By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Several of Greater Manchester’s non-league football clubs are dreaming of Wembley after winning in the FA Cup Preliminary Round this weekend.
However, the road to London is long, with four more qualifying rounds for them to navigate just to reach the first round proper – where giants such as Barnet and Hereford Town await.
Trafford FC of the Evo-Stik First Division produced the cleanest cut victory of the round for our teams, knocking out lower ranked strugglers Cheadle Town 3-0 at home.
Their reward is a tough looking home tie against Northwich Victoria, who are not shy of upsetting the bigger teams in this competition – they have knocked out Charlton, Peterborough United and Watford over the years.
Not of all of Stockport’s teams lost however. Woodley Sports, who have started the season well in the Evo-Stik First, ensure Bootle had a wasted trip from Merseyside, winning 3-1 at the Neil Rourke Stadium.
Woodley now travel to FC United of Manchester, and will do well to make it past Gigg Lane in this year’s competition.
All three of Tameside’s representatives will have to go to replays following draws on Saturday.
Struggling Mossley, currently propping up the Evo-Stik First with no win in six, drew 0-0 with Runcorn Linnets at Seel Park.
The Lilywhites now travel to Cheshire for the reverse tie at the Linnets, where they will hope to avoid the embarrassment of losing to a team from a lower league.
Curzon Ashton drew 1-1 with Bamber Bridge and will rue not making the most of home advantage as they travel to Lancashire for the replay.
Ashton Athletic will host Vodkat League rivals Maine Road after a 0-0 stalemate in Chorlton.
Friday night saw Salford City knocked out by Ramsbottom United 2-1 despite taking the lead away from home.
So, which of the area’s smallest teams will make it furthest? MM will be following their progress, and you can follow them with us.
Here are all of the fixtures for the teams involved – ties will be played on September 19th.
FA Cup Qualifiers – First Round:
Ashton United vs Runcorn Town
FC United of Manchester vs Woodley Sports
Curzon Ashton/Bamber Bridge vs Warrington Town
Squires Gate vs AFC Mossley/Runcorn Linnets
Lancaster City vs Ashton Athletic/Maine Road
Trafford vs Northwich Victoria