YORK Acorn have already sold out their initial batch of tickets for their eagerly-awaited Ladbrokes Challenge Cup derby against York City Knights - after social media "went mad" about the tie.

Most admission for Sunday's third round tie is expected as take-up on the day through the Bootham Crescent turnstiles, but the amateur National Conference League club were nevertheless given a preliminary 300 advance tickets to sell from their Thanet Road base at the weekend and they have since been back to the Knights to get 200 more.

Acorn secretary Alan Havercroft now thinks initial crowd estimates of 1,500 could prove very modest for a game which has been touted in rugby league trade papers as possibly the biggest Challenge Cup tie in the Minster city "since Graham Steadman and co saw off Castleford" at the old Clarence Street ground in 1984, en route to the semi-finals.

The game is also notable as the Knights' first competitive match at Bootham Crescent since they moved in to share York City's ground as part of the community stadium project.

"We've sold lots - our first batch of 300 went really quickly and we expect to shift another 200 before the weekend, and that doesn't include the players and their families," said Havercroft when asked about ticket sales so far.

"The phone hasn't stopped ringing and we've been telling people they can pay on the gate as well, so I'm sure quite a few more will go down on the day.

"When we spoke to the Knights last week we had looked at maybe 1,500 people turning up but I now think we'll beat that, to be honest.

"The occasion is going to be fantastic. I think it could be the biggest Challenge Cup game in the city since Clarence Street was knocked down, especially in terms of people talking about it.

"We're over the moon with the interest in the area.

"The response has been overwhelming, with social media going mad with hundreds of Facebook and Twitter posts and messages."

The clash is also being supported by other community clubs in the city, and Havercroft now hopes Bootham Crescent will host the biggest attendance of all the third round ties.

"I know York Lokomotive have bought quite a few, and Heworth old boys were going to have an outing as well," he said.

"If we get 2,000 people it will be a resounding success.

"I keep hearing about people who haven't been to a game in years talking about going to this one.

"Rochdale Mayfield v Rochdale Hornets will get quite a few but it would be a nice achievement for our city if we could get the best attendance of the weekend."

York City will be opening the Main Stand and the David Longhurst Stand for the day.

Tickets cost £10, or £5 for under-16s, and are available in advance from the Knights office on 01904 767404 and Acorn's office on 01904 330351, and through the turnstiles on the day. Under-5s get in free.