A place in the Fourth Round is at stake this Saturday as FC United�€trade;s quest for FA Carlsberg Vase glory continues when they meet Loughborough�€trade;s Quorn FC at Gigg Lane, a club which boasts a few famous former players. John Freeman and Matthew Haley provide this preview�€�
After a disappointing last couple of results, the Reds will be determined to get back to winning ways against Quorn. The Leicestershire side are currently in sixth position, 20 points behind leaders Leamington, in the Midland Football Alliance, which is at step five of the non-league pyramid, the same as the North West Counties Division One.
Like FC United their recent form isn�€trade;t great, having suffered two straight defeats to less highly ranked opposition. Coalville Town dumped them out of the league cup 2-0 at home this weekend and Strafford Town beat them 3-0 in the league the week before that.
However, Quorn have earned their place in Round Three and they will be hoping to turn up the heat on Karl Marginson�€trade;s men who have never before gone two competitive games in a row without victory.
Margy has made no secret of the grilling he has given to his underperforming players after they gained one point from the last six and has told them in no uncertain terms that they must do better.
Although league form will count for nothing on Saturday, he will be expecting them to recreate the type of performances that gained deserved victories over Brodsworth Miners Welfare, Padiham and Salford City in the previous rounds.
Whilst United were overcoming those three, Quorn were seeing off Midland Combination Division One outfit Heather Athletic FC 5-0 at home in the Second Qualifying Round, before overcoming two league rivals Market Drayton Town 2-1 away in the First Round Proper and Boldmere St Michaels 1-0 away in Round Two.
Officially established in 1924 as Quorn Methodists, the club is one of the oldest in Leicestershire and as a small village team is especially proud of its ability to produce players who have gone on to achieve at a higher level including two England strikers.
Chairman Stuart Turner explains: �€�The club is extremely proud of the fact that two players who started their careers with Quorn Football Club went on to play for the full England international side. Both of them played in the number nine jersey and they were Jackie Lee in the 1940s and Dion Dublin in the 1990s. This is something, almost certainly, that no other senior amateur club in England has achieved.�€�
The club also helped to produce Crewe Alexandra striker Luke Varney, who incidentally many Reds will remember scored against Manchester United earlier this season in the Carling Cup. Varney was sold to Crewe in March 2003 for �£50,000 with a 20% sell-on clause and as a number of Premiership clubs are now taking an interest in the 24-year-old, Quorn could be in line for a much needed cash injection.
Back to Saturday�€trade;s game though, Quorn manager Marcus Law has followed the FC United story from the start and is looking forward to getting the chance to play against them. He said: �€�Aside from actually winning the Vase, this is the match we wanted �€“ a �€�Cup Final�€trade; for us. We have had a good start to the season and are looking for a top four finish in our league. We have already had our best ever FA Cup run this season and we will be coming to Gigg Lane for a result. We are a footballing side and the Gigg Lane pitch will suit us.�€�
FC United of Manchester versus Quorn FC in Round Three of the FA Carlsberg Vase is this Saturday 3pm at Gigg Lane, Bury. It�€trade;s pay on the gate and prices are �£7 for adults, �£5 for OAPS and �£2 for under-18s. It should also be noted, particularly for supporters going to the derby, that a late turnstile will be open at Gigg Lane until 3.45pm.
For more of Margy�€trade;s views and more information on our opponents, including how Alan Shearer once came within inches of pulling on a Quorn FC shirt only to be denied my an unfortunate mix up, get the matchday programme for �£2.