AS the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup march on, five of our local non-league clubs remain in with a shot at progression in the competition.

The draw was made today (Monday, September 28) at noon, with several replays still to be settled midweek.

Salford City will face National League North’s Bradford Park Avenue – a team whose stuttering league form leaves them 20th in the table just above Curzon Ashton, who were seen off by the Ammies last time out.

Elsewhere, FC United of Manchester also have the luxury of a home tie, where they will take on Buxton. The Bucks will be flying high after a convincing 6-1 win over Armthorpe in the last round, so the task may be less than simple for the Manchester side who overcame Whitby Town 3-1 on Saturday.

Ashton United travel to Northamptonshire to face AFC Rushden & Diamonds, whose soaring league form sees them yet to lose a game this season. Ashton are used to winning on their travels though, and will fancy their chances after an impressive 5-0 away victory over Abbey Hey in the previous round.

In contrast, Droylsden FC may be a little nervous going in to the third qualifying round; their league form sees them languishing in 21st place after three successive defeats. They face National League North side Gainsborough Trinity at The Butchers Arms.

Stalybridge Celtic worked hard to be in the pot for this round, coming from 2-1 down to beat Kendal Town 3-2, relying on sub Darius Osei to score the winner in the 82nd minute. They must now travel to Chasetown FC, who booked their spot in the third qualifying round with an impressive 5-2 victory over Hinckley.  

The 40 ties will be played on Saturday October 10, with the winners collecting £7,500 and a place in the fourth qualifying round, where just one game will lie between them and the potential to face some big name opposition.

There is likely to be one exception though, as FC United of Manchester’s game against Buxton is likely to be moved to either Friday night or Sunday afternoon, due to the Rugby World Cup match staged at the Etihad Stadium on the Saturday.

The draw at a glance:

SALFORD CITY v Bradford Park Avenue
AFC Rushden & Diamonds v ASHTON UNITED
DROYLSDEN v Gainsborough Trinity

By Polly Riggs

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