The time has now arrived for us to switch the focus of our attention, at least geographically, to a more detailed examination of events involved in the emergence of professional football. We shall start with a discussion of happenings in East Lancashire. The FA Cup competition, instigated in the 1871-2 season and only gradually becoming an accepted test of national footballing prowess, initially remained the domain, in terms of success and numbers of entry, of the southern amateur clubs. In the fi rst six seasons, out of a total of 157 entries, only 14 were received from clubs outside the London area (Smailes, 1991 : 180-1). However, the 1877-8 draw saw two teams from Lancashire enter: Darwen and Manchester. In the fi rst round, with the ties still regionalised, they were paired together and Darwen opened with a 3-0 victory against their county rivals. They were, however, defeated in the next round by a single goal at Sheffi eld FC.