Town are in FA Cup action tomorrow when they make the trip across the Pennines to face Marine AFC in round one of the competition.
The game will be played in front of a sell-out crowd at The Marine Travel Arena against the Northern Premier League side with Simon Weaver’s side looking to continue its recent strong form away from home.
Marine, known as The Mariners or the Lilywhites, compete in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. They are currently fifth in the table.
This is their second season back at this level, finishing ninth last season after being promoted following the 2021/22 season. They have won five of their seven games at home this season.
Prior to their relegation in 2019 they had spent 40 consecutive seasons at the Premier Division level.
Former Chester manager Neil Young is at the helm for Marine having been appointed at the start of the 2018/19 season. As well as securing promotion back to the Premier Division, Young also lifted the Liverpool Senior Cup last season with a penalty shoot-out win against Runcorn Linnets.
The club are noted for having the longest serving manager in postwar English football, with Roly Howard occupying the post for over 30 years and almost 2,000 games until 2005.
FA Cup spotlight
Town have made it beyond the first round in each of the last four seasons, including a first-ever appearance in the third round back in 2021/22 where they defeated both Wrexham and Portsmouth before being defeated by then Championship side Luton Town.
Last season Simon Weaver’s side knocked out Bradford City in round one thanks to Matty Daly’s early strike before exiting after a 3-1 away defeat at Hartlepool – a game that saw Joe Mattock red carded.
Marine of course reached the third round of the competition back in 2021, where they were defeated 5-0 at Tottenham Hotspur with the gap of 161 places between the two sides the biggest in FA Cup history. They also reached round three back in the 1992/93 season where they were beaten by Crewe Alexandra.
They have made it through to round one this season after victories against Guiseley, Spennymoor Town (both after replays), Hyde United and National League side FC Halifax Town.
Mark Oxley will be missing for the next couple of months after sustaining a ruptured calf tendon in last weekends defeat at home to Crewe Alexandra.