September 29, 2009
FC UNITED have landed a plum home derby clash with Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Cup third-qualifying round a week on Saturday.
Karl Marginson's men, who'll be appearing at the penultimate qualifying stage for the first time, will start as underdogs as they lie 33 places behind the Bower Fold side.
But, having already recorded away victories over the world's oldest club, Sheffield, and UniBond premier rivals North Ferriby, the Rebels won't be overawed by a Bridge side, who hit seven in beating Stocksbridge Park Steels in the last round.
United boss Marginson said: "It's a fantastic draw for us but we know we're going to have to be at our very best to beat a team of Stalybridge's undoubted quality."
Northwich Victoria, fresh from thrashing Bardon Hill Sports 8-0, will entertain Ashton United's conquerors, Chorley, while Radcliffe or Warrington will travel to Workington.
Blyth Spartans await the winners of Hyde United's second qualifying-round tie with Salford City, which will only go ahead if the crisis-torn Tigers succeed in convincing the High Court to rescind a winding-up order served on them last week.
Should the Tigers fail and be forced into closure, Salford will go through by default.