TOWN are on course to top last season's cut-price ticket sales as a `feel-good' factor sweeps through the McAlpine.
With just three days to the launch of a new era against Cambridge, season-ticket sales were expected to top 5,000 today as fans warm to Peter Jackson's revival bid.
At the start of business, the total stood at 4,044 - including 226 of the 517 Bondholders who were offered a `free' season following the collapse of their four-year deal.
A number of Bondholders have opted to pay for this season rather than take up the `free' offer, while ticket office manager Sue Beaumont confirmed business generally is very brisk.
"Considering we have gone down a division, the response has been unbelievable and, if we continue at this rate, we could still top last season's total of 6,898," said Mrs Beaumont.
"There has been a definite feel-good factor this year - big style - and people just can't wait for Saturday."
Engineers were today mending Town's credit card connection which failed at 2.30 yesterday and meant a number of applications going on hold to today.
Telephone booking is still going strong, along with postal applications. A collection system is being worked out for any received after today.
"It is still best for people to come down and pay by cheque or cash at the stadium because they can take their tickets away with them, and we are delighted by how many new people are coming and buying for the first time," added Mrs Beaumont.
"We are open until 7pm each night and we are processing all applications as quickly as possible so that everyone will get their tickets one way or another in time to see us kick-off the new season."
Manager Peter Jackson watched the Reserves draw 2-2 at Ossett Town last night to maintain an unbeaten pre-season record and, after two sessions a day for five weeks, he was giving his senior squad their first day off from training today in readiness for the clash with John Taylor's side (3.00).
"The lads have worked hard and are very, very fit, so we now need to make sure they are fresh for Saturday," said Jackson.
"We are going to have a practice match at the McAlpine tomorrow and we'll be doing some extra work on our set pieces during a light training session on Friday."
John Thorrington has suffered an adverse reaction to his ankle injury, Chris Holland is under treatment for the knock he took at Wrexham and Nat Brown is out with a knee injury, but they are the only players sidelined for the big kick-off.
Nathan Clarke is expected back in full training tomorrow and Jackson said: "I'm delighted with our preparations and we are all itching to get going on Saturday.
"I know the players are delighted that we've been selling 1,000 season-tickets a day and we are really hoping for a big crowd on Saturday.
"Everyone at this club has been giving it a real go since I came back here - no matter what their role in the club - and I would appeal to all those supporters who are still holding on to make sure they come down, buy their season-tickets if possible and get right behind the club for what we hope is going to be a memorable season."
Dwayne Mattis and Joe Washington made their returns to action last night in a match in which the former had a penalty saved in between Steve Kenworthy and Adnan Ahmed scoring.
Jackson will let his senior players decide who will take penalties this season.
"We have got a few options with people like Rob Edwards, Jon Stead, Tony Carss and Lee Fowler, who all strike a good ball, but I'll leave it to whoever feels the most comfortable about it," added the manager.