Ready to milk their moment in the cup

"Accrington Stanley-who are they?"  Jack Eckman (left) aged 13 and  Oliver French (12) recreate the famous TV ad, at AFC Fylde, Warton.
"Accrington Stanley-who are they?" Jack Eckman (left) aged 13 and Oliver French (12) recreate the famous TV ad, at AFC Fylde, Warton.

It was an advert in the 1980’s famous for trying to get children to drink milk, but on Saturday, AFC Fylde will know exactly who Accrington Stanley are as the Evo-Stik Northern Premier club meet the League Two side in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

The Coasters side, made up of the likes of a student, a tree cutter, a teaching assistant, a plumber and a quantity surveyor, will face full-time professional players from the fourth tier of English football.

And with FA Cup fever sweeping through the club, it’s hoped the match will be a 2,250 sell-out at Kellamergh Park, with visitors Stanley expected to bring more than 700 fans for the short away trip from East Lancashire.

AFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite said the game promises to be a money-spinning tie, whatever the result.

And he hopes it will help lift the profile of both the club and the area.

He added: “This match will be a £40,000 game.

“I’m hoping we can get a sell-out, while I’m sure Accrington will bring many fans – if we get through the prize money increases again, but most important is the exposure the club will receive.

“I’m hoping many fans will come to enjoy the game.”

Despite many of the players featuring in their first-ever FA Cup first round match, their management team has plenty of experience.

As a player Dave Challinor reached the FA Cup Quarter Final in the 2000/01 season, and assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe reached the FA Cup Semi Final in 1992 with Norwich City – both will be hoping for a giant-killing act on Saturday.

In the previous round Adam Farrell was the hero, as AFC Fylde beat Ilkeston Town to seal a place in the first round of the world’s oldest knock-out football competition.

Mr Haythornthwaite was quick to praise the efforts of the players and manager: “Dave Challinor has done a fantastic job since he has come in and long may it continue.

“He is a very professional person and he is going to go a long way – hopefully with us.

“The players were excellent too, Ilkeston Town were no pushovers and now we have a Lancashire derby to look forwards to.”

“We played Accrington in a pre-season friendly and won 6-0. I’m not sure if it will be quite as easy again”

The prestige of reaching the first round comes with its benefits.

The club has earned around £25,000 in prize money from beating Ramsbottom United, Bishop Auckland, Solihull Moors and Ilkeston Town.