PROMOTION-winning AFC Darwen have been handed a home draw on their FA Cup bow, but start their 2015/16 North West Counties Premier Division campaign on the road.

The Salmoners will host Washington in the extra preliminary round of the world’s most famous domestic competition on August 15.


However, before that they kick-off the season with a trip to Ashton Athletic on August 8.

Manager Nick Lloyd will be looking forward to the test, after ending last season in winning form and going up via the inaugural play-offs.

Darwen’s first home game is against Silsden on August 12.

Padiham, who return to the North West Counties League following relegation from the Evo-Stik League, begin their season at home to Bootle, with their next game just two days later at Atherton Collieries.

The Storks do not play at their Arbories home - in league or cup - until September.

Nelson are away to Runcorn Town on the opening day, then host Abbey Hey the following Tuesday, while Colne begin with a home game against Winsford United followed by Maine Road away two nights later.

Bacup Borough have been handed a home start as they look for an immediate return to the Premier Division.

Brent Peters’ side then travel to take on Holker Old Boys on August 11.

Back in the FA Cup, there will be an East Lancs showdown between Barnoldswick and neighbours Colne at the Silent Night Stadium in the extra preliminary round.

Padiham travel to Whickham, while Bacup Borough have been drawn away to Runcorn Town. Nelson entertain Newton Aycliffe.

Padiham are on the road again in the FA Vase first round qualifying, on September 5, having been drawn at Morpeth Town.

Bacup host Worsborough Bridge Athletic.

The draw for the FA Trophy preliminary round has also taken place, with Clitheroe entertaining Stocksbridge Park Steels on October 3.

In the FA Youth Cup preliminary round, Clitheroe host Ashton, while Padiham travel to Nantwich Town.