PREVIEW: Winsford United (H)

After two successive victories to open the League season, attentions switch to the FA Cup as the Rams welcome North West Counties League side Winsford United to the HWRS.

The Cheshire side progressed through the extra-preliminary round courtesy of a narrow victory at fellow-league side Vauxhall Motors, and make their first appearance in Ramsbottom since the last day of the 2011/12 season.

That particular match remains firmly in the memory as the Rams 5-2 victory that afternoon ensured promotion to the Northern Premier League.

The League campaign could not have started any better, but the FA Cup always yields it’s fair amount of shock results. Whilst the Rams will be favourites, any sort of complacency will be pounced upon by the visitors, as they look to at least take the homesters back down to Cheshire a week on Monday for a replay.

The FA Cup is always a welcome distraction for a number of reasons.

As well as allowing the team to take a break from the bread-and-butter of League action, it allows us to meet teams we normally would not play against, but probably most important is the fact that there is prize money to be scooped, and any such income is always welcome for clubs at our level.

So decent weather will hopefully mean a decent gate, as the Rams look to make progress in the world’s oldest knock-out competition.