FA Vase – 19th September 2020
At 3pm on Saturday 19th September, Selby Town are due tostart their 2020/21 football season in earnest. They travel to Litherland REMYCA FC to take part in the Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round. A team that fans of The Robins will not be familiar with; so some information by way of a preview.
The comments below are thanks to, Wikipedia, North West Counties Football League, and the club’s own website.
Firstly where is Litherland? It is on the west coast, only five miles north of Liverpool town centre. Close to Waterloo, Seaforth, and Bootle. At the 2001 census it had a population of 22,242, which in itself is not much larger than Selby’s 14,731, but the catchment area for players is much, much greater.
Litherland was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Liderlant, and at one time boasted a Bryant and May factory producing Swan Vestas, and was the birthplace of Richmond Sausages, founded by the Moore family in about 1889. Sadly while these names live on (who hasn’t eaten a Richmond sausage?) the factories are long gone.
The football club was founded as St, Thomas FC in 1959. Players were mainly recruited from the Seaforth, and Bootle area, and the club became Bootle CLB (Church Lads Brigade). Links were formed with the Bootle YMCA, andthen, in 1967, the REM Social Club, a local working men’s club offered to finance the club.
A year later, and the club became REMYCA United, a combination of REM, and YMCA.
Success followed and the club was forced to move from its base at Moss Lane Litherland, to Maghull High School. Further success led to a move to their current home at Litherland Sports Park.
In 2013, the club decided to further develop their sustainableand community based ethos. As one of the first steps, the club took Litherland into their name to become Litherland REMYCA FC.
The club now boasts teams from age 7 upwards, including a number of girl’s teams. In July the club were very proud to be awarded Grassroots Club of the Year by the Liverpool County FA. This in recognition of the work they have done within the community, both as a football club, and raising money for foodbanks.
The club is registered as a Community Benefit Society, and it is possible to buy shares in the club.
On the pitch, after much success in local leagues, Litherland joined the North West Counties League Division 1, for season 2014/15, finishing a very creditable ninth, at the first time of asking, a feat they repeated the next season.
Season 2016/17 saw them finish third, only to lose out in the play- off final to City of Liverpool, in a match watched by a league record 1303 crowd.
Litherland were only delayed by a season, finishing second in season 2017/18, to earn outright promotion to the Premier Division. They also appeared in the FA Cup for the first time, and their 2-0 victory against AFC Liverpool was streamed live on the BBC i player.
A solid 15th place was achieved the next season, their first ever in the Premier Division.
When the ill-fated 2019/2020 season was prematurely ended, Litherland were in 19th place, just a point above the bottom.Litherland will be looking for better this season, and began with a bang by beating fellow Premier Division side Ashton Athletic by 3-0, in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. A bye in the next round sends them into the First Round Qualifying draw, their best performance so far in the FA Cup.
In short, The Robins can expect a very tough tie indeed, but will fondly remember last year’s Vase, disposing of Avro, andWythenshawe Amateurs in the North West, and trouncing Cheadle Town at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium. Fans will hope a repeat performance is on the cards.
Litherland REMYCA play at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Road, Liverpool. That all important post code for your SAT-NAV is L21 7LA. According to the AA, it is just over 100 miles away, and will take about 2 hours to get there. Similar in time, and distance, to our league trip to Skegness Town.
There is ample free car parking, but there is no licenced bar. (However a tweet from last season promises a deal involving a pint and food, so maybe the website is out of date?)
Numbers will be restricted to 300 fans because of Covid. Entrance is via the main building where your entrance fee is paid. Please note that the wearing of face masks is preferred whilst inside the bullding, and social distancing must be maintained at all times.
Covid restrictions will mean no hot food will be on sale (hot drinks available). Spectator cover, and, seating will be very restricted.
A first competitive game of the season for The Robins, at a venue few will have seen before. Why not make the effort to get there early, and cheer on the team?
By Phil Dearnley