THE next game cannot come quickly enough for 1874 Northwich.

Not only will they have an FA Cup horror show to get out of their system, but they have the chance to make a bit of history, too.

They welcome West Yorkshire-based Shelley FC to Townfield on Saturday in the semi final of the 2019-20 Macron Cup.

Should they come through Saturday and the final against either AFC Liverpool or Runcorn Town, 1874 would retain the trophy they won so memorably in the 2018-19 season – something no team has done since its inception in 1982.

With the new league season pushed back until October 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the North West Counties League made a commitment to finishing off its cup competitions from the last campaign.

For that – and the instant chance to get Tuesday’s 6-1 home humbling by Warrington Rylands 1906 out of their system – 1874 co-manager Wayne Goodison is grateful.

> How 1874 Northwich were sent crashing out of the FA Cup

“It’s good that they want to finish the competition off. We got to the semi final on merit so we’ve now got a chance to play that,” he said.

“With the Macron, we all enjoyed getting to the final last year.

“When last season started, we said we would do our best to try and defend it and we have the opportunity to do that.

“We didn’t know we’d be the first to do it, but that will motivate us now.

“It won’t be easy for us and we’ve got to perform well on Saturday. We’ve had Shelley watched a couple of times and they are a decent side.

“They will probably come here with nothing to lose and thinking we’ll lack confidence because of what happened on Tuesday.

“If we come through on Saturday, we’ll take the final as it comes. If we don’t, we’ll keep on preparing for the league.”

The unique nature of the current circumstances – with Covid-19 still very present – means competitive cup fixtures are being played in and around pre-season friendlies.

Should 1874 progress, they would play the final on Saturday, September 26 – a week before their NWCFL Premier Division campaign kicks off.

“It’s just such a strange situation that we’re in,” Goodison said.

“We’ve had two competitive fixtures and then another run of friendlies.

“The bottom line is we are still in pre-season, but that’s just the circumstances at the moment.

“The good thing is for us is having this game on Saturday because players generally want to get poor performances out of their system quickly.”