Marine v Mourinho: FA Cup minnows draw Tottenham in third round
Marine of the Northern Premier League Division One – in the eighth tier of the English game – have been drawn at home to Tottenham, the Premier League leaders, in the third round of the FA Cup.
The team from Crosby on Merseyside became only the second side from the eighth tier to reach the third round by beating Havant & Waterlooville after extra time on Sunday. The chasm separating them from José Mourinho’s Tottenham is the biggest in history between two clubs in the third round.
“It’s an unbelievable draw,” the Marine manager, Neil Young, told BBC One. Young, who announced he had retired from management in 2016 after leaving Altrincham, returned to the dugout two years later and will soon be welcoming one of football’s most recognisable figures.
“We will plan as best we can. Usually with José’s teams, he puts pretty strong sides out,” Young said. “We have won seven games to get here and this is a great reward. Hopefully by the time it comes round we’ll have 1,600 [fans] in here.”
Marine, who have recently launched a fundraising campaign to improve the facilities at their home ground, will now be guaranteed a bumper payday in January, with the tie an obvious pick for television.
Boreham Wood of the National League will play Millwall after beating Canvey Island of the Isthmian League North Division – another eighth-tier team – on Monday night.
Wayne Rooney, who could soon be Derby’s permanent manager, will return to the north-west at Chorley of the National League North. Stockport, of the National League, have also been handed home advantage in their tie against West Ham.
Arsenal, the holders, face Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium and another all-Premier League tie has Aston Villa against Liverpool at Villa Park.
The League Two side Crawley have been drawn to play Leeds at home and Bristol Rovers have been rewarded for thrashing Darlington 6-0 with a home tie against Sheffield United.
Last season’s beaten finalists, Chelsea, will play Morecambe of League Two at Stamford Bridge and the 2019 winners, Manchester City, will host Birmingham. QPR face Fulham at Loftus Road, while Manchester United have been drawn against Watford at Old Trafford.