Noel Gallagher set the Rebels rocking when he paired FC United with last year’s FA Cup finalists Portsmouth in the third round draw.
But first the Evo-Stik Premier League club, formed in protest over the Glazer family takeover at Old Trafford, need to overcome League One leaders Brighton.
They pulled off an incredible 1-1 away draw on Saturday that set up a second round replay at Bury’s Gigg Lane a week on Wednesday, thanks to a goal by Nicky Platt and Sam Ashton’s penalty save deep in injury time. FC United manager Karl Marginson, who had wanted to avoid Fergie’s superstars, said: “It’s mind-blowing to think we’re just one game away from playing last season’s beaten Cup finalists.
“To think Portsmouth went all the way to Wembley last May and now we could be meeting them, it’s unbelievable.
“But, before we start getting too carried away, we’ve got to remember we’ve still got a big job to do if we’re to get past Brighton.
“If we’re fortunate enough to do that, we can look forward to another terrific occasion because Portsmouth would no doubt would bring a big following up to Gigg Lane. That would mean lots of noise from both sets of fans and a cracking atmosphere.
“Pompey may be mid-table in the Championship but they have some great players and still have aspirations to get back into the Premier League.
“They’re going to be decent, but we’d have nothing to lose against them, so, from our point-of-view, it’s a great draw.”
Meanwhile Droylsden, Greater Manchester’s other non-league club going for money-spinning glory in the world’s oldest and most famous cup competition, are in second-round action against Leyton Orient at the Butchers Arms tonight. They have a real feast in store if Dave Pace’s ambitious Blue Square Bet North club win – a trip to Delia Smith’s high-riding Championship side Norwich.
All games are to be played on January 8 and 9.