Chief executive Darren Royle is hoping Latics can make more FA Cup memories this weekend.

His favourite so far came in 1990, on a sunny April day at Maine Road where Oldham Athletic held Manchester United to a 3-3 draw to force a replay, on what happened to be his dad, Joe's, 41st birthday.

The occasion led to Latics being described by The Guardian as "the most loveable team in England".

Royle reflected: "We went toe-to-toe with the mighty Manchester United and could have, should have won it. The ball went over the line from Nick Henry's shot.

"That point you start to think 'hang on a minute, we are potentially one of the top teams in the country'. And that group that they had at the time, it took six or seven years to build all of that, with no benefactor owner.

"And I think probably more than the promotion and the Littlewoods Cup final as well - I know that's a different competition but to get to play Nottingham Forest at Wembley was a special moment - but I'd say the Maine Road semi-final was amazing - the whole day, the weather, the performance, the fact it was my dad's birthday, the support that we had on the day. It was a golden era."

It was at a time when Latics did not enter the competition until the third round.

Last month they continued their long tradition of being in the 'round proper' stage, after having to qualify for the first round since dropping out of the Football League in 2022.

Last season they lost a televised first round game at Wrexham, after needing a replay and penalty shoot-out to get past Chester.

This season, Paul Murray's one and only game in charge ended with a 1-0 win at Altrincham to book their place in the first round, thanks to Harrison McGahey marking a year-long recovery from back injury with a goal. 

They were handed a much longer trip as their reward for progressing, with League Two Newport County the hosts.

"The FA Cup means so much to this club, it's history, how it's brought memories for us all, so Altrincham was a massive game - a hard game against a really good team on a difficult pitch," said Royle.

"Muzza and his 100 per cent win rate, his amazing system and Harrison coming out of nowhere, it was a great day all round. I was sat with Micky Mellon watching it, which was brilliant for him to see because he got a really good gauge on the quality that we've got and what we can do.

"Getting into the first round, a game at Newport... it doesn't stop us from dreaming does it, in a positive way about who we might get and progression.

"Obviously we've got to get past a very good team away from home to begin with, so we're going there to win it and get into the next round."

And as well as the prestige of the competition, Royle explained what it means to the club financially.

"We don't put the FA Cup into our profits and losses because it's irresponsible to do that," he said.

"The prize money for the fourth qualifying round is not massive, around £9,000, and the gate receipts are 45-45-10.

"This game is worth £41,000 and then it just ramps up, so Manchester United in the third round at Old Trafford is got to be worth £1million.

"That would be the dream. Why not?"