Trafford 5-2 Cheadle Town

When you're at Level 10 of the footballing hierarchy the FA Cup is something that is handed out to the privileged few, based on league position and/or points-per-game the previous season. This renders it as something of a bonus; nothing more, nothing less.

Get a couple of wins under your belt. Make good the prize money. Get to the Qualifying Rounds. Pit your wits against non-league's higher and mightier. Visit new grounds. Meet new people. Embark on something of a mini adventure.

Which this season's FA Cup has been for us, for sure.

After some three seasons away from the competition it has felt good to be back. The win at Penistone in the Extra Preliminary Round was the perfect start to the season; the win at Northwich Victoria in the Preliminary Round - unexpected by those who regard themselves as non-league pundits - thoroughly deserved.

And so onto this 1st Qualifying Round tie where another team from the Northern Premier League Division One were allowed to try and have their wicked way with us.

And ultimately they did, but not before we made them sit up and notice.

The game was only a minute old when Sam Noar went after a lofted ball into the box and managed to make a goalbound connection with his head; the ball rolled wide with Sam getting a hefty clattering for his troubles.

Trafford then contrived to shoot over the bar from close range following a corner before we were slightly let off the hook when James Moore slipped on the greasy surface, allowing a Trafford forward a run at goal (grabbing a chunk of James' shirt in the process) with Ben Jupp thankfully making a block.

Mike Sherrington then just couldn't make a connection to a left-wing cross before Ben Jupp was at it again, making an excellent block just as Trafford's towering no10 - Mark Derbyshire - looked set to score.

With 28 minutes gone, Cheadle's FA Cup caper took another interesting turn.

Mike Sherrington's sheer persistence was key as he hectored Trafford's Jacobs for the ball before bearing down on goal and coolly slotting home from the edge of the area.

Mike Sherrington wheels away in delight after putting Cheadle 1-0 up

Mike Sherrington wheels away in delight after putting Cheadle 1-0 up

However, in the time that it took to say "just hold on for the next fifteen minutes or so and take the lead into half-time", Trafford were level; Ben Jupp did all he could to excellently keep out a header from a cross but could do absolutely nothing about Horrocks being on-hand to smash home the loose ball from close range.

Trafford had awoken, for nine minutes later they were ahead when Derbyshire was put through to slot past Jupp with them extending their lead further just before half-time with the same player firing home from the edge of the box.

Ben Jupp had to make another stop once more on 53 minutes before Sam Noar fired just over from inside the box.

On 64 minutes the tie was effectively over. Ben Jupp seemed to have the ball smothered and under control but in the blink of an eye it had squirmed out to the feet of Derbyshire who planted home from close-range to collect his hat-trick.

With twelve minutes to go Trafford got their fifth after Bryant's drive took a deflection off the backside of one of our back four; Ben Jupp doing well to still get some fingers to it to try and keep it out.

We were given the opportunity to make the scoreline a bit more respectable with seven minutes remaining. Last time we were handed a penalty at Shawe View in an FA Cup tie the ball ended up on its way to Stretford. Thankfully Luke Pearson didn't repeat that this time.

Sam Noar almost reduced arrears even further right at the death but he side-netted after controlling a Luke Pearson cross.

So there goes another adventure for another season...with another one starting this Saturday as we travel to Staveley Miners Welfare (again) for the start of our FA Vase campaign. But first, and always first, league matters this Wednesday evening as Sandbach United come to Park Road.

All the best to Trafford in the 2nd Qualifying Round and our heartfelt thanks for their superb hospitality.

TEAM: Jupp, McLaughlin, Pearson, German, Moore, Dunn, Hincks, Magida (Horan), Noar, M Sherrington, C Sherrington (Tosum). SUBS: Piggott (gk), Horan, Tosum, Flowers.