CHEADLE TOWN aim to write another page in their proud history as they make the short trip to TRAFFORD in the FA Cup this weekend.
Formed as Grasmere Rovers in 1961 by Chris Davies, who remains chairman, the club became famous for their foreign tours. It would have been a tall order for professional clubs to arrange trips to places such as Cuba, Brazil and Mexico during the 70’s and 80’s, but Davies regularly managed to pull it off – with a club that’s never played higher than step five of the non-league ladder.
Last season they finished sixth in the North West Counties First Division, which was their best finish since being relegated back to step six in 2001 and saw them scrape into this season’s FA Cup. The only step-six teams which qualify are those with the best Points-per-Game ratio the previous season and Cheadle’s 1.647 PPG was just above the cut off of 1.639.
That meant they would play in the FA Cup for the first time in three years, when they finished seventh, and they have taken full advantage, coming from behind to win at Penistone Church and then Northwich Victoria.
It is the fourth time Cheadle have reached the first qualifying round and they have gone one step further just once before, in 2007. They were knocked out of the Cup by Trafford in 2012 and despite being the lowest-ranked club in the competition and playing a team two leagues above them, Terry Hincks’ men will be hopeful of pulling off another upset.
Although Cheadle lost 4-1 at home to Oswestry last Saturday, they bounced back with a 3-1 win at Ashton Town on Tuesday night while Trafford lost both games over the Bank Holiday weekend, 3-2 against Ossett Town and then 2-0 at RADCLIFFE BOROUGH.
That was Boro’s first Evo-Stik North win of the season and they aim to build on that at home to Spennymoor Town in the Cup. MAINE ROAD are the other local NWC side to reach the first qualifying round and they face a trip to Burscough.
ASHTON UNITED maintained their unbeaten start in the Evo-Stik Premier with four points over the Bank Holiday weekend and their fans have a chance to bid farewell to joint-managers Steve Halford and Paul Phillips, who are leaving for Stalybridge Celtic, at their home tie against league rivals Nantwich.
After beating Goole 4-0 last Saturday, HYDE UNITED have won all three home games this term so will be pleased with a home tie against Colne. MOSSLEY won 3-1 at DROYLSDEN on Monday and have another road trip in the Cup, against Ashton Athletic.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED and Droylsden are already out and face each other in the Evo-Stik North, with United the hosts. In the NWC Premier, WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON travel to Irlam on Friday night while ABBEY HEY visit Cammell Laird on Saturday and NEW MILLS host Runcorn Town.