Mariners handed Stockport County challenge in Emirates FA Cup

South Shields have been drawn at home to National League North side Stockport County in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The tie is due to be played at Mariners Park on Saturday, September 22.

Stockport are 11th in National League North but are synonymous with the Football League.

They lost their Football League status for the first time in 106 years in 2011, having played in the second tier as recently as the 1990s.

Shields joint manager Lee Picton is relishing the chance to come up against the Hatters.

He said: “It’s a fantastic draw.

“First and foremost we were looking for a home draw, so we’re pleased to have that.

“The fact we have drawn a former Football League club at Mariners Park adds to the excitement.

“It’s a challenge we’re absolutely relishing and thoroughly looking forward to.”

Shields reached the fourth qualifying round of last season’s Emirates FA Cup, beating two National League North sides – Darlington and York City – along the way.

Picton is hoping another memorable occasion lies in wait.

He added: “It brings back great memories from last year.

“We proved with last year’s team that on our day we can be more than a match for teams at that level.

“We will go into the game on the 22nd with exactly the same belief.

“We feel we’ve added some real quality to our squad since last year’s FA Cup run and I think this is the kind of challenge our new squad will be massively looking forward to.”

Picton is also expecting a bumper gate at Mariners Park.

He said: “Although we enjoy fantastic crowds week-in, week-out, it is more than likely the gate for this game will be comfortably our biggest so far this season, which adds to the glamour and appeal of the tie.

“It’s not too long ago that Stockport were competing in the second tier.

“They’ve still got a fantastic and loyal fanbase, which will help to create a red-hot atmosphere at Mariners Park.”

Ticket details for this game will be announced as soon as they have been agreed between the two clubs.