It would be special, that extra special for me as captain to lead them out on a big occasion again, says Canterbury City defender Laurence Harvey

Thursday 10th January 2019

CANTERBURY CITY captain Laurence Harvey says it’s an amazing feeling to reach the last sixteen of The Buildbase FA Vase.

Ben Smith’s men beat Newport Pagnell Town 3-2 at Salters Lane in Faversham last Sunday and will meet Coventry United in the last sixteen at the same venue on 2 February.

“It’s a great win, a big win for the club,” said Harvey, 27.

“We said before the game we don’t want it to stop there. It’s the biggest game since the club reformed, we just didn’t want it to just be an one-off occasion and just enjoy it.

“We wanted to get through and we felt very confident.  As a defender I feel a bit, not hard done by, but we didn’t deserve to concede two.

“The free-kick for them deflected in, it was unlucky and the second goal was a good goal from their winger but I don’t think they troubled us enough.

“We feel a bit unlucky to concede two but the win was the main thing and we’re through to the next round. We could’ve put it to bed earlier, it was a bit of a nervous ending but we’re pretty pleased.”

Club director Keith Vaughan said it was Canterbury City’s biggest game since losing 1-0 at Swindon Town in The FA Cup First Round during the 1968-69 season.

The game against United Counties League side Newport Pagnell Town attracted a crowd of 259 to their temporary abode in Faversham.

“It wasn’t the case of this is massive, a one-off game, we felt confident we could get through to the next round and maybe the round after,” said Harvey.

“There was a bigger crowd than usual here, which is fantastic and it’s great to see all the fans here so maybe when you’re out there you think it’s a big occasion and bigger than usual for us but on the pitch you just look at the bigger picture.”

The last Kent side to reach The FA Vase Final was Tunbridge Wells in 2013 and Canterbury City and Cray Valley are the last two surviving Kent sides this season.

Kevin Watson’s side host Abbey Rangers – who needed extra-time to beat Bearsted 2-1 at Honey Lane last weekend.

“We just want to keep it going and see where it goes. It’s not unheard of with teams in this league. Tunbridge Wells was not too far ago.

“We believe, we know all of the club’s are at our level. I’ve been involved in The FA Trophy before and it’s slightly different. You eventually come up against a club a league or two higher and it’s just the end, let’s enjoy it and there’s no expectation there.

“Ben (Smith), Tim (Dixon) and the other Ben (Brown) have all been saying to us you can go all the way if you believe and work hard and that’s what we’re trying to do.  We’ve got no expectations, take it round-by-round and we’re looking forward to the next round.”

Harvey is delighted to have avoided title-chasing Cray Valley in the next round.

“Not because we’re afraid of Cray Valley and we know they’re a very good team but we want to play teams that we haven’t played before. We want them to do as well as they can but we’d prefer not to have them,” added the centre-half.

When asked whether this was his biggest achievement of his career so far, Harvey replied: “I had a good run in The FA Trophy with Whitstable with Nicky Southall so that was a good experience.

“We’ve got great togetherness her and the boys are great. The coaching staff are great as well so it would be special, that extra special for me as captain to lead them out on a big occasion again. It’s up there, it’s a good moment in my football career.”

Canterbury City at Wembley?

“Well we’ll take it one game at a time.  It’s not too far away so we’ll just take it round-by-round but it will be amazing, a great experience if you can get there, a great day out but one round at a time.”

Tenth-placed Canterbury City return to their Southern Counties East Football League campaign on Saturday (12 January) with a home game against second-placed Corinthian (15:00).

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