OSSETT Town boss Craig Elliott says his giant-killing team have “nothing to lose and everything to gain” when they visit Stockport County in the first round of the FA Trophy.
The Evo-Stik Premier League side caused an upset on Saturday when they came from behind to beat Blue Square North side Workington Town 2-1 in the final qualifying round at Stade France.
Their reward is a trip to Edgeley Park to take on the Blue Square Premier Hatters on Saturday, November 24 (kick-off 3pm) and Elliott says it is a “great situation” for his men to be in.
“As soon as the game was over on Saturday I was thinking about who we’d be pitted against in the draw,” said Elliott.
“We wanted a big team and we wanted a big team away from home, one of Luton Town or Mansfield or Stockport.
“We’ve got that and it’s going to be a great day for the club. It’ll be great for the players and we’ll get some publicity as a club.”
As well as the experience of playing in front of a bumper crowd - Stockport regularly pull in crowds of 3,000 - Town will receive a financial boost with FA Trophy gate receipts being shared equally between both clubs.
Elliott’s men were well worth their shock weekend win over the Cumbrians.
Jonny Wright’s 13th-minute header gave Workington a slender half-time advantage but Town were left wondering just how they had not scored.
Shane Kelsey saw five good chances come and go for the hosts as he had a first-half to forget in front of goal.
The Bradford City youth product wasn’t to be denied his goal and in the 65th minute he got his side on level terms.
Gareth Arnison had two good chances for the visitors but it was Town who put their name in the first round draw.
Substitute Andrew Catton sent a powerful low free-kick through a wall of bodies and into the back of the net to spark wild scenes of celebrations among the Town players, coaching staff and fans.
“That was the pleasing thing, that we deserved the win,” Elliott commented.
“We had enough chances to score in the first half and I went into half-time deflated.
“But we regrouped, had a chat and went at it again in the second half and it paid off.”
Elliott experienced the first round of the FA Trophy as a player for Harrogate Town when they took on Doncaster Rovers but says the trip to Stockport will be his biggest game in management.
“I’ve been there before as a player but it’ll be my biggest game as manager,” he said.
“We have five or six players who’ve played the game at a professional level before so it won’t phase them.
“We also have five or six players who could be playing in the biggest game of their careers so far.”
Town will be running coaches to Edgeley Park leaving the ground at 12pm and priced £10 for adults and £5 under-16s.
Contact James Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Town turn their attentions to the league today with a trip to Salford City.
Kelsey is suspended but Wes Milnes and Grant Darley are set to return and Jimmy Eyles, who signed from Nostell MW at the weekend, could feature.
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest football news from around the area.