FA Cup PREVIEW: Athersley Recreation Away
Athersley Recreation v West Didsbury & Chorlton
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Qualifying Round
Saturday 5th August, 3pm KO
Ground: Ollerton Rd, Barnsley S71 3DP
Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions
The Big Kick Off
The wait is finally over as the opening weekend has arrived as West head to Yorkshire as they face Athersley Recreation in the FA Emirates Cup. The coach will be full of both players and supporters as they make the trip over the Pennines to Barnsley as Steve Settle will be looking to kick start the new season with an important victory.
West in the FA Cup
This is the second season in which the football calendar will kick off with the FA Cup for step 5 and 6 non-league clubs as West welcomed AFC Liverpool to Brookburn Road on a perfect summer’s day last August. A saturated Tuesday night on Merseyside and two separate heroic performances later from Dean Williams saw West advance by the slimmest of margins thanks to a Jonny Poizer goal. It was West’s first away victory in the FA Cup since their first entry back in 2013. Sadly West failed to advance beyond the next round disappointingly exiting to Squires Gate at home.
In West’s four previous FA Cup campaigns they’ve reached the Preliminary Qualifying Round in three of them. In 2013 they registered a win in their first ever FA Cup tie with a 2-0 win at home to Abbey Hey before bowing out to former FA Trophy winners Burscough 3-0 at home in the following round.
The following season saw them earn a walkover against Cammell Laird in the first round before exiting at home to Evo-Stik League side Brighouse Town led by former Premier League player James Price.
Their only failure to get over the first hurdle came in Steve Settle’s first season when they were defeated on a Friday night away to 1874 Northwich on a night that was overshadowed for West by Ben Steer being hospitalised.
Their opponents are Athersley Recreation, West’s first NCEL opponents in the FA Cup to date, who themselves are playing in the competition for the fourth season having first entered back in 2014 when they beat NWCFL Premier side Winsford 1-0 at the Barnton Stadium before being eliminated by Evo Stik league side Farsley Celtic.
The following year they exited in the Preliminary Round to Alsager Town 1-0 before losing to AFC Emley last season, also away, 1-2. Saturday’s game will mark Athersley Recreation’s first ever home FA Cup tie.
Atherlsey reached the NCEL the same season as West reached the NWCFL and like West were promoted at the first attempt as they finished the 2012/13 season as runners up scoring 101 goals in the process. Prior to their promotion to Step 5 they had won the Sheffield and Hallam League five times in nine years.
Since reaching the Premier Division of the NCEL in 2013 they’ve recorded four mid table finishes with a highest placing of 10th in 2014 and 2017. In the summer long term servant of the club Sean Margison stepped down after 27 years at the club and was replaced by his assistant manager Wayne Thompson.
To the Victors the Spoils
The winners of the tie will face a trip to either Barnton or Winsford to take on the winners of the local derby between Northwich Victoria and 1874 Northwich as well as earning £1,500 in prize money. Should there be a need for a replay it will take place on Tuesday 7th August at Brookburn Road, 7:45pm KO.
Matchday Coverage & Reaction
As always we will have live updates on all the action from Yorkshire via social media with Twitter providing live updates, and matchday photos via Instagram. As always please tag us in your tweets or photos @WD_CFC
Reaction from the game, including goals, interviews and a match report will be available on the website following the game.
To all the supporters travelling on Saturday, safe journey and see you there. The road to Wembley is about to begin.
West are putting on a coach to the game tomorrow – reserve your spot here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeOAfb2oVvVmBUJ__Nb9YSCQtJO2sEIHOduppGAOVf_SuHu3A/viewform?usp=sf_link
The coach leaves from the Bowling Green at 11am, £10 return.