The FA Trophy and FA Vase were paramount across non-league at the weekend, with clubs playing out their second qualifying round matches up and down the country, including several across Nottinghamshire.
In the former of the two, national competition, Worksop Town progressed to the next stage on the back of a 3-1 win away to Prescot Cables, they looking for a good cup run, as well as gunning from promotion.
Having reached the quarter-finals, twice, in the past, 2001 and 2006, it’s been a decade alone since their last, good run in the competition, making the second round in 2012, and the first round in both 20122 and 2013, Craig Parry’s side will be looking for a favourable draw to build on.
Away to Prescot, the Tigers led 2-1 at the break, early goals coming from Liam Hughes, looping an effort over the home defence after the ‘keeper had flapped at Vaughan Redford’s headed effort, and Josh Wilde, following good link-up between Hughes, and Luke Hall, Wilde putting the ball nicely into the corner.
The game, it was but twelve minutes old by this time, although the hosts pulled a goal back on twenty-five minutes when John Murphy volleyed past Sebastian Malkowski, keeping them within touching distance.
Worksop would have numerous chances throughout, but failed to capitalise until the closing stages when Hughes added his second, and the Tigers’ third, with eight remaining after Nathan Valentine sent the ball to the back post, and Hughes finishes well, and putting his side into the next round.
Worskop – Sebastian Malkowski, Regan Hutchinson, Josh Wilde, Sam Wedgebury, Hamza Bencherif, Deegan Atherton, Terry Hawkridge (Jack Broadhead, 86), Nathan Valentine, Vaughan Redford (Liam Hardy, 87), Liam Hughes (James Hanson, 83), Luke Hall
Meanwhile, in the FA Vase, eight ties were played involving Notts clubs over the weekend, and, incredibly, five of those were decided on penalties.
Under the Friday night lights, Ollerton Town won 5-2 away to Blidworth Welfare to progress to the First Round Proper for the first time in some thirteen years; Alfie Dodsworth was on hand with a brace for the victors, whilst Jack Hollis-Smith, Nathan Murr and Adam Scott also chipped in, the hosts replying through Tom Battherham and Ben Sandhu – it was 1-1 at the interval.
The last time Ollerton reached this stage of the competition, back in 2010, they actually reached the second round, before losing 3-1 away to Gresley.
On the Saturday, a further seven matches were played involving Notts clubs as Kimberley Miners Welfare booked their place courtesy of a 3-1 win away to Melton Town, goals coming from James Shaw, Louis Nicholson, and Nathan Banton, whilst Dunkirk were the only other side to win in normal time, seeing off their hosts, Ingles, 2-1, Lamin Manneh and Sam Harbottle overturning an interval deficit.
The remaining games all went to penalties with Newark & Sherwood United winning 4-1 on penalties following a goalless draw, Radford won what was tight, UCL top-of-the-table clash with Aylestone Park, 5-4 on pens, Greg Tobin scoring in normal time, Joe Meakin with the decisive, spot-kick.
Sherwood Colliery and Lutterworth Town shared four goals before the hosts won 5-3 on penalties, Luis Rose and a late own-goal, the visitors equalising in the last minute of stoppage time to force spot-kicks.
Retford and Gedling Miners Welfare both lost on penalties, the former when away to Cammell Laird, and the latter, whilst at home to Belper United, 3-1 and 5-4 respectively.
In the Southern Premier, Basford drew 1-1 at Bromsgrove, Anthony Dwyer with the goal, whilst in the United Counties leagues, AFC Mansfield won 3-1 at home to Eastwood CFC, the hosts netting through Sam Ackroyd, and debutants Vinny Mukendi and Nathaniel Peters, and Selston suffered a 6-0 thrashing at home to Heanor Town in the Premier Division.
In Division One there was victory for Newark Town, 4-2 at home to Grantham Town Academy, Hucknall Town won 3-0 away to Rainworth (Craig Westcarr with a brace), and West Bridgford won 2-0 at Southwell City.
Meanwhile, the Central Midlands League saw their Bucks Insurance League Cup competition start, Arnold Town dropping out on Friday night, 5-0 at home to Glapwell, and Retford United lost 3-2 to visitors Dearne & District on the Saturday.
In the one game played in the South, Teversal won a five-goal thriller at home to Linby Colliery Welfare, goals coming from Kurtis Bamford, Cameron Pinnick and Danny Fletcher, this coming after Linby had taken a two-goal, interval lead, through Tremere Lindo and Alex Paterson.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @worksoptownfc Hughes celebrates his goal for Worksop.