DURHAM City are determined to make up for last season’s disappointment as they get their FA Carlsberg Trophy campaign under way this afternoon against Prescot Cables.
The Citizens were knocked out of the money-spinning competition at the first hurdle by eventual Evo-Stik Premier League champions Halifax Town 12 months ago, but stand a much better chance of progressing this time round when they visit their fellow First Division North side.
And Durham boss Dickie Ord says a run in the Trophy would give a welcome boost to the club’s coffers, with the winners of today’s preliminary round tie due to pick up £2,000 in prize money.
“Along with the league, the Trophy has to be one of our priorities this season,” said Ord.
“It is an important competition and it is a chance for us to bring in some prize money - the further we get, the more we can make - which is crucial to the club’s finances.
“Last season we went out against Halifax Town but, to be fair, they were flying at the time.
“They were in the division above us and they went on to win their league, so there was a big gap between the clubs, even though we only lost 2-0. This year we have been drawn against Cables and it should be a much closer contest, because we are both in the same division.”
Durham have already beaten Cables at Valerie Park this season, winning 1-0 in August, and the Merseysiders have had a tough start to the campaign, winning only two of their 12 league games so far.
Ord said: “They struggled last season and changed manager, but finished third-bottom and stayed up.
“They’ve also had a difficult start to the new season, but we know it won’t be easy against them. It’s a cliche, but there aren’t any easy games.”
Durham are without Steve Thompson this afternoon, with work commitments ruling him out. Thompson was man of the match last weekend against Bamber Bridge, scoring one goal and setting up a second, and Ord admits he will be missed.
“Losing Steve is a big disappointment because he was our man of the match against Bamber Bridge,” said Ord.
“He only had a cartilage operation a few weeks ago but he has played three games since then and you can see his touch and fitness have been getting better with every game.
“But, aside from Steve, I have a full squad to pick from and I will leave it until this morning who to bring into the side to replace him.”