John Coleman loves the FA Cup and knows his side face a tough test at home to League Two high-flyers Colchester on Saturday.

Stanley’s greatest FA Cup run was the 2003/4 season when they beat Huddersfield, Bournemouth and then faced Colchester United, who were then 47 places above the Reds.

Coleman’s side were in the Conference and the Us in League One and it needed a replay for Colchester to see off Stanley.

That run funded the Reds going full-time and ultimately to Conference title success in 2006 and a return to the Football League after a 44-year absence.

“I remember playing Colchester in the FA Cup in 2003/4 season,” said the Stanley boss.

“We were in the Conference at that time and they were in League One and it was the highest attendance at my time here at that stage, around 4,000.

“I remember coming into training and people were queuing down Livingstone Road for tickets.

“I remember, with one minute to go, Paul Cook heading the ball and it rattled against the crossbar. So it went to a replay and they beat us at their place.

“To be in the league above Colchester now, if someone had said that at the time, we would have thought they were day-dreaming.”

John McGreal’s side are in third place in League Two and are one of the top scorers in the division, with 31 goals.

“I think Colchester is probably the hardest draw we could have had. They are doing well in League Two, they are scoring goals, their confidence will be high and they are a good side.

“John McGreal has done a smashing job there and we always have a good chat before and after games we play against each other.”

Stanley lost to non-league Guiseley in a replay last season – a game which saw keeper Jonny Maxted switch to the Reds after saving two penalties.

“That hurt,” said Coleman. “I always say to the players, the big regret when you go out of the cup early is watching the third round draw and seeing clubs draw a plum tie and the exposure that comes with it. “