Dinnington preparing for their biggest day

IT is the biggest day in re-formed Dinnington Town's history on Saturday - and they are even taking on England as well!

The little Northern Counties East League club have made massive strides since reforming just seven years ago and the former pit village is buzzing with cup fever in anticipation of their big FA Cup day this weekend.

They take on former Football League side Bradford Park Avenue at their tidy Phoenix Park ground on Saturday in the third qualifying round - just two matches away from making the first round proper and the entry of League clubs.

In view of such interest - and the best FA Cup run by a Dinnington side for over 70 years - the club is expecting their biggest ever crowd.

Despite attempts to change both the day and kick off time, they will start at 3pm which puts them in direct confrontation with England's Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia.

"There is a heck of a lot of interest in the tie and we'll have a good crowd there but it's a pity we're clashing with England," said Dinnington secretary Chris Dearns.

"I think it is inevitable that the televising of England will keep people away but we're still expecting our record crowd although many years ago the old ground did have more when previous Dinning-ton teams enjoyed success.

"We wanted to play on Friday night but Bradford did not agree. Then we suggested a 1pm kick off but they said it still wouldn't give them time to get back and watch the England game. They didn't want a noon kick off either."

The record crowd - 622 - came when Dinnington had their spot of FA Cup history this season.

They were chosen by the FA to kick off the entire competition on August 17 by staging their home tie with local rivals Maltby Main in the extra preliminary round. It was brought forward to the Friday night and they pulled off a surprise 2-1 win.

In addition to Maltby they beat Unibond League side Rossendale, Northern League side Penrith and then North West Counties side Cheadle Town.

Bradford Park Avenue, who lost their place in the Football League in 1970, play in the Unibond League North although over half the team have been brought over from Witton Albion.

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