NORTHWICH Victoria and the FA Cup appear to go hand-in-hand.

Appearances in the proper rounds have been regular occurrences – they reached the Second Round as recently as 2015 – and many of the club’s finest moments have come in this competition.

Whether that is attracting a crowd of almost 30,000 to Manchester City’s old Maine Road ground for a Fourth Round tie with Oldham Athletic in the 1976-77 season or taking a vast army of supporters to Sunderland in 2006, Vics fans have fond memories aplenty of the famous old competition.

Go even further back to the 1800s and you will find them reaching the quarter finals in 1894 and beating Liverpool eight years later.

Having already beaten Padiham in this year’s competition, attempts to continue that romance continue on Saturday as Charnock Richard visit Wincham Park for a Preliminary Round tie.

Victory will mean Steve Wilkes’ side are four wins away from the main draw and the manager wants his side to make their own history.

“You’ve only got to look at social media over the past week from the fans to see the excitement,” he told the Guardian.

“I think they played Sunderland in the proper rounds one year and took 4,500 fans up there.

Northwich Guardian:

Vics had an FA Cup trip to then-Premier League side Sunderland in 2006

“They’ve beaten Watford in the cup and have had a great time in this competition.

“When we were in lockdown, I was ringing the fans to see how they were doing and they were telling me about times of 26,000 on at Maine Road when they played Oldham in the FA Cup.

“This is a club that’s rich with FA Cup memories and if we can win a couple more games, we’d like to make our own.

“If we can get as close to that first round as possible, that would be great.”

Continuing on that road will be no easy feat against a Charnock Richard side they will know plenty about, with both playing in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

They are a side Vics failed to beat in the curtailed 2019-20 season and since then, they have strengthened by adding a player Wilkes knows all too well.

“I love the FA Cup, but you always like to play a new team,” he said.

“You want teams in your league to do as well as you do, but it is what it is. We had a tough one against Padiham in the last round and now we’ll have another tough one against Charnock Richard on Saturday.

“They’ve strengthened up front – they’ve brought Brad Carsley in who I’ve known since he was about 11. He’s a very good player – very strong and powerful.

“I’d like to think we’re stronger as well, so it should be a good game.”