Town striker Scott Vernon is hoping the Mariners can be this year’s surprise package in the FA Cup.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow Mariners ahead of tonight's first round draw, he said: “As players we all dream of playing against the top teams, so if that can happen it’ll be a bonus for us.
“It’s always good to have a good cup run I think. It’s good to get away from the league a bit and that distraction is always nice.”
And it wouldn’t be the first time the 33-year-old has been involved in an FA Cup upset, as his goal secured League One Oldham Athletic’s 1-0 win over Premier League Manchester City to knock out Kevin Keegan’s side in the third round of the competition in 2005.
He said: “I actually got the free-kick just over the halfway line, I think it was Sylvain Distin climbing all over me and I managed to get the free-kick.
“Then Neil Kilkenny put the free-kick over to the far post and it was David Eyres who went round the back and caught it on the half-volley.
“And then I was just there sort of Johnny-on-the-spot to put it in past David James, which felt nice.
“To get the goal that knocked them out was brilliant. I remember the day, we defended ever so well – we got the goal and literally camped in our own half.
“It was a great day, it really was, with it being the local derby – Manchester and Oldham – Boundary Park was a packed house.
“And the likes of the players that they had at the time were trying to break us down.
“It was just a great day, and obviously the final whistle went – the fans ran on the pitch – it was great.”
Town helped set the current record attendance (76,962) at Manchester United’s Old Trafford in the 1938/39 season, when they lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi-finals of the competition.
But that wasn’t the only time the Mariners have reached the penultimate stage of the competition – they were also semi-finalists in the 1935/36 campaign.