Stockport County are in action this coming Saturday as we welcome National League side Woking FC to Edgeley Park. The two sides go head to head for a place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with the winner earning a cool £18,000.
Founded in 1871, the FA Cup has been the stand out competition for English clubs, from the Premier League to way down into the non league, the competition has earned a magnificent reputation over the last 145 years and long may it continue.
Woking Football club, nicknamed the Cardinals are currently struggling in 21st position in the National League after 18 games, however, in the FA Cup, their fortunes have been a welcome distraction with victory over fellow strugglers Torquay in the last round, Woking will fancy their chances against the Hatters this Saturday and will have to go down as favourites, although when it comes to the cup- form doesn’t mean a great deal.
The Hatters history against Woking is short but sweet, only two games played in the past, and of course County were on the losing end both times.
This week, I spoke to Woking fan David Richardson about the FA Cup and he told me that it was ‘crucial this year to have a good FA Cup run. That’s been the the only downside since Garry Hil (Woking’s manager) has been here, A lack of a cup run! The club is struggling financially too, hence the budget cut’. David added that ‘staying up in the National League has to be a priority. Any sort of FA Cup run is a bonus’.
It also great to hear David speak about Stockport County from an outsiders prespective. ‘Stockport is a very well-supported club and I think I heard their average attendances are 2000+. With the attraction of the FA Cup I’d expect there to be more interest from the home fans and there should also be a decent following from Woking. I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t at least 100 Woking supporters there. It’s a nice touch from the club to encourage fans to travel’.
Whilst we shouldn’t focus solely on the FA Cup, gaining promotion from the National League North is clearly a priority, the recent results have contributed to the fans and players bonding, progress in to the second round would only strengthen the buzz currently around Edgeley Park at the moment, and we don’t want that momentum to stop!
It would also give boss Jim Gannon more funds to strengthen the squad and the potential of a great second round tie and a chance of appearing on TV for the first time since 2012 when the Hatters faced Wrexham at Edgeley Park.
The Hatters should have no new injury concerns going in to the game, although Scott Duxbury, Adam Thomas and Adam Etches are all still sidelined through injuries sustained in September.
This week I spoke with man of the moment, Danny Lloyd, asking him five questions regarding the FA Cup.
EH: Whats your favourite FA Cup moment ever In your playing career?
DL: I have only ever got to the 1st round twice and played Millwall and Plymouth but I can’t say they where favourable moments, probably the last round scoring two and getting county to the this stage for the first time in a few years.
EH: What would be your dream FA Cup tie this year run with County
DL: Either Everton or Liverpool Away if we got that far.
EH: The players and fans have bonded massively this season, how big a role do they play?
DL: I have said before in other interviews that the fans especially when we play at home play a massive part and I would urge any county fan who hasn’t been for a few games or years to get back down to EP and cheer the lads on.
EH: With Woking struggling in the League above, although form goes out the window, do you feel we have what it takes to win the tie?
DL: I feel like it’s a game we can be confident going into and we are on a good run so we can try and build on it but I think the FA cup brings the best out in players so we will need to be on our game.
EH: With a higher turnout of County fans expected, all roaring on the boys in blue- what does it mean to you and the rest of the players to see a them cheering you on?
DL: Having the fans backing us really helps and motivates the lads as we feel that more people coming down means more people are recognising our effort and our determination to do well for county.
Bugler Daniel Smith will return to Edgeley Park this weekend to play the Last Post before the game, the club are advising fans to arrive early to pay respects in full silence before the 3pm kick off.
The Stockport Branch of the Legion will be inattandance and collecting money for The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Prices for this game have been slashed dramatically and are as follows;
ADULT : £10
STUDENT/ CONCESSIONS: £7 (Proof of ID/Age Needed)
So let’s get down to Edgeley Park and roar the County boy’s onto victory!