FA CUP FIRST ROUND PREVIEW: Cray Valley Paper Mills' taxi driver manager is looking to upset Charlton, Marine eye another dream run, as Horsham's boss has to WORK on team coach on horror FIVE-HOUR trip to Barnsley

Trending 7 months ago

Just nether 7 months until nan showpiece Wembley final, nan FA Cup first information due kicks disconnected connected Friday night. 

With 32 non-league teams successful nan chapeau and immoderate mouth-watering ties, Mail Sport checks successful connected a fewer of those clubs to talk nan magic of nan Cup… 


You will retrieve Marine for their celebrated tally successful 2021 erstwhile they became conscionable nan 2nd eighth-tier broadside to scope nan 3rd round. The Merseyside nine were drawn against nan past Premier League leaders Tottenham, who were managed astatine nan clip by Jose Mourinho.

Before that clash, Marine was astir notable successful nan history books for having nan longest-serving head successful post-War English football. Roly Howard occupied nan station from 1972 to 2005 and oversaw a full of conscionable awkward of 2,000 games.

Sadly for them, nan Spurs conflict was during 1 of nan Covid-19 lockdowns and it meant fans could not beryllium coming astatine Rossett Park. But nan nine came up pinch nan thought to waste 'virtual tickets' astatine £10 a pop, pinch 30,000 group - supporters each complete nan world - purchasing them.

Marine AFC were 1 of nan stories of nan FA Cup past play erstwhile reaching nan 3rd round

Marine missed retired connected an estimated £100,000 windfall but made money via their canny plan, pinch each of nan 30,000 group having their sanction printed connected a wall astatine nan ground. Mourinho and galore progressive pinch Spurs bought tickets.

'That tally transformed our shot club,' first-team head Neil Young tells Mail Sport. 'Before that we were averaging gates of astir 350 and now we're getting astir 1,300. We've sewage a caller transportation which is well-used by nan organization and section schools.

'We person utilized nan money to renovate our usability rooms, it was conscionable a barroom now it's a edifice which is unfastened 7 days a week. And evidently we've been capable to summation nan playing fund and summation nan accommodation passim nan club.

'When nan tie was made, Spurs were apical of nan Premier League. You weren't really allowed to operation but Jose Mourinho bought myself a signed shirt, and 1 for our goalkeeper who was besides Portuguese.

'Jose went retired of his measurement earlier nan crippled for half an hr to person a bully chat pinch our players, he was a really bully guy. 

'The floor plan of what happened successful those cup games brought bigger attraction to us, we get Liverpool, Everton and besides Tottenham supporters visiting america now!'

Young has now been astatine Marine for much than 5 years and his squad will big League Two strugglers Harrogate connected Saturday, whose head Simon Weaver is nearing 15 years successful nan occupation aft taking complete pinch nan Sulphurites successful nan sixth tier.

Manager Neil Young is now plotting different celebrated cup consequence arsenic they return connected Harrogate Town


This Sussex broadside was formed 30 years earlier nan county's biggest nine Brighton and Hove Albion came into beingness and has a rich | history successful non-league making love backmost to 1871. They had a celebrated Cup tally successful 2007 which saw them return Swansea to a second-round replay.

Horsham recreation to Barnsley connected Friday nighttime which has angered fans and unit owed to nan crippled being moved past infinitesimal by South Yorkshire Police. It is not 1 of six tv picks for nan weekend.

'It's a farce, conscionable mad,' head Dominic Di Paola tells Mail Sport. 'We sewage comparatively precocious announcement astir nan clip of nan crippled and I americium disappointed for our players and their families. We person a large family consciousness to nan nine and nan kids are a large portion of nan fanbase.

'They aren't gonna beryllium capable to get retired of schoolhouse connected Friday. It's conscionable a shame that nary of that was thought about. 

'It's a agelong measurement to recreation connected a Friday for immoderate club. It would've made consciousness to move 2 teams who didn't person to recreation arsenic far.

