If Stocksbridge Park Steels can cause an FA Cup upset by beating Stalybridge Celtic, the live BBC cameras better have a camera trained on Chris Hilton.
The Preliminary Round tie at Bracken Moor is being shown on the BBC Sport website as well as the iPlayer on Saturday. Given his FA Cup record as a manager, Hilton might be tempted to run across the pitch to celebrate with the winning goal-scorer in a manner similar to Bob Stokoe’s gallop at the 1973 FA Cup Final when Second Division Sunderland stunned Leeds United, then the country’s top side.
Since taking charge of the Steels in 2014 Hilton has an impressive record in the FA Trophy, but he and the world’s oldest cup competition don’t see eye to eye.
He’s had torrid afternoons against Handsworth, Colwyn Bay and even Irlam and has yet to record a victory in it. Now in their broadcast to the nation, Hilton hopes his men will defeat NPL Premier Division outfit Stalybridge to end the bad record.
I’m sick of being told I’ve never won a game as a manager in the FA Cup and it is something I want to put right,” luck and we’re always up against it and we’re up against it again against a team from the Division above and who are one of the biggest clubs in it at this stage.
But we’re prepared right and hopefully we will have a bit of luck this year. We definitely won’t be sitting back. We’re the home side and many people how we play and we won’t be going gung-ho, but we’ll have certain plans about how we can cause them problems. We also know there’ll be certain things we have to vary of doing so we don’t live the back door open. It might be cat and mouse to start to with, but we’ll be attacking as we normally do, that is for sure.Hilton told Non League Yorkshire.
The national media coverage is the latest good news story from Stocksbridge who faced many financial challenges during the early stages of the lockdown.
Thanks to new sponsorship and several fundraising initiatives, the Steels overcame their problems and Hilton admits the live BBC game is almost the icing on the cake.
I was over the moon when I heard we were going to be on the BBC, “It is fantastic for the club, the area and it is fantastic for the players who have stayed loyal. It is a bit of a reward for them sticking by the club and doing what they did (fundraising for the club) in the summer. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a packed house (of up to 400 people) and with the BBC filming live, it adds a bit more to it.
The club was really struggling a few months ago and it is no word of a lie that if the new sponsors hadn’t come in, I’m not sure if we would have been playing in this league (NPL Division One South East).
It is and it isn’t a replacement for the Sheff United and Sheff Wed friendlies. Those games, we got 2000 through the gate and you add that up and it is a lot more than what we’re going to earn being on the BBC and having 400 in.
Having said that, with what is happening in the world and what’s gone off in the last six months and where the club was five months ago, it is fantastic we have got the BBC fixture because it is replacing some revenue.
It is fantastic how it has worked out. There’s businesses who want advertising boards and there’s a few companies who sponsor Stalybridge phoning up wanting boards so it is good. It is great that we’re out there in the public more than ever.
Hopefully we can put on a show and people keep coming back. One person who does not need to worry about making sure his hair is right for the cameras is injured marquee summer signing Joe Lumsden, whose length of absence is unclear.
He needs an op, I knew that when I signed him. He needed one when he was at Ponte and he should have had it by now because he should have had it in July. But because of Covid, all the operations have been put off. He has a bit of bone that needs taking off his ankle. Hopefully it will be in, keyhole, shave it and four weeks later and he’ll be back at it. But he’s had a scan on his ankle to make sure there’s nothing else to do, but they’ve had the results for five results, but he’s not been given them yet. He’s chasing them up every day.Chris Hilton speaking to NLY
Stocksbridge Park Steels’ FA Cup preliminary round tie with Stalybridge Celtic will be broadcast live on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer.
The tie takes place on Saturday (kick off 12:30pm).