Hayfield) services stop outside the ground. Both are hourly. Alight at stop opposite Marsh Lane.

*                              *                              *

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 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., 13 July 2014.

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