STEVE Wilkes is hoping a bit of inside information can give his Northwich Victoria side the jump on FA Cup opponents Lancaster City.

Vics make the trip to the Giant Axe Stadium on Saturday, kick off 3pm, to face a Dolly Blues side who ply their trade two divisions higher up the football pyramid.

However, Wilkes can call upon three former Lancaster players in the shape of Rob Henry, Ryan Winder and Tom Kilifin, whose two injury-time goals in the previous round against Prescot Cables set up this tie.


“We’ve got three lads who have played for Lancaster City, so that adds a little bit of extra spice to it,” he said.

“All three of them are buzzing to be going up there.

“Ryan Winder played 250-odd games for Lancaster, Tom Kilifin did similar and now we’ve got Rob Henry who played even more.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a bit of an insight into them. Rob only joined us a few weeks ago so it should be quite up-to-date.”

As the victory over Cables demonstrates, Vics already have form for upsetting the odds in this year’s competition.

They also go into the game fresh from a 12-day break from fixtures having not played since their 8-0 thrashing of Litherland REMYCA on Bank Holiday Monday.

Lancaster should prove to be another step up in class but Wilkes says his side can play with the freedom of being underdogs in the first qualifying round tie.

It also looks likely Vics will be backed by a healthy travelling contingent for the trip up the M6, with fans packing out several coaches.

“ We’ve already got two coaches full of fans going up there and we’re well on with selling a third so it should be a fantastic atmosphere,” he said.

“You hear managers in these kinds of ties all the time saying they are free hits for the lower team, and it is for us.

“I’m sure everyone outside Northwich Victoria Football Club will be expecting Lancaster City to win.

“They should win as they are two divisions above us, but football isn’t as simple as that.

“If we give a good account of ourselves on the day, I’ll be happy and we won’t have let anybody down.

“Everyone expects us to lose, so we can go and play with a bit of freedom.”