3558: Square Football road to Wemble
by : Alex Wolstenholme
Square Football's game of the Extra Preliminary round between West Allotment Celtic and Norton & Stockton Ancients ended in a 1-1 draw, with Norton & Stockton (a division below their opponents in the Northern League) comprehensively winning the replay 6-1.
They will now face Darwen at home in the next stage of the competition, the Preliminary round, which sees 166 ties being played on 2 September.
Currently playing in the second division of the North West Counties league, Darwen FC were founded in 1875 and played in the Football League between 1891 and 1899, when they failed to gain re-election.
Playing in the Lancashire Combination, their finest hour in the FA Cup came when a win against Chester City in the 1931/32 season gave them an away tie against Arsenal. Despite losing 11-1 the part-timers of Darwen acquitted themselves well and the club built a new stand with their share of the Highbury gate receipts.
They had earlier reached the quarter-finals in 1879, losing a second replay to the Old Etonians at the Kennington Oval.
This season, under returning manager Steve Mullen, Darwen have started brightly, beating Norton United 3-1, Castleton Gabriels 3-0 and Ashton Town 2-1, all in the league.
The winners face an away tie in the 1st qualifying round against either Whitley Bay or South Yorkshire side Stocksbridge Park Steels as well as picking up a very handy cheque for £1,000.
Other clubs involved at the Preliminary round stage include Sheffield FC, the World’s oldest football club, who play Retford United at home and more former Football League sides in the shape of Glossop North End (at home to Seaham Red Star) and Bradford (Park Avenue) who travel to Goole AFC.
Thanks to http://www.darwenfc.com and http://www.nwcfl.co.uk for more information.