Non-league side Shortwood United have reached the FA Cup first round and will host Vale in November. Here are ten things you may not know about our opponents:
1. Shortwood United are based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire which is also the home of Forest Green Rovers, Vale’s cup opponents last season.
2. The club was founded 113 years ago in 1900 and (unfortunately for them) the team wear a Stoke City style red and white striped home shirt.
3. They have played at four grounds and have been based at the Meadowbank Stadium since 1972. The stadium’s record attendance is 1,000 for a game against neighbours Forest Green Rovers back in 1982.
4. In 2008/2009 they missed out on promotion despite acquiring 99 points and scoring 99 goals.
5. However, they made amends in 2012 when they finished second to Oxford City Nomads. As the league winners did not apply for promotion, Shortwood’s proudest moment came as the club were promoted to the Southern League for the first time in their history.
The Road to Vale…
Shortwood’s FA Cup results:
- 1st Qual Round: 2-1 vs Egham (H)
- 2nd Qual Round: 5-1 vs Aylesbury FC (A)
- 3rd Qual Round: 1-0 vs Didcot (A)
- 4th Qual Road: 1-1 vs Aldershot (H)
- 4th Qual Round replay: 2-1 vs Aldershot (A)
6. They have now dropped down to the Southern League Division One South & West where the club lies in a lowly 18th place out of 22 teams.
7. The club’s most experienced player is Alex Sykes who played briefly in the Football League for Mansfield Town. Sykes also had long spells at Forest Green Rovers, Bath City and Gloucester City. Now aged 39 he is still playing and is the club’s joint-manager.
8. Sykes is also an International having represented England at Futsal (a version of the game played indoors on a smaller pitch). In fact, he scored a hat-trick in England’s first futsal international match – a 5-5 draw with Cyprus.
9. Star striker Dominic Culley has netted 14 times in 16 games, including a penalty in the replay win over Aldershot. Following perhaps in former Valiant Stuart Tomlinson’s footsteps he is a model away from the pitch.
10. If the game is held at the Meadowbank Stadium, it may prove something of an interesting journey for the Port Vale away following. The approach to the ground features very narrow lanes which are unsuitable for coaches to drive down!
The photograph shows Shortwood players celebrating their late equaliser in the first tie against Aldershot Town. OVF have been granted permission to use by kind permission of the Shortwood United press officer. Image is (c) Brian Rossiter.