Spennymoor return to the scene of their play-off final defeat on Saturday looking to reach the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Opponents Chorley edged past Moors on penalties in May to claim a spot in the National League, but they have struggled to make the adjustment, winning just one of their opening 17 league games.
The Magpies currently sit second bottom despite losing the same amount of games as third place Yeovil Town, but there staggering amount of goalless draws has hampered their progress in the early stages of the campaign.
In contrast, Moors have transformed their fortunes in the past month after a slow start, climbing the table and cruising through to this round of the FA Cup. A comfortable 2-0 win at Kettering Town last Saturday was followed up with a 6-0 demolition of Chester-Le-Street Town in the Durham Challenge Cup, providing the perfect platform ahead of the trip to Victory Park.
The form of Glen Taylor since returning from injury has contributed to the recent run, but Jason Ainsley was quick to praise the full squad for their efforts over recent weeks, speaking of the hope and belief his side have of reaching the next stage.
Should Moors get themselves in the hat for the First Round draw on Monday, they will be ball number 54, with the likes of Sunderland, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth all possible opponents.
The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round draw saw Moors drawn away to Chorley, the scene of an agonising penalty-shootout defeat in the play-off final in May.
A dominant second half display at Ashton in the previous round, which featured four Glen Taylor goals, saw Spennymoor reach this stage for the first time since 2016, a cup run which featured a 1-0 win over The Magpies at The Brewery Field.
The latest meeting between the two sides this Saturday is the next instalment in a fixture which has recently delivered on drama and excitement.
Re-live the recent history between the two sides ahead of our cup clash later this month!
After narrowly beating Whitby Town in the Second Qualifying Round at home, Moors were handed another home tie against The Magpies, who were one division higher at the time. Six of the current squad started the day; Chris Mason, James Curtis, Jamie Chandler, Shane Henry, Rob Ramshaw and Glen Taylor.
After a cagey opening, Mason was shown a straight red after committing a foul on the edge of the area, with the referee adjuring him to be the last line of defence. Despite training Chorley in terms of players on the pitch, a spirited Moors came out on top courtesy of Taylor’s flying header in the second half, setting up a Fourth Qualifying Round clash at Lincoln United.
After a superb 3-0 win over York City four days previous, Moors made the trip to Victory Park, a ground where Chorley were unbeaten on at that stage of the season. The Magpies’ flying start put them at the top of the table and they were rightly regarded as a hot favourite to lift the title, but, on a wet and windy November afternoon, Spennymoor had other ideas.
A dull first half passed without incident, but, Alex Newby smashed the home side ahead ten minutes after the interval. Rob Atkinson’s excellent near post header levelled proceedings a few minutes later, before Andy Teague’s handball in the area allowed Glen Taylor to find the bottom corner from the spot.
The conclusion to the 2018/19 National League North season epitomised the drama and tension that only football can deliver. Despite a 2-0 defeat at Stockport County just 48 hours previous, The Magpies were still top and their destiny remained in their hands heading into the final week of the campaign. Moors had secured their play-off spot with a victory at York on Good Friday, but the Easter Monday clash was a chance to catch Brackley in third.
The scene was set on a sun drenched afternoon at The Brewery Field, but the game flattered to deceive in a cagey first half. With County 2-0 up at home to Curzon Ashton, Chorley were in desperate need of a goal when they won a penalty with fifteen minutes to play. But, Adam Blakeman saw his spot-kick saved by Matt Gould, and the pendulum swung with time ticking down.
With the game now into added time, a goalless draw looked nailed on, but, Moors were about to send the home faithful and 6000 County fans at Edgeley Park into bedlam. Taylor rose highest from Brogan’s corner and all but handed Stockport the title.
After respective penalty shootout wins over Altrincham and Brackley Town, Spennymoor travelled to Victory Park aiming to reach the highest level in the clubs history and secure another promotion in an era laden with success and celebration. An unbelievable travelling contingent of over 1000 fans made the trip to Lancashire, with over 10 coaches departing the town on the morning on Sunday 12th May 2019.
The game itself was a typically cagey affair and one consistent with other big games with a lot at stake. An uneventful and tense first 45 minutes passed by without incident, with a flare-up on the whistle between the two sets of players the only noteworthy moment. That pattern emerged again in the second half, with a cluster of nearly moments and half chances arriving for both sides, but in truth, the margins were finer than ever.
A goalless ninety minutes came and went, but as the first period of extra time drew to its conclusion, the drama began. Scott Leather escaped his marker to head The Magpies in the lead, leaving Moors on the brink of a defeat. But, the game was far from over. When Mark Anderson’s shot was deflected into the path of Glen Taylor, the striker squirmed a shot under Matt Urwin to spark wild scenes in the Spennymoor end.
Both sides almost nicked it before the referee called a halt to a nail biting conclusion. It was penalties again. It was the perfect start as Matt Gould saved Chorley’s first effort, but Taylor then had his shot saved. Gould performed heroics again and suddenly Moors were in the driving seat, but Urwin denied Rob Ramshaw, allowing the pendulum to swing again. Andrew Johnson needed to score to keep the shootout going, but Urwin was the hero, sending Chorley up and breaking Spennymoor hearts.
0 minutes since Matt Challoner scored against Barrow on 24th September after 25 minutes, the last time Chorley found the net. 0 goals scored by Moors in cup competitions this season
Victory Park Stadium is situated just to the south of the town centre and is easily accessible by public transport.
If you are heading to the ground using SATNAV type in PR7 3DU.
With the limited parking at Victory Park reserved for players and officials, the most convenient place to park is just off Pilling Lane, with spaces costing £3 on a first-come-first-served-basis. Car parks in the town centre are generally FREE after 1pm on Saturdays and street parking is available too, but please respect our neighbours and don’t block or cause obstruction to driveways. For those of you using public transport, Chorley train and bus stations are an easy ten minute walk away.
Unless the game you’re attending is segregated the social club is open to both home & away fans alike. Situated on the left of the main entrance after the Duke Street turnstiles, the bar provides a friendly pre and post-match atmosphere where you can enjoy a pint while watching live football on TV (subject to availability). Our drinks specials include £2 pints of Thirsty Magpie Lager, Tetley’s Smooth & Somersby Cider from 1-2pm. As for food, The Magpies Nest serves a selection of hot and cold snacks, plus our famous butter pie. Why not try one with peas and gravy?