North West Counties Premier Division side Colne have landed a plush FA Vase tie with competition favourites Shildon AFC.
The Railwaymen, currently 10th in the Ebac Northern League Division One, are 6/1 with bookmakers BetVictor to go all the way and lift the silverware.
Gary Forrest’s side reached the semi-final of the competition in the 2012/13 campaign where they were knocked out by Tunbridge Wells courtesy of a 4-3 defeat on aggregate.
But the Reds are in fine form and have earned the Non League Review’s Team of the Week accolade following a 4-1 away win at rivals Barnoldswick Town and a 5-1 triumph over fourth place AFC Liverpool at the Arriva Stadium.
Danny Boyle scored a hat-trick in both fixtures to take his tally to 16 for the season in all competitions. Only Ryan Cox (20) and Runcorn Linnets’ Kevin Towey (17) have proved more prolific to date.
Boss Steve Cunningham, who guided his men to this stage with a 2-1 win over Penrith and a 4-0 victory against Heaton Stannington FC, said: “The draw is a massive pat on the back to all the people involved at Colne that have been working hard to put the club where it is. It’s a nice reward for all the graft and effort that has been going on behind the scenes.
“It’s also reward for the players and the fans. The support has been incredible and the numbers have been increasing week on week. For this level of football the noise they make is unreal.”
Cunningham added: “Shildon are favourites to win the competition. They’ve reached the first round qualifying stage of the FA Cup as well where they beat Padiham along the way. It’s a big test for us and we’ll be huge underdogs.
“It would be a real coup if we can take Shildon as a scalp. We’ll be well prepared and we certainly won’t be fearful of them but we know we’ll need to be at our best if we want to compete and have a chance of progressing.”
The First Round tie will be played at the XLCR Stadium on Saturday, November 1st, kick-off at 3 p.m.