Famed giantkillers Sutton United hit the FA Cup trail once again this Saturday and the task ahead of them couldn’t be more of a contrast to their last appearance in the competition.

The eyes of the world were firmly fixed on the U’s back in February when they took on Arsene Wenger’s star-studded Arsenal side with a global TV audience of millions tuning-in hoping to witness an upset in the fifth round.

But the Gunners, who included Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez on the day, won 2-0 to end what was a glorious chapter in Sutton’s history following a series of headline-grabbing victories.

This weekend Paulton Rovers, currently 18th in the Evo-Stick South-West Division which is three tiers below Sutton, will be hoping to claim a notable scalp when the U’s come to town for a fourth-qualifying round clash.

The David v Goliath match-up is one that Sutton United Chairman, Bruce Elliot, is looking forward to.

“We are probably the favourites,” he said. “But as we know, the FA Cup is magical and full of surprises.”

Sutton's FA Cup march last season included stunning wins over League One neighbours AFC Wimbledon and Championship high-fliers Leeds United which culminated in the clash with Arsenal, an encounter which epitomised the romance of the famous domestic cup competition.

During the FA Cup draws last season, Bruce joined the players and all the staff in the clubroom to watch the drama unfold live.

“It was so surreal,” said the Sutton chairman. “I remember them all. The Wimbledon one was huge because of our big connection with them. That was unbelievable.

“The Arsenal draw was something else. The place was absolutely packed. Everyone was looking at each other like ‘is this right’?

“Perhaps we were dreaming. It will never be forgotten. Sometimes the draws are almost as exciting as the games. That moment was so special.”

Having drawn 0-0 at home to AFC Wimbledon in the third round, more than 800 Sutton fans travelled to Kingsmeadow for the replay and witnessed Paul Doswell’s men come from behind to win 3-1 thanks to goals from Roarie Deacon, Max Biamou and Dan Fitchett.

“We have always had excellent support,” Bruce said. “The cup run generated a lot of extra interest. We seem to have managed to keep a lot of fans who came last season and they are enjoying it.”

The chairman has been going to watch Sutton play since his dad took him when he was young. He has fond memories of the FA Cup giantkilling of Coventry City in the third round of 1989.

“Everybody was there and it was a day they all remember.

"The Coventry game wasn’t on live TV, so you had to wait to watch it on Match of the Day after.”

Last season’s magnificent run, which included a 1-0 win against Leeds United the fourth round which avenged a 6-0 home defeat to the Yorkshire club at the same stage of the competition back in 1970, was the furthest the club has ever reached.

The good times are continuing on the field for Sutton this season.

They are fourth in the Vanarama National League, just two points off the top after 15 games, and have beaten former Football League clubs Leyton Orient, Tranmere Rovers and Dagenham and Redbridge along the way.

The borough’s football fans have been drawn to the Knights Community Stadium in their droves this season, lured by the club’s excellent cheap season ticket offer.

Crowds are averaging more than 2,000 with many supporters starting to wonder if the U’s might get promoted to the Football League.

“It’s too early to dream of promotion,” said the chairman.

“It is only our second season at this level and our target is to get the magic 50 points or so.

“We are off to an excellent start which is down to the momentum and the legacy carried over from last season.”

The BBC had wanted to stream this weekend’s clash at Paulton live on its website but after serious consideration, Sutton made the decision it wasn’t practical for the club’s fans and players.

The game would have been changed to 12.30pm (as opposed to 3pm) meaning the players getting up very early in the morning to make their way to Sutton’s ground.

Bruce clarified the club’ position: “We would have loved to have done it. We wanted to say yes but we had already made travel arrangements. We are leaving the club at 8.30am and a 12.30 kick-off would have been ridiculous.

“We have to prepare professionally and I think we made the right decision.”