The Emirates FA Cup started this weekend for our sides, with 25 NWCFL teams competing in the Extra Preliminary Round, with action also coming in the First Division North and South. (Main photograph by Paul Vause)
It all started on Friday night which saw a tight 1-1 draw between Skelmersdale United and NCEL side Penistone Church in front of 99 spectators. Eniar White put Skem ahead but Shaun Mundy equalised with fifteen minutes to go, setting up a replay on Wednesday evening.
On Saturday, eleven winners from the NWCFL won through to the Preliminary Round. Burscough came from behind against AFC Liverpool as Deklan Hill put away an 86th minute penalty to secure a famous win for Nick Matthews' side.
Longridge Town not only had the Emirates FA Cup trophy at Inglewhite Road but treated the 392 paying spectators to a masterclass, running out 6-1 winners after initially falling behind against Barnoldswick Town - Paul Turner netting a hat-trick, whilst Finlay Sinclair-Smith grabbed a first-half injury-time brace and Daniel Birch also netted.
One of the biggest winners of the afternoon was Irlam; Ryan Ledson, Karl Cassell, George Farrelly and Jordan Buckley all got their names on the scoresheet on a great afternoon against fellow NWCFL side Ashton Athletic.
Padiham strolled to a comfortable 4-nil win away at managerless NCEL side Athersley Rec, James Dean grabbing a brace as 101 fans saw two goals in each half for the away side.
150 spectators saw a spectacular first half at the Vestacare Stadium as Avro and Litherland REMYCA scored seven goals. Neil Monaghan and Colin Quirk put REMYCA into a two-goal lead early on, only to see Avro spin the game on its head with three quick goals (Liam Ellis (15p), Adam Latham (19), Ryan Hanson (24)). Then REMYCA had the best of the last period of the half as a Liam Diggle brace put Phil Stafford's side back in charge. The second half could not match up to the 100-miles-an-hour first half as neither side could find the back of the net as REMYCA advanced to the next round.
1874 Northwich ran out 2-1 winners also, away at Clitheroe with a hardy 386 fans watching. Additionally, Whitchurch Alport saw out a slender 2-1 victory away at Malvern Town to book themselves a Preliminary Round tie.
Whilst Runcorn Town's Dave Forbes grabbed a brace, one in each half to secure the win against Rylands, and West Didsbury & Disbury beat Squires Gate 2-1 and Winsford United headed home also 2-1 winners over Vauxhall Motors as Lee Duckworth's side grabbed two late goals to secure the win.
NCEL Premier Division side Eccleshill United may have played most of the game with ten-men, but they defeated last seasons NWCFL Premier Division runners-up Bootle 2-1, Lee Hughes grabbing the only goal for Joe Doran's side.
Hanley Town was edged by Leicester Road 3-2, after leading early on through Martin Stanier.
Abbey Hey travelled to NCEL side Liversedge but travelled back along the M62 after been defeated 5-1 by Jonathan Rimmington's side.
Congleton Town will have to do it all again as they drew one-all against Hereford side Westfields. Northwich Victoria and former NWCFL side Silsden also will have to play again as their game ended two-all as Silsden's Aiden Kirby netted his second of the game deep into injury time breaking the home sides hearts.
A late, late Ryan Longsden goal for Atherton LR denied AFC Darwen a third straight win with a 2-2 draw. St Helens Town are still searching for points as Daisy Hill scored twice in the second half to secure a 2-1 win.
A Brandon Collins goal secured their first points of the season for Holker Old Boys who won 2-1 against Golcar United. Chadderton won by the same scoreline against Pilkington while Prestwich Heys moved up to 11th in the standings with a 3-1 win over Ashton Town - Rio Wilson-Heyes grabbing a brace.
Meanwhile, in the First Division South, FC Oswestry Town romped to their third win of the season, a 5-1 win against 12th placed Alsager Town. Cheadle Health Nomads secured all three points with a clean sheet and a 3-0 victory against Ellesmere Rangers.
Action returns on Sunday afternoon as Stone Old Alleynians travel to Worcester City with a 3 pm kick-off in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.