Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bumper crowd expected for Manchester cup clash

Source: The Star

Published Date: 09 September 2009

By Bob Westerdale

THE sleepy town of Dronfield will reverberate to the sound of an army of 1,000 travelling Mancunians on Saturday.
Sheffield FC host FA Cup visitors FC United of Manchester, the club with the biggest following in non-league football.

FC - the club born of Old Trafford fans' dislike of corporate American ownership - will virtually take over the stadium.

But that could only stir up the home side, says Sheffield manager Chris Dolby.

"Having that amount of travelling fans in the ground could well be a big factor in the result, but I'm not sure who will actually benefit from it!" he said "Our flair players seem to like to get on the ball and attack more when there is a big crowd.

"It will be similar to when Sheffield United played us pre-season or the Ferencvaros game.

"The atmosphere could spur on our players - they certainly won't be intimidated by it."

Lower-league Sheffield, on a good day attract between 350 and 450 supporters at Dronfield. And Dolby says he hopes they and others turn up for the (3pm) FA Cup qualifier.

"If they raise their voices and get behind their team it will be even better," he said.

Sheffield will get a 50-50 split of the gate and they also have an eye on the £2,500 prize money should they get through.

"It would be great if we could improve on last season when we had to fight hard to beat Guiseley and eventually were knocked out by Blyth Spartans," said Dolby.

"We have got a few games to get through before we'd get to the first round proper.

"But if somebody was to have offered me a game against non-distinct opposition or FC United of Manchester, I'd have picked FC. The atmosphere will be fantastic."

FC are coming off a UniBond Premier League defeat at Kendal and are lying in ninth.

BT Local Business is Sheffield FC's new stadium sponsor.