The home faithful, sang "Oh Accrington is wonderful, oh Accrington is wonderful" - to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In". While Huddersfield Town might beg to differ, the locals' unstinting optimism was ultimately justified yesterday by the kind of injury-time winner that only seems to happen in the best-loved domestic cup competition.
Accrington Stanley, better known for a 1980s milk advertisement than anything involving a football pitch, thoroughly enjoyed their big day, as did their obligatory unlikely hero. Step forward Andy Gouck, a footballer-cum-residential social worker who came on as a substitute with only three minutes of normal time remaining.
Until his spectacular winner, the nearest thing to romance at The Interlink Express Stadium on the greyest of afternoons in the heart of industrial Lancashire had been an amply proportioned streaker dancing around the pitch clad only in trainers and a pair of socks.
"I said to the manager: 'Get me on the pitch and I'll score the winner'," Gouck explained.
John Coleman, the man in question, gave an alternative explanation. "I'd promised whoever scored a goal would get a Holland's pie," Coleman said. "Mind you, Andy's always first in the queue for them anyway!"
The referee, Mike Jones, had added five minutes of extra time - most of which was accounted for by the time it had taken two veteran stewards to chase, confront and restrain the interloper. It was opportunity enough for Gouck to settle the tie with a viciously swerving 25-yarder directly in front of the most boisterous of Accrington's 3,000 supporters.
"Who let the Gouck out?" read the hoisted banner. The rotund former Blackpool, Rochdale, Southport and Morecambe midfielder is a cult figure in these parts - and that was before he had performed his party piece. Gouck, 31, who started on the bench after being suspended for the previous game, was released by Rochdale six years ago after starting his career at his hometown club, Blackpool.
Until his moment of glory, this had been a poor match, not helped by Jon Worthington, the Huddersfield midfielder, being sent off on 16 minutes for no more than a fractionally late challenge on Rory Prendergast.
Not that the Third Division team appeared to be at a numerical disadvantage. They created more chances than their hosts and on another day Andy Booth would have scored at least twice.
"It wasn't a great game," Coleman admitted. "Hopefully next time the cameras are here we'll do better, but before today I'd never managed a team in the first round of the FA Cup and now I'm in the secound round so I'm delighted."
A long trip to the south coast awaits, where Bournemouth will provide the opposition. Despite the distance, most of Accrington will doubtless be there to cheer them on their way.
Accrington Stanley (4-4-2): Kennedy; Cavanagh, Williams, Halford (Smith, h-t), Hollis; Calcutt (Jackson, 67), Procter, Cook (Gouck, 87), Prendergast; Mullin, James. Substitutes not used: Speare (gk), Armstrong.
Huddersfield Town (5-3-2): Gray (Senior, 90); Holdsworth, Scott (Brown, 90), Clarke, Sodje, Lloyd; Worthington, Holland (Mattis, 81), Schofield; Stead, Booth. Substitutes not used: Hughes, Mirfin.
Referee: M Jones (Ellesmere Port).
Bookings: Huddersfield Booth; Accrington Stanley Halford, Cavanagh, Procter.
Sending off: Huddersfield Worthington.
Man of the match: Gouck
Northampton v Weston-super-Mare
Rochdale v Thurrock or Luton Town
Colchester v Aldershot
Macclesfield v Cambridge
Peterborough v Grimsby
Bristol City v Barnsley
Oldham v Blackpool
Burton Albion v Hartlepool
Gravesend v Notts County
Telford v Brentford
Woking v Kidderminster
Hornchurch v Tranmere
Bournemouth v Accrington
Cheltenham v Leyton Orient
Yeovil v Barnet or Stalybridge
Port Vale or Ford Utd v Scarborough
Wycombe v Mansfield
Southend Utd or Canvey Island v Lincoln City
Scunthorpe v Sheffield Wednesday
Swansea v Stevenage
Matches to be played 6 and 7 DecemberReuse content