Pilks set for massive FA Vase clash against AFC Liverpool

Living in the shadow of arguably one of the greatest Rugby League teams to grace Super League, Pilkington FC don't often get a chance to share the limelight with Saints but that may all change at the weekend.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 9:22 am
Pilks face AFC Liverpool in the FA Vase

The NWCL first division club make the relatively short trip to Crosby where they face AFC Liverpool in the third round proper of the FA Vase on Sunday (kick-off 2pm) and while progressing to the Wembley final is still a long shot, ground-sharing rivals St Helens Town showed it wasn't an impossible dream when they lifted the trophy with a 3-2 victory of Warrington Town in 1987.

I cannot recall two teams from the same town ever winning the Vase, or the FA Amateur Cup as it was known until the end of the 1973-74 season and what an achievement that would be for the borough.

But from past experience, having covered Skelmersdale United's two FA Amateur Cup Final appearances (1967 and 1971), Town's Wembley victory more than 30 years ago and Burscough's shock FA Trophy Final win in 2003, I know at this stage of any knockout competition when only 64 teams remain anything can happen.

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The Glassmen have already suffered their fair share of bad luck ahead of the crucial tie with ace marksman Callum Laird suspended and skipper Adam Gilchrist being sidelined due to injury.

But Dave Tickle's side have already brushed aside Runcorn Town, West Allotment Celtic and Burscough and despite the absence of key men, Gilchrist and Laird, have the capabilities of reaching the last 32 at the expense of their NWCL premier division rivals who were formed in 2008 by 1,000 supporters of Liverpool Football Club - a not-for-profit organisation - which is run on a one-member, one-vote system.

It has all the makings of a closely run 90 minutes and the possibility of a penalty shoot-out cannot be ignored.

Both sides are adept at finding the net but at the same time not adverse to conceding goals.

Anyone wanting to watch a tie worth the admission money alone would be well advised to check if it is still on after the deluge of rain which has swept the country this week.