RYLANDS’ tilt at FA Vase glory is fuelled by a burning desire to right a historical wrong.

Wind the clocks back 35 years to 1984 and the men from Gorsey Lane were dreaming of Wembley Stadium.

Blackpool Mechanics, Maghull and Atherton Laburnum Rovers were brushed aside by Blues, who were in the midst of a golden era.

They were on their way to a second Mid-Cheshire League championship in four seasons and Nottinghamshire outfit Rainworth Miners Welfare stood between them and a place in the quarter finals.

Club benefactor Paul Stretford played for the club at the time and picks up the story.

“We would have got to the quarter finals had there not been a dispute over the length of our pitch by Rainworth, who we beat on the day,” he said.

“We were forced to replay away from home because of the pitch.

“Unfortunately, we lost 1-0 away from home and never went as far in that competition again.”

When the pitch was measured, it was found to be just over a yard too long. It was an oversight that left their chance of history in tatters.

“Joe Rudge was in charge at the time – he was a great manager for the club,” Stretford continued.

“He brought a really good bunch of players together and we were a really good side.

“We were Mid-Cheshire champions a number of times and actually went one season losing only one game.”

Fast forward to the present day and the current Rylands vintage are well on their way to at least replicating that achievement.

Dave McNabb’s side – currently riding high in the North West Counties League Premier Division – have reached the first round proper of the competition having come through two stages of qualifying.

Athersley Recreation and Rossington Main have already been beaten to set up a tie with divisional rivals Bootle at Gorsey Lane on Saturday.

Wembley is still far in the distance – they will have to come through seven more rounds to reach the final – and Stretford is not allowing himself to dream just yet.

“Because of what happened to us that year against Rainworth, I do dream of Wembley,” he said.

“It’s not something I’m going to put pressure on the lads to achieve.

“It’s a distraction but it’s high-profile and the lads love it.

“We’ve not had an away game in it yet so it would be good to test ourselves away from home.

“If we get to the stage we got to in ‘84, when we were effectively knocked out by a technicality, I can fully start dreaming of Wembley.”

Kick off on Saturday is at 3pm. Tickets cost £4 for adults and £2 for concessions while under 16s will be admitted free of charge with a paying adult.