Ecstatic Ossett Town boss Craig Elliott has labelled his club’s dream FA Trophy draw with Stockport County as a perfect one – after the Ingfielders were paired with the Blue Square Premier outfit.
In yesterday’s first-round draw Elliott’s troops received a glamorous and money-spinning reward for upsetting Blue Square North outfit Workington in a 2-1 home victory at the weekend and the manager cannot wait to tackle Jim Gannon’s Hatters at Edgeley Park on November 24.
Having banked £7,250 in prize money following their Trophy run so far, which has accounted for Workington, Burscough and Ashton United – Town will pick up a further £5,000 if they get past County.
But win, lose or draw, Town’s coffers should be swelled by a tidy fee in gate money.
Elliott said: “the draw is a brilliant one, it’s absolutely perfect; it could not have been any better – it ticks all the right boxes.
“After Saturday, the first thing you think is: ‘We want to get a big draw in the next round’.
“That was the main thing; while the gate money we will make alone will be worth more than the prize money as they get around 2,500 watching.
“It is superb for the club on the financial side of things. We will get at least 50 per cent of the gate.
“After how well we played on Saturday, you just want some luck in the draw as there were some big teams such as Grimsby, Stockport, Luton and Mansfield. We wanted one of those teams away and we got one.
“It will be a great day out for the lads at an old football league ground. We have nothing to lose and it’s a win-win situation for us.
“It is just the sort of good news the club needed after struggling for the past two or three years. Having come in and being relatively new, I am buzzing.”
Elliott insisted Town fully deserved Saturday’s victory over the Cumbrians, with goals from Shane Kelsey (penalty) and a late winner from Andrew Catton turning the tables after Jonny Wright fired Darren Edmondson’s side in front.
On a famous victory for his Evo-Stik North outfit, Elliott added: “We deserved it. In the first half, we were unlucky to go in 1-0 down as we had played so well and could have been 4-1 up as we created really clear chances.
“After they scored off their first attack, I was a bit deflated. I had to raise the lads’ spirits a bit at half-time and to be fair, in the second half, we were tremendous.
“We dug in at the right times and scored two good goals and really deserved it. And I am so glad that the lads have got their rewards now.
“Shane missed a few chances, but was always there and was supported well by Simon Baldry. Our captain at the back, James Cotterill, also held us together well.
“But on days like that when you are the underdogs, everyone plays their part and you could not really single out individuals. Even the subs came on and saw us through in the last 10 minutes.
“I was so proud of all the lads. Our league form may be a bit patchy, but we seem really on for the Trophy with three wins on the bounce now.”
Guiseley will host fellow Blue Square North high-fliers Brackley in the first round, while Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town – 3-1 winners at Vauxhall Motors at the weekend – travel to Gainsborough Trinity or Hinckley.
And an away draw is not necessarily bad news for Town, desperate to get the CNG Stadium surface in as good a condition as possible for their FA Cup second-round assignment with Hastings United on December 1.
FC Halifax, meanwhile, host Altrincham.
Action tonight sees Glasshoughton and Liversedge welcome Nostell and Scarborough respectively in the NCEL League Cup. Thackley entertain Pickering and Tadcaster journey to Brighouse.
In Division One, Pontefract Collieries go to Teversal, while Selby head to AFC Emley.
Harrogate Railway travel to Sheffield in the Doodson Sport Cup.