"WILL YOUR COACHES BE NUMBERED?"
The FA Cup takes centre stage again this Saturday with FC’s visit to Northern League side Norton & Stockton Ancients in the 3rd Qualifying Round, kick off 3.00 pm.
With the first round proper only two wins away both sides will be going all out for a win. Nothing can be taken for granted despite the fact that Norton play two levels below FC. Four Northern League sides have made it through to this stage of the competition including Whitley Bay who won 3-2 away at Nantwich in the last round and Shildon who beat Skelmersdale 2-0. Norton themselves beat Leigh Genesis 2-1.
Our hosts on Saturday have been in regular touch with the Club to make sure our supporters are well catered for. Prices are £6 for adults and £3 for concessions. It is pay on the gate, however tickets will be on sale in the Social Club before the game for a ticket only turnstile to help ease the last minute congestion getting into the ground.
The football ground is part of a larger sports complex on Station Road, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, TS20 1PE with a capacity of 2500. There is a small stand with 160 seats so if you prefer to sit down then you are recommended to get there early to stake your claim. There is also a small covered standing area which no doubt FC supporters will make full use of.
Entrance to the site is down a narrow lane with no room for vehicles passing. Norton have respectfully requested that coaches and minibuses arrive there before 2.00 pm and drop supporters off at the Social Club which is approximately 500 yards from the ground. The coaches will then be parked up allowing the free flow of cars into the large parking area for which there is no charge. Coaches and minibuses will be brought out after the game after cars have left to pick up supporters at the Social Club again.
The Social Club is a good size and will open at 11.00 am, stop serving at 2.45 pm before reopening later. It serves Fosters, Carling, Worthington Cream Flow, John Smith Smooth, Tetley Imperial, McEwen 80 Bob, Woodpecker, Magners and Black Sheep all on draught. They have also offered if coaches wish to ring through the first order they can have them ready for them and the number is 01642 554031.
For those hungry souls 200 pies & peas, 100 Mince and 100 Steak & Gravy, will be on sale in the Social Club prior to the game. In the ground there be will a chuck wagon and a tea hut to serve various food and drink such as tea, coffee, cold drinks, burgers, hot dogs, chips, pies etc. They have also agreed to have a kids sweet stall following a request from our FCU’th.
The journey by car should take about 2 hours from Manchester or slightly less on a good day. Get on the M62 and when past Leeds take junction 29 north (left..) up the M1, then the A1(M) as far as junction 49 and then towards Middlesbrough up the A19. When you get near Middlesbrough just follow your nose and any car with a red scarf in or check here if you need to be more precise http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/story.php?story_id=3129.
The official supporters coach is full but bookings are being taken in the office for a second. Email email@example.com or ring the FC United office on 0161 273 8950 as soon as possible if you want a seat.
For those thinking about traveling by train the nearest station recommended by Norton is Thornaby and from there take a taxi to the ground. Local taxi numbers - Boro/Stockton Cabs - 01642 222222 -Royal Cars - 01642 655555.
Our hosts are not used to a large traveling support visiting their ground but let’s hope the day goes well as they are putting in every effort to prepare and to make us feel as welcome as possible.
Bring on United!