Marine AFC v Harrogate Town: Sulphurites aiming to avoid becoming victims of FA Cup upset
The League Two Sulphurites face a tricky-looking trip to Merseyside to take on Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Marine on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.
The Lilywhites ply their trade three tiers below Simon Weaver’s men but have previous when it comes to shocking higher-division opponents in what is the world’s oldest national football competition.
As recently as the 2020/21 season, Marine stunned Colchester United as they reached the third round where they were eventually knocked out by a Tottenham Hotspur side featuring Gareth Bale and Dele Alli.
This term, they have already seen off National League North promotion-hopefuls Spennymoor Town and National League FC Halifax Town, whom they beat 1-0 away from home in the previous round to set up their showdown with Harrogate.
Marine’s league form has been similarly impressive, with Neil Young’s side currently sitting fifth in the seventh tier with seven wins from 12 games. They were however beaten 3-1 by St Ives Town – who operate at the same level of the pyramid – in an FA Trophy tie last weekend.
Town’s own recent form has been rather more mixed, the Sulphurites suffering five consecutive defeats on home soil in the lead up to Saturday’s tie. They have however been much better on the road, winning three on the bounce.
And Weaver’s troops boast a decent record when it comes to the FA Cup first round. Last year, they triumphed 1-0 at League Two rivals Bradford City courtesy of an early Matty Daly goal.
In 2021/22 they beat Wrexham 2-1 at home in round one, while their first-ever season in the Football League saw them romp to a 4-1 success over Skelmersdale United at the same stage.
Indeed the last time Harrogate failed to progress into round two was in 2019 when they lost 2-1 at home to Portsmouth, then of League One.
Meanwhile, Town have confirmed that their next fans’ forum will take place on Thursday November 9 at Cedar Court Hotel, 7pm start.
Tickets are free of charge and are available now on the club’s ticketing website.
Chairman Irving Weaver and chief executive officer Sarah Barry will be among those attending to answer fans’ questions alongside first-team boss Simon Weaver.