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Chairman's Column 10.12.2022

Chairman's Column 10.12.2022

Saturday's hard fought victory for our men's first team over Lakenheath in the third round round of the FA Vase was massive for our club for all sorts or reasons.

Lakenheath were probably were the better side over the 90 minutes but somehow we found a way and now find ourselves in the fourth round of the competition for the first time in our history.

Maybe we aren't the most skilful or talented side in the world but I would bet everything I have that their isn't a team left in the competition with a bigger heart than us.

After falling behind we never gave up and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 83rd minute just seven minutes after the visitors had missed the chance to go two up when they missed a penalty.

Our 3-1 win on penalties means we have now won through five rounds of the competition and find ourselves in the last 32 just four ties and five matches - the semi-final is a two legged affair - from a place at a Wembley final.

To say I am proud to bursting doesn't even begin to describe my feelings at the moment and I am so pleased that I decided to take a break from the Qatar World Cup to come over for the tie. I would not have missed it for the world.

Saturday's game was watched by a crowd of 217 an increase of around 50 from our previous game in the competition. If we can keep the momentum going then hopefully more and more people will come and watch us and cheer us on in this competition as they discover, as I have, the joys of getting involved with community based grassroots football.

More people means more interest and the potential to raise more much needed funds from sponsors, both local and national. Continued success in the tournament also brings in more money. Our cup run has so far has earned us £4,125 and victory in the next round will bring that up to a round £6,000.

It won't be easy because standing in our way will be Coventry Sphinx of the United Counties League a side we know well having crossed paths with them during our one year enforced spell in the UCL. last season.

Back then with just about all of our first team squad moving because of the league move and forced to field a side filled with youngsters, we conceded no fewer than 18 goals against them in our two league games. But that was then and this is now and I know this will be a much more close run affair when we meet at the Keech Hospice Care stadium on January 14.

I can't wait.

But before then we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and remember that we still have a league to compete for. Our 4-1 defeat at Aylesbury Vale Dynamos on Tuesday night had a definite 'hangover' look about it and we now need to temporarily put our Vase exploits to one side and concentrate on the bread and butter of the Spartan League starting with the visit of Dunstable Town to the Keech Hospice Care Stadium tomorrow (Sat ko 3pm).

Meanwhile on the same day our reserves travel to Marston Shelton Rovers First (ko 2pm), while on Sunday our Women's Red Side travel to Wootton Blue Cross while our Women's Blue side entertain Belmond Ladies First with both matches kicking off at 2pm.

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