THE North-East footballers at the centre of a fairytale FA Cup story are urging fans to travel with them to show support for their David and Goliath battle at the weekend.

Shildon Football Club is hoping to take as many fans as possible for the game on Sunday with Notts County, the oldest football club in the world.

Player-coach David Bayles said the players had hoped for a draw against a big name for the first round of the competition after beating Sheffield side Stocksbridge Steels 6-0 in the last round.

He said: "We all came straight into the bar in our strips after the game to watch the draw. Everybody cheered when we heard it was Notts County.

"We don't mean any disrespect when we say we did not want to draw another non-league side. We wanted a big name and we got it.''

It is the first time in 42 years that the Railwaymen have reached this far in the competition and for many of its fans, it is a dream come true.

For players who are more used to everyday jobs such as postmen, accountant electrician, fitness trainer and financial advisor, it will also be a day to remember.

Captain Danny Key, a financial advisor, said: "Some of us have played big matches in the past but for some of the lads it will be the first time that they will have had this chance.

"The best thing is, we are great mates off the pitch and we are really looking forward to it. There is no pressure on us. Nobody is expecting us to win so really all we need to do is go down there and enjoy ourselves.

"We are going down there to win, though. There would be no point in going otherwise.''

Striker Lee Ellison, who works as a fitness instructor, said: "This is the best little club I have played for and I am pleased that we have got this far. I hope the fans really get behind us and as many as possible come to Nottingham with us.''

The Northern Echo will be giving away full colour posters with copies of the paper on Saturday.

The free souvenir posters will be available from the following outlets in Shildon: Kirtons News, Cheapside; Waltons General Dealers, 22 Main Street; Jackies, Main Street; One Stop Shop, Byerley Road; Alldays (Walter Wilsons), Redworth Road; Londis, Coronation Avenue; Co-op, Church Street. It will also be available in Asda, in South Church Road, Bishop Auckland.