RADCLIFFE Borough are out of the 2016-17 FA Cup after a 5-3 first round qualifying defeat at home to Spennymoor Town.
It was a rain-sodden afternoon that saw goals aplenty as Mossley were heavily beaten 7-2 away to lower-league opposition in Ashton Athletic.
Ashton United, who were looking to give a send off to joint-managers Steve Halford and Paul Phillips before they move to Staybridge, endured a miserable 3-0 home defeat to Nantwich Town.
There was better news for Trafford and Hyde United as they beat Cheadle Town 5-2 and Colne 1-0 respectively to earn a spot in the second qualifying round.
Goals, goals, goals
Trust a nine-goal thriller to make an eight-goal spectacle look tame – but it was to be Ashton Athletic that took the headlines on Saturday evening as they ruthlessly beat Mossley 7-2 at Brocsteads Park to reach the second qualifying round for the first time in the club’s history.
Athletic, who play in a division below Mossley, struck first through striker Adam Gilchrist on 12 minutes as they looked to make home advantage count.
But, as the half looked to be petering out, the heavy pitch soon witnessed a flurry of goals as Gilchrist and Joel Brownhill, the latter from the penalty spot, cancelled out the Mossley equaliser on 35 minutes.
At 3-1 there was a real belief that The Ashes could pull off one of the shocks of the round…
— Andrew O'Grady (@gradybobs) September 3, 2016
Mossley rallied at the start of the second half as they pulled a goal back just after the restart – but that was where the joy ended for The Lilywhites.
A strike by Sam Bailey, a brace from Isaac Kusaloka and Gilchrist rounding off his hat trick saw the score stand at a staggering 7-2.
Mossley went into the game having lost just once in their last five, but joint managers Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison will be deeply concerned at the manor of their side’s FA Cup collapse.
But not to be outdone, Radcliffe Borough and Spennymoor Town shared eight goals, a red card and a stunning strike from a goalkeeper in the match at Taurus Park.
— Radcliffe FC (@radcliffeboro) September 3, 2016
Who would have thought from looking at the scoreline that this match was firmly in the balance at 1-0 by half-time?
But that solo goal in the first half was a stunning 80-yard effort by Spennymoor town’s goalkeeper Dan Lawson as he hammered the ball from the edge of his area, watching it bypass the Borough midfielder before bouncing over goalkeeper Matty Johnson.
For a young goalkeeper to concede such a rare goal it is a test mentally but he did well for the remainder of the half making a number of fingertip saves to keep the hosts firmly in the game.
After what was a relatively even first 45 minutes, the second 45 could not have been more polar opposite as the goals flew in at a rapid rate.
Elliot Rokka drew Borough level three minutes after the restart before Spennymoor captain Joseph Tait and Nathan Fisher restored the visitors’ imperious advantage at 3-1.
Radcliffe captain Jake Hindle showed that the home side weren’t going to give in despite being two goals down as his solo effort made it 3-2 – his sixth goal in seven games.
The goals, much like the weather, showed no signs of letting up as Spennymoor centre-back James Curtis netted a fourth before striker Graeme Armstrong made it five – ensuring progression to the next round.
There was still time for Abou Sanogo to net a consolation third goal for Radcliffe before midfielder Lassana Nalatche was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge to compound a miserable afternoon for the home side.
Not a perfect send-off for Phillips & Halford
With news emerging on Friday that joint-managers Paul Phillips and Steve Halford would be taking charge of Staybridge Celtic, The Robins were looking for the perfect send-off at home to Nantwich Town in the FA Cup.
But Phillips, who started in goal, was picking the ball out of the back of the net just 14 minutes into the game after a poor back-pass allowed Andy White the chance to slot in the opening goal.
It was a closely-fought encounter with two sides cancelling each other out; Ashton tried to assert some pressure in the second half as Nantwich Town’s back-five proved impenetrable at times.
On 68 minutes there was to be further controversy as Nantwich manager Phil Parkinson was sent to the stands after a heated exchange following a booking to midfielder Sam Hall.
Best bit of today,the 4 Dabbers fans who got a taxi,but dropped off at Curzon, had to walk to Ashton and missed the first half. #DrownedRats
— Rob Woods (@yabberthedabber) September 3, 2016
But that incident did not derail The Dabbers as they doubled their advantage with 11 minutes remaining when Osebi Abadaki kept his composure to slot beyond Phillips as the rain continued to fall at Hurst Cross.
The game, and result, was secured three minutes later as substitute Josh Gordon scored from his first real opportunity having come on after Abadaki’s goal.
It was a professional performance from The Dabbers as Ashton are still to come to terms with the managerial departure on what was an emotional afternoon for everyone involved at the club.
Seven is heaven for Trafford
Non-League Day 2016 was always going to through up some big scores – add into it the teeming rain across the region and it was certain to be a tough afternoon for any goalkeeper.
At Shawe View, however, they will be singing in the rain this evening after a comprehensive 5-2 win over Cheadle Town – a side two divisions below Trafford.
The key for the visitors was staying in the game as long as possible and trying to feed striking brothers Chris and Mike Sherrington.
Well, on 28 minutes, they did just that as Mike Sherrington’s persistence allowed him to finish from the edge of the box.
The old adage is that a side is at its most vulnerable when it has scored and that rang true for Cheadle as Trafford were level 60 seconds later through Luke Horrocks.
A cross from the right was not collected confidently by Cheadle goalkeeper Ben Jupp and Horrocks was able to rifle home on the rebound.
The hosts seized the initiative and began to show the difference in divisions as Trafford number 10 Mark Derbyshire netted twice before half-time to send the two sides in at 3-1.
— Trafford FC (@FCTrafford) September 3, 2016
In front of a crowd of 318 – no doubt the weather put many off right around the country on Saturday afternoon – Derbyshire had his hat-trick on 64 minutes after Jupp could not hold onto the ball in the box.
Mitch Bryant got Trafford’s fifth before Cheadle centre-back Luke Pearson netted a consolation penalty to make it 5-2 with seven minutes remaining.
The cup will have come as a welcome release for Trafford having made a stuttering start to the 2016-17 league campaign, winning just one of their opening four games.
Colne prove a tough test
Setting up in a 5-3-2 formation, Darren Kelly’s Hyde United set-up to contain visitors Colne FC in what was a closely-fought FA Cup encounter.
The rain allowed for a quick pitch and that pace allowed for both sides to zip the ball across the turf as they cancelled each other out on the counter.
But on the hour mark the deadlock was broken and that goal proved to be decisive.
A corner was whipped in for Hyde and forward Dave McGurk bundled home from five yards inside a crowded penalty area.
After the goal, United dropped deeper and deeper as they looked to consolidate the narrow margin they had secured following that goal but Colne simply ran out of ideas in breaking down the resolute defence of Hyde.
The win was the first time in 12 years that Hyde have won two FA Cup games in a season as they look to follow in the footsteps of local side Salford City who reached the second round proper last season despite bearing Evo-Stik status.
By Nathan Salt