The likes of Altrincham, Yeovil Town and Woking have written their names into FA Cup giantkilling folklore, but Stourbridge have every right to be ranked alongside them after their recent form in the competition.




Over the past eight seasons the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club have reached the FA Cup First Round on five occasions, reaching the Second Round on four of those.

A Third Round tie has been a step too far but once again they are on the brink of a potential glamour tie against one of the Premier League’s elite, with SkyBet League One side Northampton Town standing in their way.

And despite reaching the First Round on a regular basis, Stourbridge boss Gary Hackett admitted that the special feeling that the FA Cup brings never fails to disappoint.

“It never becomes expected, we are still very grateful that we are there and it’s always an amazing occasion” said the former West Bromwich Albion player.

“The whole of the town is buzzing, it is a complete sell-out and we probably could have fit another half in as well.

“We have been very fortunate with our FA Cup runs and we know that.

“There are a lot of clubs local to us that can’t seem to get a cup run going and we have done it five times in eight years but we are still enjoying it as much as the first one.

“It is exciting times for the football club and the town”

It would be easy for Hackett to be frustrated with the lack of recognition for his side’s achievements. stour celebs

Over the past few years Warrington Town, Salford City and Blyth Spartans have received widespread publicity for their FA Cup exploits during their time alongisde the Glassboys in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Hackett was adamant that recognition will come in time and believes that his side deserve to be “up there” with the famous giantkillers.

“It is a great achievement and something that we should be proud of but it’s something you don’t maybe appreciate at the time.

“There are clubs that have been there and done it, they get the recognition after the runs. 

“I do believe we should be up there”

“I think people are starting to realise what a great cup side we are now but we still relish it each time it happens”

Peterborough Sports, Mickleover Sports, Ilkeston and Nantwich Town were beaten in the Qualifying Rounds to send the Glassboys into the First Round proper once again.

They were handed an away tie against Vanarama National League South club Whitehawk, securing a replay with a 1-1 draw.

That game has become infamous for a controversial refereeing decision that saw a late Whitehawk “goal” denied by the match official blowing for full time when Hawks midfielder Javier Favarel was in the process of volleying at goal.

Hackett brushed off any suggestion that his side were fortunate to get past the South Coast club, stating that Glassboys more than deserved their win in the replay at their War Memorial Athletic Ground.

He said “The thing with the Whitehawk tie was the situation around the disallowed goal in the first game.  The referee blew the whistle before the shot was taken and we knew that, our keeper knew and our players knew.

stour crowd“Their complaint was that the referee shouldn’t have blown until the ball was out of play but I don’t get the whole controversy.  It was blown out of all proportion”

“I’ve got to say in the replay we played very well.  We didn’t get lucky, we deserved to beat them.

“It was a real boost for us because it was never going to be easy playing a club from higher up the league pyramid.

“Finally, we got our reward of a home tie and perhaps on another day we would have got a live television tie”

That home tie brings Northampton Town to the West Midlands on Sunday.

Last season’s League Two champions sit in seventeenth position in the SkyBet League One table, although go into the game on the back of four straight defeats in the league.

The BBC cameras will be at the game as part of their Final Score programme as they look to capture another famous FA Cup giantkilling.

Those upsets come in every round according to the Glassboys boss, as he urged his players to believe that they can be the club to cause that upset this weekend.

“You have to believe but we know it would be one hell of a shock” admitted Hackett.

“We can’t forget they are a League One side but we have players that, if we are on a good day, and Northampton have a bad day, anything can happen.

“That is why it is a sellout and that is why the cameras are there.

“They want to see an upset, there is always one in every round and we have to believe that the surprise can be us”

Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: www.actionimages.com


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