Cup-tie cash bonanza is PNE’s prize

Paul Huntington is targeting a Preston victory at Crawley on Saturday
Paul Huntington is targeting a Preston victory at Crawley on Saturday
Share this article
18
Have your say

A quarter of a million pound windfall has been dangled in front of Preston and Sheffield United ahead of their FA Cup replay next week.

Tuesday night’s winners will have their fifth-round tie against Manchester United or Cambridge United shown live by the BBC.

The broadcast fee for that stage of the competition is £247,500 per club.

On top of that would be the share of gate receipts and if it is Louis van Gaal’s United who win their replay with League Two outfit Cambridge, the sold-out signs would go up.

It would be Monday night football for North End if they can put the Blades to the sword.

Whoever goes through from either replay will meet on February 16 at 7.45pm.

Five ties have been selected for live coverage that weekend.

BT Sport will show the all-Premier League tie between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham at lunchtime on Saturday, February 14.

Crystal Palace’s meeting with Bolton or Liverpool then follows on BT later that day.

The Aston Villa v Leicester game is to be shown on BBC1 the following day, with BT showing Arsenal’s tie against Middlesbrough.

Then it is the PNE/Sheffield United v Manchester United/Cambridge tie on the Monday.

The fact that fourth-round giant-killers Bradford City are not being shown live has caused plenty of annoyance at Valley Parade.

Their reward for knocking Chelsea out 4-2 was a home tie against Fulham or Sunderland.

Preston fans who make the trip to Bramall Lane for the replay will be guaranteed a ticket for the fifth round should they win. Seats for the replay are £15 for adults, £10 for adult season ticket holders/over-60s/Under-22s/students and £5 for the Under-17s.

Before thoughts can turn to the replay, North End return to league action at bottom club Crawley Town on Saturday.

They head to West Sussex chasing their first league win since Boxing Day and looking to put the disappointment of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy exit to Walsall behind them.

A toothless PNE side could not find the goals needed to overturn Walsall’s 2-0 lead from the first leg.

Centre-back Paul Huntington told the Evening Post: “The tie was lost on a free-kick and mistake at the end of the first leg at our place.

“Towards the end on Tuesday night we had some good chances late on but could not find a way through.

“We had three cleared off the line one after the other and then hit the bar.

“It was a very disappointing result and now we have to get our concentration back on to the league.

“We have the Crawley game next and it is important we get the first goal there and build on it.

“In the dressing room after Walsall we spoke about things and it was stressed that there is still a long way to go this season with it all to play for.

“If we keep working hard for each other and make sure we do the basics right, then we will go on another good run like we have done previously.

“We are a good team in this league and I’m sure we will start to show that.”