Chester v York City: Paddy McLaughlin and Minstermen chasing FA Cup third-round dream
York City are no different. A tricky away trip to Chester City who might be a division below but are effectively only 11 places adrift of the Minstermen, represents a tricky assignment for Neal Ardley’s side, given their disappointing start to the season.
Yet the FA Cup offers a distraction, a chance to fill the coffers, and for players like Paddy McLaughlin the opportunity to create lasting memories.
At 32, the Northern Ireland-born midfielder, pictured, accepts he might not get many more chances.
“For me personally a run to the third round would be absolutely incredible because I might not have too many years left of progressing that far,” he admitted. “I’m not getting ahead of myself be any stretch of the imagination and hopefully we take the next step on Saturday.
“But the FA Cup is massive. First round you can sometimes take a wee bit for granted, and you probably only realise that when you’re older. You probably think there’ll be plenty of times to get to the first round, but we’ve not been to this stage for a few years."
McLaughlin - an FA Trophy winner and twice promoted during two spells with York - has played in the third round once before, and although it wasn’t the glamour tie players and fans dream of, it is still one of the games he recounts with pride.
“It was 10 years ago playing for Grimsby. Of all the glamour ties in the draw we actually got, with the greatest of respect, Huddersfield Town at Blundell Park, but it was still the FA Cup third round and a special day,” he recalled.
“You kind of have to pinch yourself - FA Cup third round, you grow up watching that as a kid.
“Grimsby were the better team that day, we found ourselves 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go. They were a Championship side at the time, they freshened a few legs when we were getting tired and they managed to get two goals to see us off.
“It was a full house at Blundell Park, not many people get to play in the third round so it was very special.”