The PlayerMatch.com Cup is a competition aimed out our First Division sides only. It is a straight knockout competition, so sides from our North and South divisions can face each other. With 40 teams in our First Divisions, eight ties are needed in the First Round to get us down to 32 teams remaining in the Second Round, with everyone else receiving a bye.
This year's competition started with the First Round on Saturday 7th September 2019, with the game of the day undoubtedly the clash of Lower Breck and Vauxhall Motors who led the North and South divisions at the time. The result was something of a surprise with Lower Breck running out 6-2 winners. This was not the only North v South game, with Abbey Hey beating Bacup Borough 3-2 and Cheadle Town winning 2-1 at Cleator Moor Celtic. Steeton and FC Oswestry Town also played out a goalless draw, with Oswestry winning 5-3 on penalties.
That wasn't the only penalty shoot out in this round, another coming at Church Road after New Mills and Eccleshall had shared six goals. Eccleshall won that shoot-out 5-4. In the only all-South tie, Abbey Hulton United beat Ellesmere Rangers 4-1, whilst in the two all-North ties, AFC Liverpool beat Shelley 3-1 and AFC Blackpool won 3-0 at Holker Old Boys.
Into the Second Round on Saturday 5th October and all games were on with some amazing scorelines. The biggest win came at Ashton Town where Jesse Dowling scored four goals in his side's 9-2 victory over Atherton LR. The same number of goals came in another big scoreline at the Arcoframe where St Helens Town ran out 8-3 winners over AFC Darwen, St Helens having six different goalscorers in that game.
There were five different goalscorers for AFC Liverpool who won 5-0 away at St Martins, whilst near neighbours Lower Breck went one better as they beat Eccleshall 6-0, Luke Duffy scoring a hat-trick in that game. There were TWO hat-trick's at Daisy Hill where Jamie Ramwell scored three for the home side and Ben Mooney did likewise for Maine Road. However two more late goals from the Cutters saw them through 5-3.
Cheadle Town also scored five with another good away win, this time 5-2 winners at Alsager Town, whilst Abbey Hey also had a decent away day as they won 4-0 at Barnton. West Didsbury & Chorlton won by the same scoreline at home to Nelson, that coming in front of the day's biggest crowd of 254.
It was goals galore at Golcar United as they hosted Wythenshawe Town, and with Wythenshawe leading 4-1 with ten minutes remaining it looked all over. However back came Golcar to scrape a 4-4 draw through Michael Fish's 90th minute penalty, which meant a shoot-out. That saw Wythenshawe Town make no mistake as they won 4-3 from the spot. Another shoot-out came at Kirklands after Cammell Laird 1907 and Sandbach United had played out a goalless draw. The penalties made up for that, with Sandbach United winning 7-6 on penalties.
Cheadle Heath Nomads won 2-1 at Abbey Hulton United, with Stone Old Alleynians beating Prestwich Heys by the same scoreline. Emley AFC beat AFC Blackpool to easily progress, and there was a goal more at Wythenshawe Amateurs as they beat Stockport Town 3-2. Pilkington also won 1-0 away at Chadderton.
The final game saw Garstang against FC Oswestry Town abandoned due to a player injury. They did it again the following Saturday, Sean Jones equalising for FC Oswestry Town two minutes into stoppage time before his side won a penalty shoot out 5-3.
The Third Round brought an incredible penalty shoot out at Ashton Town where the home side and Abbey Hey had played out a 2-2 draw. It was Abbey Hey who progressed to the Quarter Finals after a 9-8 win from the spot. There was no such drama in the two South Manchester local derby games as Wythenshawe Town beat Cheadle Heath Nomads 4-1, and Cheadle Town beat Wythenshawe Amateurs 4-2.
Game of the day was FC Oswestry Town v Lower Breck, with Breck winning 1-0 thanks to Jamie Clark's goal. Sandbach United came from behind to beat Stone Old Alleynians 2-1 thanks to Thomas Williams' last minute goal, whilst West Didsbury & Chorlton won at St Helens Town by the same scoreline.
Emley v Daisy Hill and AFC Liverpool v Pilkington were postponed with the home side's in Macron Cup action. When they did get played, Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners over Pilks with Emley putting six past Daisy Hill in a 6-1 win.
Onto the Quarter Finals which took place on Saturday 8th February and AFC Liverpool cruised into the last four with a 3-0 win over Cheadle Town. Wythenshawe Town also scored three as they won 3-1 at Abbey Hey, whilst Simon Smith scored the only goal as FC Oswestry Town beat Emley.
The final Quarter Final saw West Didsbury & Chorlton host Sandbach United, and goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves gave Sandbach a 2-0 win. Remarkably this was West Didsbury & Chorlton's first ever defeat in the competition after winning it in their debut season and playing in the Premier Division ever since.
The Semi Final First Leg was played on Saturday 14th March with AFC Liverpool putting one foot in the final after a 3-0 win away at FC Oswestry Town. Sandbach United also took control with an away win at Wythenshawe Town, but that was closer as Sandbach won 2-1.
Two days later on the Monday and all games were suspended due to Coronavirus. With just three games to play, who knows what will happen with the competition now.