The FA Cup is back in town this Saturday as the Yellows start their 2018/19 campaign in the famous old competition with a home tie against Burscough in the first qualifying round, one of four ties they would need to win to reach the first round proper for only the second time in the club’s history.
Having bowed out at the very first hurdle in the two seasons following the run to the second round proper, where they were beaten 2-0 by Conference side Gateshead, they did at least pick up a win in the first stage last season, beating Grimsby Borough 1-0 before bowing out in the second qualifying round to Hyde United after a replay.
A run this season would bring some welcome cash to the club coffers, but may also rekindle a passion from the town’s football supporters, who continue to frustratingly neglect the Yellows despite their progress up the football pyramid.
Warrington were a mid table tier eight side four years ago, but are now fighting for promotion to National League North, having agonisingly missed out via the play-offs last season.
In many ways, the town doesn’t deserve the quality of team that is being put out currently, and it’s frustrating that a town of this size can’t even attract even 500 regulars.
The passion of the existing following is unquestioned, and it is they that will be dreaming of FA Cup glory come Saturday.
With promotion an undoubted goal of manager Paul Carden, you could argue that the distraction of a cup run is something Warrington could do without.
It certainly derailed the 2014/15 campaign, while last year’s terrific run in the FA Trophy took its toll in the closing stages of a league campaign where Warrington mustered just two wins in their last 11 games as their title hopes faded almost as quickly as they had appeared on the horizon.
Managing both would be the ultimate dream – as I’m sure chairman Toby Macormac would testify.
Apologies for the lateness of this week’s column, due to a family funeral earlier in the week.
It would be remiss of me not to mention two outstanding performances since my last column, a 5-0 thumping of North Ferriby followed by a comfortable 2-0 win over an often troublesome Workington outfit.
You can see why Carden had been getting so frustrated over the international clearance delay for Jack Mackreth and Dave Raven, who both showed their quality almost immediately.
Mackreth tore Workington to shreds on Tuesday night with his pace, and he will cause plenty of defenders a headache this season, while Raven slotted in to a back four that has now kept four successive clean sheets, and had Macormac purring at the quality of centre-backs that his manager has at his disposal.
Eleven points from six games is a fair return that has the Yellows third in a supremely competitive league, and while you may wonder what might have been had Mackreth in particular been available for the previous four games, Warrington are in a strong position now to kick on.
Saturday and Tuesday were certainly markers, and if they can ensure performances stay around or above those levels for the rest of the campaign, then it could be a very fruitful season indeed.