This coming Saturday we can put the League to one side as we concentrate on FA Cup action. Usually at this stage we have been drawn to lower league opposition but this season we have a side from our league, and one who recently inflicted a 1-0 defeat on us. This gives us the chance of some revenge, but for once due to league placings we can become the giant killer. The earlier league defeat was a close affair decided by an 85th minute penalty so hopefully with home advantage we must take the chance to win the game, especially as money is at stake.
For the first time, the FA have brought in prizemoney for losers up to the 4th and final qualifying round, making the FA cup more attractive to the non-league teams. Due to their league placing last season, Mickleover had to play a preliminary round, and have already dispatched Coventry Sphynx banking £2890. Saturday’s winner will receive £4500 and the losers’ pocket £1500. We need to be the team picking up the winners’ cheque to proceed to a potential £6750 second round pay day. It is highly likely with some luck that a step 3 side like us could reach the 4th qualifying round to meet a big boy from the National League. Should we reach that scenario and lose, we would have amassed £22k with a further £6250 from losing that game. The FA have dangled the carrot and we need to ensure we take a big bite out of it.
Sadly, history is very much against us with recent FA cup history, especially this century. Early days this century we were in the Southern League, Conference and Conference North giving us exemption to the later qualifying rounds. Our first venture into the 1st Qualifying round took place in season 2011/12 winning 3-2 at AFC Wulfrunians. We lost in the next round to Stratford. In the next season we got passed Stourport with a replay but again lost in the 2nd round. 2013/14 followed the similar pattern with a win over Chasetown in a replay, but then losing out to Boston United. 2014/5 saw us drop to step 4 so had to play a preliminary round. A victory over Walsall Wood got us into the 1st Qualifying round were our run ended in a replay defeat to Tividale. In our second season at step 4015/16 we never made this stage going out to Coleshill in the preliminary round. Back in the NPL for 2016/7 we started again at this stage but lost to Kidsgrove. Season 2017/8 saw a mini cup run beating Peterborough Sports 4-3 away at this stage and then beating Tamwoth before losing out to Telford in a replay. Last season saw us victorious at this stage beating Grimsby Borough, but the usual exit next round followed at Kings Lynn.
As you can see, not a very inspiring recent F A Cup history so if lady luck is on our side, perhaps this could be the year with a televised round one victory and an away tie at a top premiership ground in round 3. Oops, sorry I have just woken up. But that is the magic of the F A Cup, and for us it starts this Saturday. See you at Marston Road to cheer the team on.
Games played on September 7th this century
2002 Havant and Waterlooville A 1-1 Southern League
2011 Matlock A 1-1 Northern Premier League
2013 Chorley A 0-3 Northern Premier League