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PREVIEW | Ashton Athletic

The focus returns to the FA Cup this weekend and the Magpies have been handed a plumb tie in the latest qualifying round against Ashton Athletic, a side plying their trade in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

And of the 40 matches taking place in the Third Round Qualifying stage this match has been selected by the BBC to be shown live through BBC Online.

A packed out attendance is predicted at Athletic’s Brocstedes Park ground on Saturday afternoon and, because it’s being aired live on the BBC website, it will kick off at the earlier time of 12:30pm.

Matt Jansen is particularly looking forward to this game because of the nationwide coverage it will be getting but is wary of the potential upset that could happen.  “It’s a potential banana skin but so was the tie against Stalybridge Celtic, as when you play a team from the lower leagues they always look at a game against you as something of a cup final itself.”

And Athletic would love nothing more than to cause a major upset against their National League North opponents in front of the BBC cameras.  Having never reached this stage of the competition before, they have seen off Squires Gate, Runcorn Linnets, Albion Sports and neighbours Bamber Bridge in the four previous rounds.  This will be a tough test for the side three divisions below the Magpies but one they will relish.

The 2017 Lancashire FA Trophy winners can score goals as well, scoring no less than fourteen in their four FA Cup matches so far.  They’ve lost just one game all season and are also through to the First Round proper of the FA Vase.

Jansen knows his side will be confident they can emerge victorious however and added “the lads are going into the game on the back of five wins out of six and it’s been a fantastic month for us that can hopefully continue again on Saturday.”

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