FA Cup trail underway

For the second consecutive season, Reds will kick-off their FA Cup campaign at Northern League club, Newcastle Benfield, albeit a round earlier than last year.

Benfield accounted for Knaresborough Town a fortnight ago to set up Saturday’s Preliminary Round tie (3pm). After finishing 10th in the Northern League top division last season, they have made an impressive start to the new campaign and are currently second in the table.

They got the better of Penrith in Cumbria last Saturday before thrashing Seaham Red Star 6-1 in midweek.

Last season, we earned a replay after a 1-1 draw with Niall Cowperthwaite opening the scoring for Reds and Dale Pearson equalising twelve minutes before time. The replay produced an enjoyable goal spree with the 5-3 score line finishing in our favour and sending us through to the next round.

It will be the earliest start in the competition for Reds for twenty years – a poignant reminder of where we are in the pyramid. Looking at it another way, we are only five victories away from a rare appearance in the First Round Proper.

The FA Prize Fund structure is different this season with winners and losers benefitting. The winners of the tie will bank £2,890 whilst those who make their exit from the competition will be compensated to the tune of £960.

It will Danny Grainger’s first taste of the competition as a manager but he has experienced mixed results over the last few seasons as a player. He has played about a dozen times in the Cup scoring goals against Welling United, Yeovil Town, St. Albans City and Gillingham whilst playing for Carlisle United.

He got injured in the match at Yeovil and subsequently missed out on facing Everton at Brunton Park a few seasons ago but did feature in the more recent clash v. Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The match will be played at Sam Smith’s Park but our own Sam Smith will again miss out because of injury.

Should the game result in a draw, the replay will take place at Borough Park on Tuesday 3 September. It had originally been arranged for next Tuesday but, if necessary, will be played the following week so the Bank Holiday league clash v. Pontefract Collieries will go ahead as planned.

£6 – Adult
£3 – Concession and Student
£1 – U17

Postcode: NE6 4NU

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