Shaymen can claim their place in FA Cup history

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Not too long ago, the first round of the FA Cup was all about the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker taking on the old professionals from the lower divisions of the Football League.

That is the kind of game Town’s clash with Charlton Athletic would have been - a bone-shaker played on a muddy pitch in ramshackle surroundings.

The Town players all have jobs outside of football and are, for the most part, genuine part-timers.

But little else is the same, with the Shay the equal of many grounds in the pro ranks, both in terms of its magnificent playing surface and superb facilities off the field.

The first round of the Cup now for the minnows is about maximising income and exposure.

There is nothing wrong with that and, after a couple of seasons of narrowly missing out on a place in round one, it will be good for Town to get a few quid in the coffers.

The real reward, though, is for the players who have been courted by the national media all week and have clearly enjoyed it.

The spotlight will continue to shine on them from 12.30 tomorrow when national television will beam the Shaymen’s every move into the homes of the nation.

It is how they react to the attention that will define them as players.

The squad assembled by Neil Aspin over the two-and-a-bit seasons he has been in charge is full of good, honest players who will give their all.

But they have never played against a team of Charlton’s quality.

The Addicks are five points clear at the top of the League One table, making them the best team in the first round.

Their undoubted aim is a place in the Championship next season and as a result they are certain to make changes.

It would be a major shock if Bradley Wright-Phillips, so often the first name on the team sheet, was not the first name to be scrubbed off it as Chris Powell plots a strategy of resting his stars while steering his team through.

The players who come in will have a point to prove - they will all want to be part of a glorious championship-winning campaign and not remembered for failing against a non League side.

But all the pressure is on them.

Town can go out and enjoy it - but they want to win it too.

No one gives them a chance, which could work in the favour of a side that has been favourite to win just about every game they have played in the past few seasons.

They have a bit of momentum too, with wins in each of their last four games in all competitions.

No one gave the likes of Hereford, Wimbledon or the Town side of 1980 a chance but they all won.

There is no reason why Aspin’s side cannot follow them into folklore with a Cup upset.