Town revel in their big day

THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS: A tale of two Newcastles in the FA Cup...
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The Independent Online
These days, any team called Newcastle will catch the eye - and the presence of Newcastle Town in the first round proper of the FA Cup is bound to trigger a stream of enquiries. Whereabouts on Tyneside do they play? Does Sir John Hall own them as well?

In fact, Newcastle Town cannot remotely be described as neighbours to the giants of St James' Park, even though Kevin Keegan's team have trained on their ground. This Newcastle carries the suffix "under-Lyme" and if they live in anyone's shadow it is the one cast by Stoke City, whose Victoria Ground is but a mile and a half away.

Not that anyone connected with the North West Counties League oufit minds correcting the odd misapprehension or two.To a club whose own "Toon Army" amounts to barely 150 supporters, any publicity is welcome. To be drawn at home to Notts County after Saturday's victory over Bamber Bridge is just the kind of boost they hoped the Cup would provide.

"We are a young club and nobody knows too much about us, even around the Potteries," John Cotton, the club's secretary explained. "We've only ever paid money for one player and we have to rely on sponsorship and the revenue from pre-season friendlies to pay our way.

"With no history to speak of, and no crowd, this game will provide a tremendous boost. We are already anticipating a crowd of 4,000 and it looks 99 per cent certain the game will be played at the Victoria Ground."

Given that several of Town's squad - Shaun Wade, Dave Ritchie and Andy Holmes among them - are former Stoke players, they will feel quite at home.