BUXTON FC boss Martin McIntosh believes his side will have “nothing to lose” when they take on non-league big guns Grimsby Town in one of the plum ties of the FA Trophy first round proper.
The Bucks’ reward for beating Stamford AFC 2-0 at the weekend - courtesy of a first-half brace by talisman Mark Reed - will be a trip to face Blue Square Bet Premier high-flyers Grimsby on Saturday November 24 (kick-off 3pm).
It will be the Silverlands side’s first appearance in the first round proper since 1989, and their ninth fixture in FA competitions so far this season - seven of which have been away from home.
Assessing Saturday’s performance, McIntosh paid tribute to his depleted squad: “I thought it was an outstanding performance, considering we only had 11 fit players and with three under-19s on the bench, plus we lost Marc Roberts after 20 minutes. All credit to the players.
“I am delighted (to reach the first round). I think we have played more cup games this season than any other team in our division, which is a phenomenal achievement.
“I would have preferred to get a lesser team, at home, with a better chance of progression, but against Grimsby we will have nothing to lose. We have got players in our camp that can cause them problems. But it will be tough, against a team that really should be in the Football League.”
Opponents Grimsby, jointly-managed by Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, are currently riding high in the Blue Square Bet Premier in second spot. The Mariners’ 100-year stay in the Football League came to an end in 2010.
During his playing days at Huddersfield, McIntosh spent a month out on loan at Grimsby.
“I loved it there,” he said. “It’s a tremendous club, well run, with a great fan base and a real professional set-up, and the lads will go there with no fear and will really love it.”
And with Grimsby averaging crowds of more than 3,000 at Blundell Park, the Bucks are set for another big payday, having already collected £24,800 in prize money, in addition to gate receipts, during FA competitions this season.
Before the Trophy tie, however, Buxton face a double-header of Evo-Stik League Premier Division fixtures, starting on Saturday with the visit of Kendal Town to the Silverlands (kick-off 3pm). The Bucks then travel to Nantwich Town next Tuesday evening (kick-off 7.45pm). And with the squad hit by injuries and suspensions, McIntosh is hopeful of bringing in a few new faces.
“These are two games that are very important to us,” the manager added. “The league is the bread and butter. We are in a good position with games in hand, but we need to start getting points on the board.”