We have had great support from the whole town and we’ll be trying to do them proud again, says Deal Town coach Steve King
DEAL TOWN coach Steve King says his side will give everything that they’ve got to cause a FA Vase upset at Consett tomorrow as they bid to reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time in 20 years.
Tommy Sampson’s class of 2000 reached the iconic Twin Towers of the old Wembley Stadium to beat Chippenham Town 1-0 in the Final, thanks to THAT Rory Graham goal and Derek Hares’ class of 2020 are travelling up to County Durham today looking to cause an upset in the back garden of a Northern League powerhouse.
Hosts Consett lost their 22-match unbeaten run last weekend when they lost 3-0 at Newton Aycliffe, who are the only side to complete the double over them in the Ebac Northern League.
Terry Mitchell’s side are in fourth-place in the table with 49 points from 26 games, 15 points adrift of leaders Stockton Town, who have a game in hand.
“It is a massive game for the club due to what is at stake with a place in the last eight for the winners,” said King.
“These are the sort of games that we all want to be involved in and they make all of the hard work during the season worth it.
“Although we travel as underdogs we will be prepared and ready to give our best.
“We are used to playing strong sides in the Southern Counties East Football League on a regular basis, so we know the level of challenge but all of the boys are ready and can’t wait for the game.”
King and Hares, 70, are fully prepared for their clubs biggest game of the season, well for 20 years.
“As always, we pride ourselves on preparing properly. We have done all that we can to be ready for the game,” said King.
“We have had Consett watched and I have picked up as much information as I can about a side at the other end of the country.
“We know they score a lot of goals and have some very dangerous attacking players.
“Up until last week they were on a long 22-match unbeaten run so they will clearly start the tie as favourites but that was the same as when we travelled to Binfield so it will not change our mindset.
“We have prepared as usual this week and training on Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we have done everything we need to. We are travelling up today and come tomorrow morning our preparation will be the same as for any other game.”
Deal Town are in tenth-place in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 26 points from 20 games and since beating Binfield in the last round, 7-6 on penalties after a 3-3 extra-time draw, the Kent side have drawn their last three games 2-2.
“We have had a couple of frustrating draws in the league since our last FA Vase win. We are unbeaten in five games but I would be lying if I said the players haven’t had one eye on this game for the last couple of weeks,” added King.
“We have also had to look after a couple of players who have been carrying injuries to give ourselves the best chance of getting a result on Saturday.
“Once we are at the ground and in the dressing room it will be same as any other game. The message will obviously be to give it everything, follow the game plan and continue to believe in ourselves whatever happens during the game.
“We have a lot of supporters travelling the length of the country so we want to give them something to cheer and ensure they are proud of our performance.
“It has been a brilliant run and we are delighted. This is the furthest the club has reached since winning The FA Vase in 2000.
“There are a number of people who have worked hard to turn the club around in the last five years. It was not in the best state five years ago and this run feels like recognition of the progress that has been made both on and off the pitch.
“We have had to beat some very good sides to get to this stage and regardless of what happens on Saturday, we will look back on this run with a great amount of pride.
“It looks like we will have over 100 fans travelling up which is remarkable considering the distance. We know they will get behind the boys and we hope they all have a great day and weekend.
“Our side is made up with all local players so there is a real connection between the players and the fans and that makes it even more special. We have had great support from the whole town and we’ll be trying to do them proud again.”
King revealed that his goalkeeper James Tonkin has reported himself to be fit after his skiing holiday that saw him miss the 2-2 home draw against Welling Town last weekend.
“James is fine and will be flying into Newcastle this lunchtime to meet up with the rest of the boys this evening. He has been in great form recently and he will be a key player for us tomorrow.
“Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support over the last week. It is much appreciated by all those at the club.
“I would also like to wish Michael Golding and Corinthian all the best in their FA Vase game tomorrow as we both look to keep the SCEFL flag flying.”
Visit Deal Town’s website: www.dealtownfc.co.uk
Consett v Deal Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 8 February 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Belle View Stadium, Delves Lane, Consett, County Durham DH8 7BF