The BT Sport cameras will be descending on a tiny non-league club ground in a hamlet in rural Gloucestershire to provide live coverage of Shortwood United v Port Vale.
On Monday evening the tiny Cotswolds hamlet will see a record crowd of 1,300 fans cram into the tiny football ground for an FA Cup first round tie against league opposition. It is a tie that should re-ignite the romance of the FA Cup, as this tiny club gets its night to remember.
Shortwood get an average crowd of 91, and live in the shadow of their more illustrious neighbours Forest Green Rovers. The club play in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One and have one of the most picturesque grounds in non-league football.
Nevertheless this is a huge night for such a small club, and Port Vale will be in their targets. In effect, the non-leaguers have nothing to lose, having already eased past so-called giants of the non-league game Dorchester Town and ex league side Aldershot Town.
The romantics will be hoping for an upset, however cold hard facts speak for themselves, and that is surely unlikely to happen, although the home side have a prolific goalscorer in the shape of Duncan Culley who scored against Aldershot in the previous round. Culley is a tempting bet to score the opening goal, priced at 10/1 with Bet365.
The home side may well score, but this will probably be a consolation goal as the visitors will be too strong for Shortwood.
Bet365 offer the best price of 12/1 for a home victory. A draw is a creditable result and Shortwood are 11/2 at BetVictor to take a replay back to Vale Park. A win for the visitors is 2/7 across the market, as Port Vale are faring relatively well in League One and are expected to brush the non-leaguers aside and book an easy passage to round two.
Tom Pope is the favoured strike force for the Valiants and has featured in Port Vale’s two previous games. Pope is favourite to break the deadlock, offered at 3/1 by Bet365, with recent signing Lee Hughes 4/1 from the same bookmaker.
This should prove to be an interesting tie, and is to be shown live on BT Sport 1 at 7:45pm
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