Ground Number: 929
Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Saltash United 3-1 Cirencester Town
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
SALTASH UNITED FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
Though there was a previous club in the town - Essa, later to be known as Saltash Town disbanded before the start of World War 2. Saltash United FC was established in 1946 and joined the South Western League as founder members in 1951. They were runners-up in 1953 and champions a year later but they disbanded in 1958 due to lack of players. They reformed a year later and joined the East Cornwall League as founder members, winning the league at the first attempt. Saltash rejoined the South Western League in 1962 and a couple of runners-up spots before winning the title for the second time in 1976. This lead to them making the step up to the Western League and they were Division 1 Champions in their first season, earning promotion to the Premier Division in the process. They'd enjoy a long spell here, being crowned champions in 1985 and 1989 but not applying to make the step up to the Southern League due to travelling costs. The Western League eventually became too pricey and in 1995, they left to return to the South Western League. They rejoined the Western League for a couple of seasons between 2004 & 2006 but enjoyed unremarkable finishes. They rejoined the South Western League for the 2006/07 season, finishing as runners-up to St Blazey. The following season, they joined the South West Peninsula League as founder members. They've been in the step 6 division ever since, finishing as runners-up in 2008 and 2017. Last time out, before the season was abandoned, Saltash sat in 3rd place, having won 19 out of 22 games and having several games in hand on their opponents.
Saltash United's best-ever FA Cup run came in 1987. That year they beat Taunton Town, Ottery St Mary and Tiverton Town before losing at Farnborough Town in the 4th Qualifying Round. They've twice reached the 1st Round of the FA Trophy. In the FA Vase, they've reached the 3rd Round on three occasions. Local cup wins include the Cornwall Senior Cup on seven occasions, the Cornwall Charity Cup in 1951 and 2001, the Western League Cup in 1987 and 1988, the SWPL Charity Bowl in 2008 and 2019, the South Western League Cup in 1953, the SWP Charity Cup in 2008 and the SWP Walter C Parson Cup in 2019. The town of Saltash has a population of 16,000 people and was judged the most desirable place to live in the UK according to a 2009 survey.
The hosts were unbeaten in the FA Vase and league so far this season. To get this far, they'd beaten Plymouth Parkway and Paulton Rovers, both of whom play at higher levels. Visitors Cirencester Town played in the step 4 Southern League Division 1 South and had started their league campaign with a 2-0 win at Bristol Manor Farm. They'd won 3-0 at Flackwell Heath to get this far in the cup. The game started with Saltash well on top, much to the chagrin of the Cirencester manager who was very animated barking orders at his team. The hosts were ahead after 11 minutes when a cross from the right was headed home at the back post by Ben Holter. Saltash continued to dominate, a shot narrowly over the bar on 21 minutes saw them come close again. On 23 minutes, they doubled their advantage, another cross from the right was met by a glancing header from Sam Farrant. Cirencester quickly pulled a goal back, a penalty was awarded for a trip just inside the area and Ross Gabe converted. After the break, Saltash restored their two goal advantage when a good through ball found Reece Thompson who finished calmly beyond the advancing keeper from around 15 yards. The visitors were seeing quite a lot of the ball, but not doing much with it. Their number 4 let frustration get the better of him and tripped a Saltash man as he tried to get away. He was booked for that and there were plenty of other flare-ups too. There was a late rally by Cirencester and they had a shot cleared off the line but in the end, it was a fully deserved win for Saltash against a side that played two levels higher.