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FA Cup preview - FC United versus Gainsborough Trinity

FC United go into the second qualifying round of the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON on Saturday against Conference North side Gainsborough Trinity and superstitious supporters may like to take the following into consideration.

United currently lie 11th in the Evo-Stik Premier League, a position which has held a special place in Red hearts since the 2008-09 season. During that campaign, our first year in the Northern Premiership, we made the 11th spot our own.

For several weeks, no matter what Karl Marginson’s side did - win, lose or draw - they were left occupying 11th spot. It became very homely and reassuring at number 11 until a late charge of playing four games every 11 days saw the Reds rocket up the table to sixth place.

It could be argued it’s purely coincidentally that the Reds have found themselves in 11th place so far this season but there’s more, read on.

When FC United were drawn out of the big FA Cup sponsored by E.ON hat against Radcliffe Borough (or Lancaster) a few weeks ago what number was our fixture? Yep, you’ve guessed it, it was number 11. And if that wasn’t weird enough, our tie for this weekend came out of the hat as match number 11 too.

Even though this season is only our fourth in the world’s oldest cup competition, how many FA Cup matches have we played? Count them up - Trafford, Fleetwood, Nantwich twice, Sheffield, North Ferriby, Stalybridge Celtic twice, Northwich Victoria, Radcliffe. That’s 10, making Saturday our 11th ever FA Cup fixture.

Now, we all know that 11 is a special number. For a start you can turn it upside-down, back-to-front or inside-out and it always comes out looking the same. 11 is obviously the number of Red shirted heroes that take to the pitch at the beginning of every match. And 11 is the amount of times Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, who wears the number 11 shirt, has won the English football title as well as the number of times United have won the FA Cup.

But you knew all that already and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it sounds like the official site has run out of material as it desperately tries to stretch the connection between the number 11 and all things United.

However, you’d be wrong, there’s one more to come. Does anyone know Margy’s date of birth? It’s the 11th of the 11th of course.

FC United versus Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup is this Saturday at Gigg Lane. Fortunately it’s not an 11 o’clock kick-off to suit a TV company, it’s 3 o’clock and it’s pay on the gate with prices £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £2 for under-18s.

And you know what that means don’t you? It means a dad and lad (or mum and daughter!) can go to the match together, buy a half-time draw ticket, cheer on United for 90 minutes and it’ll only cost them £11.

Get yourself to that football ground.

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First Posted ~ 14:14 Thu 23 Sep 2010
News ID ~ 3112
Last Updated ~ 12:26 Mon 21 May 2018