Paul Goodwin’s big match preview: Much more than £27,000 at stake for Oldham and Doncaster

Lee Johnson and Paul Dickov
Lee Johnson and Paul Dickov

The prize money on offer for the winners of this Saturday’s FA Cup second round tie - £27,000 - might not sound like much.

But victory for Oldham or Doncaster this weekend could potentially be worth a whole lot more, and not just in monetary terms either.

In itself, £27,000 could potentially help to fund a dip into the loan market come the new year, when both of these clubs would like to be eyeing a push for the top six.

But that cash prize could soar to anything in the region of £500,000 if either of these clubs were lucky enough to be drawn away to one of the big boys in round three.

And for both the Latics and the Rovers, two clubs heavily reliant on the loan market to supplement their respective squads, that sort of incentive is not to be sniffed at.

It’s not all about the money though.

As well as a means to more finance, a good FA Cup run can benefit league form and help a team gain momentum - although it is Doncaster who are in much greater need for that at present than an Oldham side who are defying their pre-season billing as League One also-rans.

Since winning 2-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium in August, Lee Johnson’s side have lost just twice in 19 games - once against league leaders Bristol City, the other against fellow high flyers Preston on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

These two sides have history in the FA Cup and met as recently as two years ago at the same second round stage. Then bossed by Paul Dickov, Oldham ran out 3-1 winners at Boundary Park with Reece Wabara among the scorers for the home side.

Oldham went on to beat Nottingham Forest and then Liverpool but that was not enough to keep Dickov in a job, as he left the club little more than a week after their famous 3-2 win over Liverpool.

Dickov makes his first return to Oldham as a manager since leaving the Latics this weekend knowing all too well about the financial benefits a result at this stage of the competition can bring.

With next Tuesday’s JPT tie against Notts County also just around the corner, he would like nothing more than his side to go into 2015 still attacking on three fronts - but he also knows his side are in for a really tough afternoon at Boundary Park.

Verdict: Draw