Lancaster City take on Ashton United in the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup this weekend.
The two NPL Premier Division sides meet at The Giant Axe on Saturday (September 30) and, despite both having solid starts to the campaign, their fortunes have been completely different in the past week.
Lancaster City have slipped from second to tenth in the table after suffering two defeats on the bounce – a 4-0 loss at home to Ilkeston Town and a 2-1 defeat on the road to Workington AFC.
Ashton United currently occupy fourth in the league and, since losing 5-0 to Macclesfield on September 9, have picked up maximum points with wins over Guiseley and Bradford Park Avenue.
Lancaster City have beaten Witton Albion and Marske United to make it this far in the FA Cup, while Ashton have progressed past Dunston and Atherton Collieries, the latter after a replay.
From a financial perspective, the FA Cup is hugely important to every non-league club.
Mark Fell has previously spoken about its importance to Lancaster.
At the start of the month, following victory over Witton Albion in the First Qualifying Round, he told Beyond Radio that money from the competition is “certainly welcome”.
“We’re on a tight budget here and we need to make sure that we utilise all of our resources and all the money we can get into the club, so if we can get even further in the cup and have an FA Trophy run, that’d be unbelievable.”
Lancaster will receive £5,625 should they progress on Saturday.
This week, Lancaster have discovered who they will be playing in the next rounds of their two other ongoing cup campaigns.
They will face City of Liverpool at home in the Third Qualifying Round of the Isuzu FA Trophy in their first game of the competition this season on October 7.
In the second round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy, they will play Prestwich Heys – the team they beat 6-1 in 2021 to win the postponed final of the 2019/20 competition. The tie will also be played at the Giant Axe week commencing November 13.
Lancaster City v Ashton United in the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup kicks off at 3pm on Saturday (September 30) at The Giant Axe.