FA Cup: Maltby Main and Frickley Athletic handed big screen test

Spencer Fearn: Faces former club.
Spencer Fearn: Faces former club.
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Unlike Leeds United, two Yorkshire sides are preparing to bask in the glory of a watching national audience this weekend.

While the hierarchy and supporters of the Whites continue to bemoan their constant TV exposure, Maltby Main and Frickley Athletic are eagerly awaiting their rare chance of a screen test.

I’ve been involved in non-league since I was 17 and I’ve not looked more forward to a game.

Maltby chairman Wilf Race

The pair, separated by just 16 miles and one division, will contest an FA Cup first qualifying round tie at Maltby’s Muglet Lane tomorrow lunchtime (12.30pm).

Not only does the fixture, being screened by the BBC online, represent a significant boost to each club’s coffers but it also gives some much-needed airtime to two members of the non-league fraternity.

“I’ve been involved in non-league since I was 17 and I’ve not looked more forward to a game,” Maltby chairman Wilf Race told The Yorkshire Post.

“We were as surprised as anyone when the email landed asking if we would agree to screening the game – it was a no-brainer.

“The financial side of it is obviously a big incentive but for both teams this is a chance to show what non-league football is all about. I tip my hat to the BBC.”

As well as £1,000 that each club is handed for the game being screened, the winners of the tie pocket £6,000.

The fixture has added spice with Frickley chief Spencer Fearn returning to face his former club, having also lured a handful of players down the same path since his move 16 months ago.

“There’s a little bit of history between the two clubs,” said Frickley chairman Stuart Highfield.

“Obviously, Spencer was manager at Maltby before and there’s a few players from either side coming up against each other so it could be spicy. We played them pre-season and won 4-3 so, hopefully, there’ll be a repeat.”