Hello, my name is Ian and after doing my (preview/review) blogs on this site covering all the games of Euro 2016. I decided to start a new project. To try to attend as many rounds of the FA Cup 2016/2017 season starting from the very beginning. I’ve gone well so far as well having not missed either of the opening two preliminary rounds, although this blog is actually a week late so I’m sorry about that.
Yes, on Saturday 20th August I attended an FA Cup Preliminary Round game, having previously attended the Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday 6th August when I saw West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC play AFC Liverpool.
For this particular round again I opted to find a very close fixture to me and fortunately there were a few options again in the Manchester area. West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC won their replay against AFC Liverpool and were drawn at home to Squires Gate this time around, it would have been an easy option to go there again but the thought of going to a new ground was the way forward. At one point I did look into getting on the tram to go past Manchester City’s ground to get to Droylsden FC as they were playing Radcliffe Borough FC.
Instead I opted for a neighbouring suburb of Cholton’s in Whalley Range, where Maine Road FC were playing AFC Emley from Huddersfield and the Northern Counties East Football League Division One. Main Road FC themselves are from the North West Counties Football League Premier Division so were favourites for this game. In fact Main Road FC are in the same league as both West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC and AFC Liverpool.
Onto the game and no chance of a beer before hand, just didn’t have the time, plus I didn’t know of any pubs close to where this ground was on the map. I know Whalley Range well but pub wise there are not too many with most people opting to wonder into the Chorlton area. The ground itself at Brantingham Road didn’t have to many facilities from what I could see, possibly just a function room and changing rooms attached to the back of a village hall of some sort. Either way, I liked it and they also had two under cover stands either side of the ground for home and away supporters.
On a windy day the first half of the game was pretty even with both teams having chances, Main Road with maybe the slightly better chances but Emley with more of the ball with the wind behind them. Emley had quite a few good corners whipped in too by their left back, but all were dealt with and mid-way through the half the home team took the lead after good work down the right side, which lead to a cut back to the penalty spot where it was smashed in. Main Road 1-0 at HT.
The second half opened up quite a lot and Emley deserved their equaliser with a great strike, having started the the better. Main Road soon came back at them though and before you knew it were 3-1 up with 1/2 hour to go. With Emley chasing the game, tempers flared and a scuffle occurred with quite a few players. Nothing too serious though but Emley lost their concentration allowing Main Road a good 3 or 4 more chances to finish the game. They didn’t take them though and Emley finally got one back with six or seven minutes to go. Main Road then missed a penalty and each team had a few half chances but nothing came of it and it finished 3-2 to the home team.
A good afternoon out, no beer, just a few sweets and a bag of crisps whilst at the football. I did however head into Manchester city centre after the game to meet a few friends for a few well earned beers. Roll on the First Round Qualifying now this Saturday 3rd September, where shall I go? I’ll let you know next week.