Coming up for West | October 2019

League football takes a back seat as cup campaigns come to the forefront this October – though by the end of the month we should have a much stronger indication of where West stand in the promotion pecking order.

we begin the month with a visit from NWCFL Division One North side Nelson (Saturday 5th), as we begin our Playermatch.com Cup adventure. Played by all NWCFL Division One sides, the trophy offers a viable chance at silverware for North and South sides across the board. West were last winners in 2012-13, a season that saw us promoted to the Premier Division. As such, this is our first chance to defend the trophy, and also offers a chance to experiment in what will be a highly competitive game.

The visit of Trafford (Tuesday 8th) will undoubtedly be a stern test, with the Manchester Premier Cup a competition much beloved by West fans. Previous outings have seen us take in memorable away trips to Hyde, Glossop North End, Maine Road, and – most notably – FC United. A run in this could offer similarly exciting fixtures, but any squad that Trafford send for the game is likely to be amongst the best we’ll have faced this season. They currently sit 10th in the Northern Premier League Division One North East.

Ranked by bookmakers as the fourth favourites to win the competition outright, Shildon (Saturday 12th) away will likely require a performance of the highest quality if West are to return to Chorlton from the North East with their name still in the hat for the FA Vase. The equivalent of one league above West, Shildon are perennial promotion favourites in the Northern League (widely acknowledged as the highest quality of all divisions at Step 5). Manager Brad Cooke has fond memories of their Dean Street ground, having earned a Vase win there as a Atherton Collieries player – hopefully the odds can be upset to make history and propel West to their greatest ever performance in the competition: we have never got further than this round.

New Mills (Saturday 19th) end our run of cup games, with the Macron Cup this time the competition. Played by all sides in the North West Counties, a tilt at silverware here would likely require knocking off several Premier Division high flyers. Before that can be worried about, New Mills will need to be dealt with: though, as our recent 3-3 away match against them shows, that will be easier said than done.

The NWCFL Division One South returns with a bang, with away trips to second placed Vauxhall Motors (Tuesday 22nd) and first placed Oswestry Town (Saturday 26th) rounding out the month. Positive results against the only two sides ahead of West in the league will be an enormous ask, and picking up as many points as possible in these fixtures could prove vital at the business end of the season.

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