The White Hart Lane club ready for action: Haringey living FA Cup dream

Seventh-tier side, whose season tickets are free, host AFC Wimbledon on their debut appearance in the first round

Half an hour before he walks across the car park to oversee training, Tom Loizou is selling tickets behind the bar at Coles Park. A local couple have strolled into, rather than past, Haringey Borough’s facilities for the first time and the scene has become a familiar one: an enthusiastic welcome, an expression of mild regret on the newcomers’ part that they have not stopped by before, the purchase of two places at Friday’s FA Cup first-round match against AFC Wimbledon and a parting promise that they will be back for a league fixture with their nine-year-old son.

Until recently this was a forgotten and unloved outpost of north London’s football scene, but the Bostik Premier League club will be more relevant than ever when a crowd of around 2,500 packs in for an event that will also be televised by the BBC. One of the tie’s selling points to the curious is its location: Haringey’s ground is situated on White Hart Lane and, yes, they will be ready to host the game as scheduled. The new Spurs stadium is just under a mile away, on Tottenham High Road; it will take centre stage soon enough but for now Haringey intend to show they can offer something different.

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