Teams discover FA Trophy opponents
Monday 13th November 2017 @ 17:02 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

The draw for the FA Trophy second qualifying round was made earlier today.

Three of our local sides booked their place in the next round after victories on Saturday, while Ashton United will need to overcome Warrington Town in Tuesday’s replay at Hurst Cross to confirm their place.

Curzon Ashton, who enter the competition at this stage, have been handed a trip to Leamington.

If the Robins are successful in doing so, they will be rewarded with a trip to National League North outfit Tamworth on Saturday 25 November.

Andy Morrell’s side currently sit 10th in the table on 24 points, having won three, drawn seven and lost three of their opening 17 games.

Meanwhile, Ashton are currently enjoying life in the Evo-Stik Premier Division under manager Jody Banim.

The former Radcliffe Borough legend has so far guided his team to ten wins, four draws and five losses, which leaves the club in fifth spot ahead of Saturday’s clash against 14th place Barwell.

Saturday’s clash at Warrington was the third time the clubs had met this season. Having beaten them on the previous two occasions, Ashton, despite taking the lead through Matt Chadwick, were held to a 1-1 draw, resulting in a replay on Tuesday.

If Ashton book their place in the next round of the competition, they will be forced to contend with playing on an artificial pitch, as the Lamb ground now boasts a state-of-the-art 3g surface, not too dissimilar to Hyde United’s.

Elsewhere, after coming from a goal behind to earn a 2-1 victory at Stamford on Saturday, Droylsden have been rewarded with a trip to Telford Utd in the next round.

Dave Pace’s side are well suited to make a charge on the Evo-Stik Division One North playoffs this season, having enjoyed a decent opening to the campaign, which consists of seven victories, three draws and three losses.

On the other hand, it could be argued that Telford are underachieving in the National League North so far. The Bucks currently sit 14th in the table and were knocked out of the FA Cup first round at Hereford at the start of November.

If selected on the day of the game, the Bloods will come across former Curzon striker Max Leonard, who opted to leave the Tameside Stadium for Telford last week. Leonard, who joined the Nash from Glossop North End at the start of this season, played his first game for Telford in Saturday’s 3-1 loss at FC United.

Across the borough, Stalybridge Celtic have been handed one of the toughest – and longest – ties of the round. As a reward for Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Rushall Olympic, Steve Burr’s side will make the trek to Blyth Spartans of the National League North.

Alun Armstrong’s outfit are riding the crest of a wave following promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier Division in May.

A fantastic start to the season, which includes 11 victories and seven losses –but strangely no draws –, sees Spartans placed 5th in the table on 33 points.

In stark contrast, Celtic’s league campaign has failed to really get going this season. Of the 19 games played so far, Celtic have won six, drawn two and lost 11, which leaves them in 19th spot. Worryingly, Celtic have failed to win away from home in league or cup competition this season. To do so at Blyth, who have only lost three times at home and have the joint-best scoring record in the league, would be a minor miracle.

Tameside’s highest positioned team, Curzon Ashton, have been handed a trip to Leamington during their first foray in the competition.

The two sides have already met in league competition this season, and the shares were spoiled in a 1-1 draw.

John Flanagan’s side are doing fairly well this season and find themselves well positioned in 11th spot. The Nash have a fairly good home record, having won five, drawn three and lost two, although their away form is slightly worrying. The Nash’ only victory on the road this season came at Spennymoor Town in October. The other eight fixtures have resulted in three draws and five losses.

Curzon will therefore be thankful that Leamington, who sit 17th, have a poor home record with six defeats, one draw and two victories.

Glossop North End returned to winning ways on Saturday and, as a result, booked their place in the next round at home to Workington.

Paul Phillips and Steve Halford’s side beat Leek Town 4-3.