It is now eight years since those epic clashes between Workington and FC United of Manchester took place in the race for the Premier Division championship.
FC United were the title favourites but Reds pushed them all the way – well, almost. Our final home game of the 2014-15 campaign was against FCUM but we needed them to drop points in the run-in to make the last match a title decider.
However, the Manchester boys were crowned champions a few days before their first visit to Cumbria which, in effect, downgraded the match to a very high profile ‘dead-rubber’.
We still needed a point to guarantee runners-up spot but FC United fielded a makeshift team and the occasion for them was just one big promotion celebration.
Workington emerged comfortable winners to finish just two points behind the champions. So near, yet so far.
The two games against FC United attracted nearly 5,000 spectators. We had already lost the first meeting at Curzon Ashton’s ground in front of a 2,349 gate with the return at Borough Park topping that figure – just, with 2,603 passing through the turnstiles.
That figure included the best part of a thousand FC United fans which created a record attendance figure for us for a ‘non-league’ fixture.
Those figures won’t be matched on Saturday afternoon, unfortunately, but it would be nice to think that the good folk of Manchester will travel in numbers once again.
Our average attendance this term is slightly down on last season’s figure so a four-figure crowd would be a welcome boost.
Those two previous meetings generated some wonderful memories for both clubs but time to move on and concentrate on the present.
For Reds, it will be the second of three consecutive Saturday home games but the injury situation shows no sign of abating and the manager’s stance of, “We just have to go with what we’ve got,” was said ahead of further attempts to recruit ‘extra bodies’.
Reds climbed to 9th after the dominant win over Lancaster City with Neil Reynolds’ side just two points behind in 14th position, following their narrow loss at Warrington Rylands.
Kick-off is the usual 3pm for a Saturday home fixture but spectators are asked to arrive a bit earlier than usual allowing plenty of time for parking and accessing the ground.