FA Cup second qualifying round: Manchester’s non league sides ‘dream’ big

Salford City host Curzon Ashton and Ashton United travel to Abbey Hey on a packed weekend of 80 FA Cup second qualifying round ties that include a host of Greater Manchester clubs.

Broadhurst Park hosts its first FA Cup tie when Witton Albion visit FC United of Manchester, while Stockport County and Stalybridge Celtic also enter the draw with travels to AFC Fylde and Kendal Town respectively.

In further action, Bury Town, Droylsden and Hyde United are all at home, duly welcoming Hamel Hampstead, Lancaster City and Northwich Victoria.

Salford are aiming high after clinically disposing of Whitby Town in a replay thanks to Stockport-born new-boy James Poole’s hat-trick on only his second appearance.

“Although there’s been no clear aim that has been laid down by anyone, everybody knows that the first round proper is the target,” said Poole after the replay victory.

“We have two games to get through before we can think of that, but everyone in the competition has the aim of getting through qualifying and then getting a good draw.

“It’s a long way away, we can dream about it, but we have a lot to do to get there.”

Curzon Ashton, who ply their trade a tier above The Ammies, have won the last five meetings while their hosts will be looking to end a run of six home games without a win.

In another provincial contest, ex-Abbey Hey, Ashton United forward Martin Pilkington returns to The Abbey Stadium for what he expects to be a lively encounter.

“I’ve got big emotions returning back to Abbey Hey tomorrow, it was the place that I really made my name in the game and it’s where I felt happiest before moving to Ashton United,” Pilkington told his club’s website.

“I’m excited to return and since the minute the draw was made I’ve been counting down the days.

“I am desperate to win on Saturday, I’d love to rub it in the faces of all of my mates and it’s not every day that you get to return to play one of your former clubs in a big cup competition.”

Each of the winners from the second qualifying round ties earn £4,500 and move another step closer to the illustrious first round where the prize money reaches £18,000.

Image courtesy of Salford City FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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