Market Drayton Town start with FA Cup Shropshire derby

Market Drayton Town’s season kicks off with a bang tonight – a home Shropshire derby tie in the FA Cup.

Market Drayton Town in pre-season action
Market Drayton Town in pre-season action

New boss Paul Snape begins his tenure in charge of the Gingerbread Men with a crunch extra preliminary round tie – the competition’s first stage – against new Midland League Premier Division rivals Shifnal Town (7.45pm kick-off).

The league campaign kicks off eight days later at Midland League big-hitters Worcester City.

Drayton and Shifnal will become familiar rivals this season as the duo pit their wits in the league at step five, following Friday’s hosts Market Drayton’s relegation from the Northern League last term.

And, as well as FA Cup action, the pair have also been paired in the FA Vase, with a tie taking place at Shifnal on August 27 – meaning a cup double-header for the foes.

New-look Drayton, put together by boss Snape who was appointed this summer from league rivals Uttoxeter Town, head into the campaign after mixed fortunes in a busy pre-season friendly schedule.

They started off with an eye-catching goalless draw at home to National League North neighbours AFC Telford United. That was followed by a comprehensive victory against AFC Bridgnorth, of the division below, in the Jason Francis Memorial Cup at Greenfields.

Snape’s side then went down narrowly to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat at Cymru Premier outfit Cefn Druids over the Welsh border.

Fixtures over the last 10 days have proven challenging for Town, with a 6-0 defeat at 1874 Northwich and 4-0 reverse at Mossley.

Whitchurch Alport also kick off their season in the FA Cup, against one of non-league’s most famous names – Vauxhall Motors.

Luke Goddard led his Alport side all the way to the FA Vase quarter-finals last season, but they have only reached the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup once before – three years ago.

To match that first qualifying round run, they must negotiate the Vauxhall tie in the extra preliminary round, and then a preliminary round tie on August 20.

Winners of this weekend’s extra preliminary round games will be awarded £1,125 in prize money, with losers taking home £375.

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