It goes without saying everyone connected with the club is excited for our last 16 tie against Leicester Nirvana, says Canterbury City boss Ben Smith

Friday 01st February 2019

CANTERBURY CITY manager Ben Smith says he is preparing for his clubs biggest week in their history.


Smith’s men lock horns with United Counties League Premier Division side Leicester Nirvana in the Last 16 of The Buildbase FA Vase tomorrow, if they can beat the wintry conditions.

“It goes without saying everyone connected with the club is excited for our last 16 tie against Leicester Nirvana,” said Smith.

“Any side that makes it to this stage will post a credible threat and they deserve respect.

“The FA Vase has been a welcome distraction from inconsistent form in the league and if we could get through to the Last eight I think we will be able to look back on this season as progression from our last.

“Will we be happy with that and a mid-table finish? Of course not!  You enter every competition to win and we need to improve throughout the club.”

Their opponents are in ninth-place in their division, while Canterbury City sit in tenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 33 points from 22 games.

Smith’s men came away from relegation-threatened side Croydon with a 2-1 win last weekend, courtesy of a last-gasp penalty from Jordan Casey.

Smith said:  “If we are to make the step between a side that’s good on its day to one that’s consistent enough to apply pressure at the top of this league.

“Saying that, we are identifying bits and pieces each week that will improve us going forward, so I am confident that success isn’t too far round the corner for this club.”

Smith hopes their local council give the go-ahead on Tuesday to build a new stadium at Highland Court, with chairman Tim Clark warning the club will go bust if they don’t get the go-ahead, insisting there is no Plan B.

Smith said:  “It’s a huge week for the club in many ways. The Council planning committee will vote on our proposed new stadium 20 years after our old one was taken away from the club.

“It’s absolutely criminal that the City does not have a home for its football club.

“The level of community work that goes on through our club is remarkable, considering we have no real base and the planned growth of the club is staggering.

“I just hope the Council make the correct decision and vote for the future generations that will benefit from the project, which will provide a sporting legacy in the area.”

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Canterbury City  v  Leicester Nirvana
The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 2 February 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent ME13 8ND