Marine FC: what league are the FA Cup third round team in, where is their stadium - and when is the Tottenham fixture?
‘Everyone deserves to be there and witness that occasion,’ said Niall Cummins, captain of the Northern Premier League Division One side
Eighth-tier Marine have been drawn at home to Premier League leaders Tottenham in the third round of the FA Cup; the game will be played on the weekend of January 9/10 2021.
Northern Premier League Division One club Marine became only the second side from the eighth tier to reach the third round after beating Havant & Waterlooville after extra time on Sunday.
Marine boss Neil Young told BBC One: “It’s an unbelievable draw. We will plan as best we can. Usually with Jose’s teams, he puts pretty strong sides out."
Club captain Niall Cummins told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It feels like you’re dreaming. I don’t know where to start. It doesn’t feel real, this whole thing. When the ball came out and it was Tottenham, I punched the air. I’m a big Arsenal fan and I was thinking, ‘Yes, I get the chance to play against Tottenham.’”
Here is everything you need to know.
Who are Marine FC?
Marine Football Club is based in Crosby, Merseyside, and was founded in 1894.
The team currently plays in the Northern Premier League Division One North West – the eighth division of English football – and lays claim to having the longest serving manager in post-war English football.
Roly Howard was the team’s manager between 1972 and 2005, overseeing a total of 1,975 games.
Where do Marine play?
Cummins said he was “so glad” the game will be played at Marine FC’s home ground of Rossett Park.
The ground located on College Road in Crosby, is believed to have been in use since at least 1884, when Rugby Union was played there – though the football team have played there since 1903.
The stadium is much smaller than the travelling Tottenham players will be used to, with a capacity of 3,185, of which 389 are seated.
Whether any fans will be allowed into the ground remains to be seen. England’s new tiered system of coronavirus restrictions is due to come into force from 2 December, and Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council – under which Rossett Park falls – will be in Tier 2.
Under Tier 2, public attendance at spectator sport can resume inside and outside (subject to social contact rules), and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors.
“I just hope we can slip into tier one before the game and can get more fans because everyone deserves to be there and witness that occasion," said Cummins.
Under Tier 1, the upper limit on gatherings for spectator sport outdoors is increased to 4,000 people.
How did they get to the Third Round?
“We’re officially the lowest-ranked team left in it,” said Cummins, “and judging by the Premier League table at the moment, they’re the hardest team we could have possibly got.”
"We have won seven games to get here and this is a great reward,” said Young following the draw.
Marine beat 10-man Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 to reach the FA Cup third round, with striker Cummins’ last-gasp winner ensuring the joint lowest-ranked club left in the competition reached round three for only the second time in their history (Marine lost 3–1 to Crewe Alexandra in the 1992–93 competition).
Amid the post-match celebrations, goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant – on his 20th birthday – headed for a nearby shop and returned with drinks.
How can I watch the game?
Marine FC’s game against Tottenham will be played on the weekend of January 9/10 2021.
Details of which games will be broadcast over the FA Cup Third Round are yet to be confirmed, though it’s likely this ‘David and Goliath’ match will be picked up by the BBC, with the broadcaster having the rights to air 16 live FA Cup matches per season.