Horsham look a nightmare five-hour travel up to Barnsley up of Friday night's meeting

'We've sewage a mates of boys - teachers and tradesmen - that person not been capable to get retired of activity successful clip truthful we person to time off overmuch later successful nan time for a 4 aliases 5 hr journey. As non-league group we're ever dealing pinch this worldly truthful you conscionable person to get connected pinch it.'

Some self-employed members of nan squad must now miss retired connected a time of work. 

Boss Di Paola useful successful income - he commutes to London from nan southbound seashore - and says he will beryllium firing up his laptop to activity remotely connected nan coach to Barnsley!

In 14 afloat seasons Di Paola has overseen 7 promotions and a mates of first-round FA Cup ties. 

He adds: 'It's a immense upheaval but we've sewage to get connected pinch it. We each make sacrifices each nan clip to do nan athletics we love. It'll beryllium a awesome acquisition and keeps nan communicative of this nine going.'


The Island of Sheppey successful Kent is 1 of fewer parts of nan United Kingdom to person been mislaid - temporarily - to a overseas powerfulness since William nan Conqueror invaded successful 1066 and nan shot nine were 1 of nan founders of nan confederate league.

An FA Cup tally will put nan nine connected nan map. 

The stadium astatine Holm Park is not connected a engaged roadworthy and galore connected nan land do not cognize it is there. 

'This helps group america up for nan play financially but it is conscionable arsenic large for nan community,' says president Tony Hughes.

'But I've not stopped moving to hole for this for weeks! We had a replay a mates of Tuesdays agone and nan tie was done a fewer days earlier that. So moreover earlier nan replay, we were getting emails from nan FA telling america we would person a televised tie.

Sheppey United will look to prima players for illustration Daniel Bradshaw successful Friday night's televised clash

'We had to get nan constabulary and occurrence brigade progressive to make judge we could shape nan crippled astatine our stadium if we were to triumph nan replay. So overmuch activity goes into staging an arena for illustration this erstwhile you're astatine a crushed that's not prepared for it.

'Once we won nan tie, it's conscionable taken disconnected down nan scenes - occurrence regulations, removal plans, making judge everything is correct pinch nan facilities. 

'We don't person a large clubhouse truthful we've erected large marquees everywhere, we've ne'er had to person a segregated distant extremity before.

'I tally my ain business but I've not been to activity decently since nan Cup tie was done. 

'We've sold 1,450 tickets and that's measurement bigger than nan erstwhile grounds attendance here. I've only been nan president for a fewer months truthful this is simply a dream start!'


Just nan sanction 'Cray Valley Paper Mills' is capable to get nan magic-of-the-Cup senses tingling. 

The nine were nan original mill squad successful St Paul's Cray, Kent, and nan squad plays successful nan colours of nan mill's vehicles, greenish and white.

Unlike nan aforementioned Horsham, Cray person an easy commute to nan lucifer this play and spell to Charlton, which is little than 4 miles distant from their stadium connected a sports transportation successful Eltham successful south-east London.

Cray Valley Paper Mills look a short commute arsenic they return connected adjacent Charlton astatine The Valley

Cray's head Steve McKimm is simply a full-time taxi driver and will beryllium enjoying nan thrust astatine nan Valley connected Sunday, pinch his squad looking to put up a conflict against nan League One broadside who won nan FA Cup successful 1947.

The Millers get astir 150 astatine their location matches and struggle for fans owed to nan catchment area. 

'I americium retired and had a spot of clip connected my hands complete Covid truthful I did a batch of investigation into nan history of nan club,' says David Carter, who useful for their website.

'2018 was our centenary twelvemonth and we sewage promoted and had a travel to Wembley successful nan FA Vase last which was a awesome time out. We're afloat reliant connected very generous sponsors truthful this crippled could beryllium huge, we are taking astir 1,250 to Charlton.'


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