Road to Wembley 17/18: Preliminary Round

Trafford 2-2 Kidsgrove Athletic

Having missed going to a game in the Extra Preliminary Round this season I was never going to miss this, the Preliminary Round. I did have a reasonable valid reason for missing the opening round mind due, I was managing/coaching my lads football team in a kids tournament so I couldn’t make Irlam 1 vs Abbey Hey 2 on the Saturday. Unfortunately there wasn’t any local games in the Manchester area on the Sunday either.

 As I’m always desperate to get new grounds in the FA Cup, my original plan was to get to Abbey Hey at home to Maine Road, but again due to other commitments I wouldn’t have made kick off. Onto the game I went too then, my local non-league team Trafford vs Kidsgrove Athletic from Stoke-on-Trent. Both teams are at level eight of the football league pyramid but this was Northern Premier League Division One North against Division One South so I was anticipating a good battle.

 It cost me £8 to get and as it’s my local club I know it very well, I grabbed myself a drink and went and stood in the little undercover stand on the opposite side to the dugouts. Well it was chucking it down and there was a mix of around fifty home and away fans in there which made for a good atmosphere.

 Trafford started the better with some good quick passing football and it paid dividend after just six minutes when left back Corrigan was put in and scored. However, just two minutes later a Trafford clearance in their own area hit Kidsgrove’s Cropper at close range and flew into the back of the net. Trafford didn’t let that effect them and tried to carry on as they started, however there was also a lot of high ball as I saw so many headers in the middle of the park from clearances from both goalkeepers.

 The home team then created the move of the match on twenty seven minutes and Dorney finished off to give them the lead once again. By this point the rain had stopped so I went for a wonder around the ground to ensure I was at bar for half-time. The second half began pretty evenly but as the game went on Kidsgrove were building up the pressure and eventually their captain Malbon calmly put an equaliser into the bottom corner.

 Both teams pushed on for a winner but also with not losing in mind going into the dying minutes the pace of the game slowed down and it finished 2-2. Some fantastic football was played and it was a cracking game all round in front of roughly 200 fans. They went again in the replay on Wednesday night with Kidsgrove winning 2-0.

Our thanks to Tony Jardine. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website!

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