CONFIDENCE is coursing through the Vauxhall Motors camp on the eve of their massive FA Cup tie at the weekend.
Nearly eight years to the day they famously knocked-out Queens Park Rangers at the same stage, non-league Motors head to Hartlepool United on Saturday (3pm) with a growing self-belief they can pull off another giant-killing act and dump the Football League side out of the first round.
Vauxhall chairman Alan Bartlam said: “Excitement is building and now we’re all looking forward to what is a massive game for the club. I think we can go there believing we can possibly create an upset.”
Bartlam’s view is shared by manager Carl Macauley after his in-form side stretched their unbeaten run to nine matches with a battling 3-2 victory over Hyde United in Blue Square North on Saturday given to them by goals from Andy Nicholas (2) and Chris Noone.
Macauley said: “If we didn’t believe we can win the game there would be no point going up to Hartlepool.
“We will be the underdogs, but cup shocks happen as this club knows and as we saw last year when Northwich Victoria knocked-out Charlton Athletic.”
Macauley will have a near full-strength squad to choose from for the clash with Mick Wadsworth’s Hartlepool, who play three divisions higher up the English football pyramid than their visitors to Victoria Park in League One.
QPR were playing at the same level when Motors beat them on penalties at Loftus Road – and if the Ellesmere Port outfit can repeat history and reach the second round for only the second time, they would walkaway with £18,000 in prize money to take their winnings in this year’s FA Cup up to £42,500.
But Vauxhall are already guaranteed a bumper pay day as they will be entitled to 40% of the gate receipts from Saturday’s game.
Macauley will now spend the rest of the week doing his homework on Hartlepool, whose most famous fan is Soccer Saturday and Countdown television presenter Jeff Stelling.
Airbus UK Broughton’s winless run stretched to 11 games when they lost 4-2 at home to Carmarthen Town in the Welsh Premier League on Saturday.
Nick Rushton and Andy Moran were on target for Airbus, who host The New Saints in the third round of the Welsh Cup tomorrow (7.30pm).