Preview: West v Bury AFC
Saturday 19th September 2020
The Step Places Stadium, Brookburn Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8FE
FA Vase 1st qualifying round
🥅 Penalty shoot-out if scores are level after 90 minutes
🎫 Sold out – no admission without a ticket
Competitive football returns to Brookburn Road for the first time in over six months as newly-formed Bury AFC visit in the FA Vase.
West could barely have picked a sterner opening test than the ambitious NWCFL First Division North newcomers, but Chris Rowley’s side will be full of confidence after two wins and two clean sheets in their last two friendlies.
Officially formed in December 2019 following the Football League’s expulsion of Bury FC, AFC sit somewhere between a protest club and a phoenix club, but what is for sure is that they will be the only team bearing the town’s name to play in the 2020-21 season after FC had their application to join the National League turned down.
AFC have borrowed liberally from FC for their identity – the white-and-blue home kit is immediately recognisable, while the maroon change colours were worn when FC won promotion to League One in 2011 – but the new club will look to write their own history starting with promotion from the First Division North. Former Ossett United boss Andy Welsh has made a number of eye-catching signings – former West players Kris Holt and George Blackwell were among the first names to be announced, while Mitch Bryant, top scorer for Colwyn Bay last season in the Welsh second tier, and ex-Wythenshawe Town man Aaron Dwyer should guarantee goals.
Both Kris Holt and George Blackwell featured for West in the 2019-20 season – Holt played 17 times and scored twice before following Brad Cooke to Atherton Collieries, while Blackwell found the net five times in 14 appearances after switching from Cheadle Heath Nomads.
Other FA Vase ties featuring sides from the First Division South:
Abbey Hulton United v Shawbury United
Cheadle Town v Athersley Recreation
Ellesmere Rangers v Cradley Town
Cheadle Heath Nomads v Goole
Hall Road Rangers v Barnton
Retford v Cammell Laird
Sandbach United v Stapenhill
Skelmersdale United v Stockport Town
St Martins v Pershore Town
Winsford United v Alsager Town