Sport

FA Cup can stir Accrington Stanley spirit

Reds hope to get a run going by reaching the third round

Marcus Carver (right) celebrates with Andy Procter after scoring the winner against Notts County in the first round(Image: kipax.com)

STANLEY manager John Coleman hopes to get Accrington buzzing again by embarking on an FA Cup run.

Although the Reds knocked League One Notts County out in the first round, barely 1,000 were there to see it as it was a bitterly cold night and the England-Scotland friendly was live on TV.

But Stanley are at home for Saturday’s second-round tie against a Yeovil side struggling in League One.

And that’s got the Reds dreaming of emulating their most memorable run under Coleman in 2003/04.

Stanley were still in the Conference but knocked out Division Three Huddersfield and Division Two Bournemouth before losing to Colchester in the third round.

More than 4,300 crammed into the Crown Ground for the first Colchester game (the U’s won the replay) and Coleman hopes to generate the same atmosphere.

“If we play well and go on a run then hopefully it’ll be the same again,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd on Saturday and they’ll get behind us.

“We’ve been having problems trying to compete because of our gates but we’ve got to help bring people through the door.

“We’ve got to inspire them to come down and get that spirit going again.”

Getting past Yeovil would be worth another £27,000 from the FA Cup prize fund, as well as the possibility of being handed a money-spinning tie in the third round.

And while there’s the prestige of facing a Premier League club, Coleman admits the cash is crucial, given Stanley are averaging less than 1,400 at home.

“It’s a big game for us,” he said. “The financial aspect is massive.

“Of course we want to progress and have the chance to play a Premier League club but there’s a big incentive financially too. We can’t ignore that.”

Stanley have only reached the third round once since that run in 2003/04, when they beat Gillingham to earn a fourth-round tie against Fulham just four days later. The Premier League side won 3-1 at the the Store First Stadium.

But Yeovil have some cup pedigree themselves having embarked on one of the competition’s most famous runs in 1948/49.

Then of the Southern League, they knocked out Bury and Sunderland before facing Manchester United in the fifth round, only to lose 8-0 to Sir Matt Busby’s side.

The Glovers overcame League One rivals Crawley in this year’s first round but are second-bottom in the league table.

Although Stanley got past a Notts County side at the other end of League One, they slipped to 13th in League Two after losing 3-2 at home to Exeter last Friday.