Kingstonian manager Hayden Bird says the club has a real chance of progressing to the third round of the FA Cup to potentially face a Premier League team. Standing in the way are AFC Fylde, moneyed National Leaguers from Lancashire.

“We are very pleased to be at home,” Bird told the Comet after appearing live on BBC2 to watch the draw on Monday night. “Potentially, the rewards are massive with introduction of the Premier League Clubs in the third round. The game will be very difficult but is unquestionably winnable.

“In order to pull this off, we need to fill the stadium with Kingstonian fans, kicking and heading every ball with the lads. This will be one of the most important games in the club’s history and we want to remember it for the right reasons!”

But Fylde have enjoyed a spectacular last few years, rising through the pyramid with the aid of millionaire David Haythornthwaite, a prominent Brexiteer. In 2019 they won the FA Trophy at Wembley as well as making the play-off final, losing 3-0 to Gary Neville’s Salford City.

Kingstonian earned their place in the second round proper by defeating League Two Macclesfield 4-0 at Moss Rose in front of 300 travelling supporters on Sunday. It was the largest FA Cup victory for an away non-league side against league opposition since November 1973 when Walton & Hersham beat Brian Clough’s Brighton 4-0.

While the clubs were separated by three divisions, off-the-field problems at Macclesfield led to on-the-field chaos as their first-team players began a strike in the days leading up to the fixture, demanding that months of unpaid wages be honoured by the Silkmen’s controversial owner, Amar Alkhadi.

By the time of Sunday’s fixture, it became clear that the game would go ahead but with the Macclesfield team comprising youth prospects and five professionals on loan from mainly Championship clubs.

Home fans promptly announced a boycott of the match, with a protest held outside the ground against Alkhadi.

K’s, however, kept their eye on the prize. Goals from Dan Hector and Louie Theophanous gave them a 2-0 half-time lead before Dan Bennett and Theophanous turned the result into a rout. While Macclesfield had some quality in their ranks, the teenage defence could not cope with the K’s forward line.

The prize fund and BBC TV money have earned K’s around £90 000 already. Chairman Mark Anderson was emotional after the game, reflecting on 15 years of struggle to restore the club to former glories. There was sympathy, too, for Macclesfield’s plight. K’s are no strangers to financial difficulty, having entered administration in 2001. “It’s a significant stepping stone to where we want to get to,” he said. “You cannot understand how difficult it is to come back from insolvency in football. We will be making a contribution to the players’ hardship fund at Macclesfield. It’s the right thing to do.

“Kingstonian personally has tested my faith in so much over the years but we’ve stuck at it off the field. But the one area which is the most important, progressing on the pitch with the team, with the exception of one promotion and one Isthmian cup, we had nothing to show for all the hard work. We hadn’t managed to produce the success that those fantastic supporters deserved. But we did it today.”

The Fylde game will be scheduled for the weekend of 30 November. Before that, K’s have to negotiate an FA Trophy tie away at Blackfields and Langley on Wednesday night and a return to Isthmian Premier action at home to Lewes on Saturday.