On a day when the Football League kicked off and hogged the headlines, many people wouldn’t have known that the world famous FA Cup also began today (Saturday, August 6). Ok, so it might be the Extra Preliminary Round, but for the clubs involved this day was massive.
South Normanton Athletic, the team I have chosen to begin with, again, and Aylestone Park, play in the same league, but progression in the cup was paramount and a hard fought tie saw the home side progress 2-0, and set up an away tie at local neighbours AFC Mansfield.
It was an energy-sapping hot August afternoon, but The Shiners edged the tie with first half goals from Luke Crosby (penalty) and a Phil Massingham cracker.
Aylestone were making their debut in the FA Cup but will have to try again next year as the hosts always looked like the better side.
The Shiners’ victory sets up a reverse repeat of last season’s Cup tie in the next round when they make the short trip into Notts to play AFC Mansfield, who made their FA Cup debut in the Extra Preliminary Round at Lee’s Lane last season.
AFC Mansfield beat Shepshed Dynamo comfortably by four goals to nil in Leicestershire and will now host The Shiners after the pre-determined draw always looked like matching up the two sides for the second season running.
So it’s a new ground I shall be visiting on August 20, as I make another relatively short trip to Forest Town, a suburb of Mansfield.