Salford City will be starting their 2021/22 FA Cup campaign on Monday as they travel to Dagenham & Redbridge live on ITV4.
A victory would see the Ammies into the second round of the FA Cup for only the third time in the clubs history, and only a win away from potentially facing Manchester United or Liverpool.
This is a far cry to where the club was before the investment from the class of ’92 when they were facing the likes of Warrington Town and Hemsworth Miners Welfare, and having to start their FA Cup campaign in August.
Here we will look back on the Ammies last decade in the FA Cup ahead of Monday nights game.
We start with the 2011/12, season. Salford were playing in the Northern Premier League Division One North, the 8th tier of English football. They entered the FA Cup at the Preliminary round stage, which is five rounds before the first round proper.
Salford would travel to Ramsbottom United, where the FA Cup was on display for fans to see, but this couldn’t inspire the Ammies as they went down to a 2-1 defeat.
The then tangerines would take the lead in the first minute through Jack Redshaw, who had two spells at the club, but would concede twice to exit the competition at the first hurdle.
The next season however would see the Ammies reach the second qualifying round for only the sixth time in their history (they only started playing in the FA Cup in 1990).
They blitzed through to this stage after hammering Hemsworth Miners Welfare 5-1 at home before winning 4-0 at Lancaster. Darren Sheridan was in charge of the team at this time and he would have been disappointed after losing 3-2 in the 2QR at a packed Moor Lane against FC United of Manchester. 1292 people were there to see a Nicky Platt hat-trick for FC which dumped City out.
2013/14 was the last season before the investment and it was a similar showing to two years earlier as the Ammies were dumped out in the Preliminary round 2-0 at lowly Cammell Laird.
The summer of 2014 was a busy one at the club with the investment and wholesale changes that took place, this was to lead to much improved FA Cup displays in the coming years.
Phil Power would oversee the first FA Cup campaign of the new era, and the now Reds would start it by beating Congleton Town in an entertaining game which ended 6-4 to Salford, however they needed this replay game to qualify after being held in a goalless draw in the initial game in Cheshire.
Salford would then win their 1QR round game by beating Nantwich Town at Moor Lane, with goals in the last 15 minutes by Gareth Seddon and Danny Webber.
They exited in the 2QR though after losing in a replay against higher ranked Ashton United. The Ammies were to draw 1-1 away in Tameside but lost 1-0 in the replay at Moor Lane.
The 2015/16 FA Cup campaign was one which really put Salford on the footballing map after they reached the 2nd Round proper for the first time in their history, previously the furthest they had reached was the Third Qualifying round (3QR).
Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley oversaw this famous campaign, which started at the 1QR after the Ammies had been promoted the previous season.
It almost didn’t happen though. They were behind at home to Whitby and needed a Dom Smalley equaliser to force a replay which Salford won 5-0 thanks to a James Poole hat-trick. A win from behind against National League North (NLN) Curzon Ashton 2-1 saw the Ammies into the 3QR.
Like the 1QR it would take the Ammies a replay to go through, and again the replay would be away from home. They drew 1-1 against Bradford Park Avenue of the NLN but won 1-0 in West Yorkshire, needing an extra time goal from Richie Allen to secure the win.
This took Salford into the Fourth Qualifying Round, the furthest the club had ever got. It provided a home game with Southport of the National League. The difference was two leagues but you wouldn’t have known it as an incredible strike from the centre circle by James Poole ensured City made history and reached the first round proper.
Then came THAT famous Friday night under the lights at Moor Lane. For the first time in the club’s history the game would be broadcast live around the world on the BBC.
Notts County of the Football League were the opponents and they were shell-shocked as Salford put in a fantastic performance to win 2-0. It really was the night that people took Salford seriously and showcased the club to everyone. Goals from Danny Webber and a fine solo goal from Richie Allen saw the Ammies into the second round proper of the FA Cup in front of a sold out Moor Lane.
City were to be drawn at home again, this time against Hartlepool United. Again the BBC cameras were present and again Salford put in a fantastic performance. They fell behind early on but defender Stephen O’Halloran levelled to force a replay.
The replay would end in heartbreak. Salford were desperately unlucky in front of the BT Sport cameras as Hartlepool needed extra time to overcome Salford 2-0 in the North East.
Salford’s FA Cup fairytale was over, but it had by far been their most successful campaign in the competition and one which Ammies fans will never forget.
This though has not been replicated in previous seasons. In the 2016/17 season, Salford exited in the 3QR.
Starting in the 2QR due to again winning promotion the previous season, they, like in the previous campaign, travelled across the Pennines to face Bradford Park Avenue. A goal from James Poole secured the win for Johnson and Morley’s men.
They were to exit in the next round though, losing to fellow NLN side Stockport County 2-0 at Edgeley Park.
The next season was even worse, City would not even make it past the first hurdle as they lost against York City of the same division 2-1 at the now renamed and rebuilt Peninsula Stadium in the 2QR. Liam Hogan gave Salford the lead but York hit back to dump Salford out.
The Ammies were though to get promoted that season, so started their 2018/19 FA Cup campaign in the 4QR. They would travel to Marine and come back with a hard fought 2-1 win.
Graham Alexander was now manager as he watched his side avoid an upset with goals from Danny Whitehead and a header from Rory Gaffney.
They were now back in the first round but this was as good as it got as City lost in a replay against Shrewsbury Town.
They drew 1-1 in Shropshire with Adam Rooney scoring, but lost the replay at the Peninsula Stadium 3-1 against the higher ranked opposition.
Again Salford were promoted that season so it meant they started 2019/20 FA Cup campaign in the first round proper, a far cry from having to start in the preliminary round only five seasons earlier.
The Ammies were to entertain League One Burton Albion at the Peninsula Stadium with Richie Towell scoring a wonder strike to force a replay.
Like the previous campaign, this was as far as City got as they lost 4-1 in Staffordshire, Ibou Touray scoring Salford’s goal.
Last season, Richie Wellens first game in charge saw Salford beat Hartlepool 2-0, but the Ammies needed extra time, with Bruno Andrade and Mani Dieseruvwe goals securing the win.
They exited the competition in the second round though following a disappointing 3-0 defeat away in Wales at Newport County.
Will 2021/22 be the season the Ammies go on a cup run and potentially play a Premier League team? If this is the case they will have to start the campaign by overcoming Dagenham in London on Monday night.
Do you have memories of any of the games recalled in this article? If so, let us know your memories below.