There are few clubs entering the Emirates FA Cup at this stage with as much heritage in the competition as Kettering Town.
The Poppies have scored more goals in the history of the cup than anyone else – 864, 23 more than second-placed Aston Villa – and have reached the first round proper more times than any other club outside of the Football League.
And, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third qualifying round clash against Bamber Bridge, Kettering boss Marcus Law says he wants to write his own chapter in the club’s history.
Kettering Town v Bamber Bridge
Emirates FA Cup
Third round qualifying
3pm, Saturday 10 October
“There’s plenty of stattos around the club always telling us about the number of goals we’ve scored in the competition, or our win ratio. So there’s a bit of pressure on me to win again and keep that going,” said the 40-year-old.
“I’m always conscious of it, since my first reign in charge. In my first season we were knocked out by Rushden & Diamonds, which is not a good debut when you consider it’s a derby and they did so well the year before against Leeds.
“But I took Tamworth to the third round against Everton in 2012. That was the highlight of my 18 years as a manager in the FA Cup. There was a media frenzy in the week building up to it and I can remember what the tie did for the whole town. I look back on that with fond memories and I would love to replicate it.
“The pressure we have on us is whether we can go to the first round, maybe play in front of the TV cameras, not necessarily winning this tie.
"It’s the will to have FA Cup glory. Some non league clubs will, that’s why it’s the best club competition in the world. It brings the whole football community together.
“No matter how big or small the club, they will have their day, that’s why the FA Cup has the heritage that it does.”
Though Bamber Bridge cannot claim to match Kettering’s cup pedigree, there are two members of their squad that trump it hands down.
Former Southampton striker Brett Ormerod has an FA Cup runners-up medal and fellow forward Jon Macken headed the 90th-minute winner when 10-man Manchester City recovered from three goals down against Tottenham to win their fourth-round replay in 2004.
Ex-Preston North End midfielder Paul McKenna is another that now plies his trade at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium and Bamber Bridge manager Neil Crowe admits he often has to pinch himself that the trio are in his dressing room.
“I’m a Preston fan and all three of them have played for the club,” he said. “When we signed Paul McKenna it really was a ‘have we just done that’ kind of moment.
“Even though they are at the end of their careers they pride themselves on their fitness”
Neil Crowe on Brett Ormerod, Paul McKenna and Jon Macken
"I’ve watched him playing at Deepdale and now he’s in my squad at Bamber Bridge.
“You talk to Brett Ormerod and you would never think he has played Premier League football. He is so down to earth and a real football man, who loves playing the game.
“And Jon Macken, he’s told us the story of that night at Tottenham a few times! He’s injured at the moment, but he’s a great influence around the younger lads.
“All three of them are brilliant to work with. When you consider the places they have been, the things they have achieved, they remain very dedicated and super fit.
"Even though they are at the end of their careers they pride themselves on their fitness.”