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Northwich Victoria preview

The road to Wembley continues this Saturday as FC United stand one game away from the first round proper of the FA Cup as they meet Blue Square Conference North side Northwich Victoria at Victoria Stadium. Craig Phillips provides this preview"¦

Margy’s men have been on a fantastic run to reach the final qualifying round seeing off Sheffield, North Ferriby and then Stalybridge Celtic over two epic ties in three days, but they know it will still be a tough ask to see off the Vics who themselves are in good form.

Following the Stalybridge victory last Tuesday, the Reds seemed full of confidence as they put UniBond Premier Divisions leaders Ashton United out of the FA Trophy on Saturday. The fact that United are now unbeaten in their last six games will also add to the team’s confidence as they take on opponents from higher up the football pyramid for the second time this season.

It’s also chance to just sit back and take in the achievement, five years ago the club had only just formed and this is only our third season in the world’s oldest club competition and yet we are potentially 90 minutes away from a tie with big name teams such as Crewe Alexandra, Bradford City and dare we say it - Leeds United?

The financial implications of our cup run is also worth remembering. We have already seen four big gates over three rounds, which can only help the long term future of our club.

But the cup brings with it its own romance and the two ties against Stalybridge were prime examples of the highs and lows of cup football and could go down as two of the most memorable matches in FC United’s history.

On to Saturday’s encounter and United are no strangers to Victoria Stadium having played there twice in a week in our inaugural season; a 2-2 against Winsford United and a 4-0 drubbing of Ashton Town.

The clubs also share a history in the sense that Aaron Burns; now of Altrincham, has had spells for both clubs, and FC United winger Carlos Roca has also had a spell at The Vics.

Northwich can trace their history all the way back to 1874, and for two seasons between 1892 and 1894 were actually members of the football league.

In terms of history in the FA Cup the club reached the third round in 2006, and over 4,000 fans made the trip to the Stadium Of Light as The Vics were beaten 3-0 by Sunderland. In 1974 the club reached the fourth round of the FA Cup, before losing out to Oldham Athletic in front of 29,000 fans at Maine Road.

In recent years, the club has had financial difficulties and earlier this year was put into administration for the second time since 2004 following their relegation from the conference. The Vics could have been playing FC United in the league this season but won an appeal against the decision to relegate them to the UniBond League.

The club started this season with a 10 point deduction and currently sit in 14th place with 14 points from 13 games but without the points deduction they would be in the top six in the league.

Vics manager Andy Preece made more than 160 appearances for Bury in his career as well as a three year spell at Blackpool previous to this and was even manager of Bury for four seasons before moving on during difficult financial times at the Shakers. Preece took over as permanent manager in May this year following a brief spell as caretaker manager.

The Vics are currently unbeaten in five league games and have already dispatched Bardon Hill Sports (8-0) and Chorley (4-1) to reach the final qualifying round. The danger man is clearly striker Mark Danks who won the player of the round award for his efforts against Bardon Hill Sports, where he scored five goals in that game and has scored in each of his last seven appearances for the club.

Saturday’s game is the usual 3pm kick off and tickets are available to purchase on the day from Northwich’s ticket office. So get yourself to that football ground and be part of what should be another epic cup tie.

FC United team news to follow tomorrow.

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First Posted ~ 12:50 Thu 22 Oct 2009
News ID ~ 2494
Last Updated ~ 12:56 Mon 21 May 2018