Lancaster City begin their Isuzu FA Trophy journey this weekend with a home tie against City of Liverpool.
The Dolly Blues will take on the NPL Division One West side in the Third Qualifying Round at The Giant Axe on Saturday.
Lancaster gave a very good account of themselves in the competition last season, exiting in the second round proper following defeat to National League North side Chester, but it was a game they were unlucky to lose.
They went even further in the 2021/22 edition of the trophy, losing out in the third round to Morpeth Town on penalties.
Lancaster had a strong start to the season, occupying second in the NPL Premier Division before the games on September 23 got under way, but have suffered two consecutive league defeats and an FA Cup exit in the previous couple of weeks.
The club announced on Sunday, the eve of manager Mark Fell’s five-year anniversary at The Giant Axe, that Fell and his coaching staff have committed themselves to the club “following social media speculation”.
A spokesperson for Lancaster City said: “Both Mark and the board share the vision to continue to drive towards a more professional approach across all parts of our club and we’re delighted that Mark and his team have committed to the club and share that vision.”
Just like the FA Cup, in which the Dolly Blues got to the third qualifying round but were knocked out by Ashton United last weekend, the FA Trophy is of huge financial value to the clubs who compete in it.
The winners of Saturday’s tie will receive £2,450 from the FA.
Lancaster’s opponents, City of Liverpool, are currently second from bottom in the NPL Division One West, having picked up just four points from their opening seven league games.
In the second qualifying round, they beat Witton Albion – coincidentally the team Lancaster City beat in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup – to progress to this round.
In the first qualifying round, they beat 1874 Northwich.
Lancaster City v City of Liverpool kicks off at 3pm on Saturday (October 7) at The Giant Axe.