Non-league day: Local clubs hope to bloom in Vase

Armthorpe's Jonothan Mirfin tries to get past the Heanor Town defender. Picture: Andrew Roe
Armthorpe's Jonothan Mirfin tries to get past the Heanor Town defender. Picture: Andrew Roe

Brian Johnston will be hoping for a major boost this weekend after seeing his Armthorpe Welfare side slip to a fifth straight defeat.

Boss Johnston should be able to call upon the influential Dave Buck, Jay Rollins and Richard Smith for Saturday’s FA Vase first qualifying round tie against AFC Liverpool at Church Street.

It has been a frustrating season so far for Johnston with injuries and suspensions leaving him having to shuffle his pack for every game so far which has seen results suffer.

Last weekend’s 4-1 home defeat against Heanor Town was Armthorpe’s fifth on the trot in league and cup.

North West Counties side Liverpool will arrive looking to avenge their elimination in last season’s competition at the hands of Armthorpe.

That day Ben Muirhead and a Joe Lumsden brace gave Welfare a 3-1 victory on Merseyside in the first round proper in October and Johnston will be looking for history to repeat itself.

Despite a 5-0 thumping at Ramsbottom United in the FA Cup last weekend, the visitors have had a good start to the season winning five and drawing one of the opening seven league games which sees them in third in their respective table.

The club was set up in 2008 by 1,000 Liverpool fans who felt they had been priced out of watching their team on a regular basis.

Maltby Main also face North West Counties League opponents in the FA Vase with Blackpool-based Squires Gate the visitors to Muglet Lane.

This tie will bring together two struggling teams with the Miners having lost the last six on the spin in all outings prior to Tuesday’s home game with Glasshoughton Welfare.

Maltby have yet to pick up an away point after three attempts following a 2-0 reversal at Tadcaster Albion last weekend.

Squires Gate too are not enjoying the best of starts with a 2-0 home defeat at Wigan Robin Park leaving the visitors without a win in the last six in league and cup.

And, like Maltby, they find themselves at the wrong end of the table with just five points from a possible 21.

Rossington Main are looking local to kick start their season in the Vase.

Prior to the home clash against Appleby Frodingham on Tuesday, the Colliery had lost the last three on the bounce following the latest setback a 4-1 reversal at Louth Town last weekend.

But they are hoping for a cup of tonic when they make the short trip into Barnsley to meet County Senior League side Penistone Church in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase.

Rossington will start slight favourites against their County Senior opponents who almost became members of the Northern Counties East League this season after finishing third in the respective division.

But Church missed out following Shaw Lane Aquaforce’s successful appeal to the FA after the NCEL member clubs had originally voted against them being accepted into the league.

It will however, serve as a warning to Rossington then when the two teams last met in cup action it was Penistone that triumphed 2-1 at home in a Sheffield Senior Cup first round tie in October 2010.

Central Midlands League side Askern also set out on the road to Wembley this weekend. They host Glasshoughton Welfare.