If we can put in a performance that I know we are capable of then it gives us that little bit of a chance, says Corinthian boss Michael Golding
CORINTHIAN manager Michael Golding says he is looking forward to their winner-takes-all FA Vase Semi-Final showdown against Hebburn Town on Saturday.
The Gay Dawn Farm clash has been made all-ticket with both sides receiving an allocation of 150 tickets each with the prize a being a trip to Wembley Stadium to play Consett of Bitton on Sunday 27 September.
The Football Association have decided to make The FA Vase and FA Trophy Semi-Finals one-legged, with extra time and penalties set to decide the winners if scores are level after 90 minutes.
Corinthian kicked off their new campaign by beating Sheerwater 2-1 at home in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Tuesday night.
Louie Clarke and George Snelling scored inside the final 10 minutes to seal the victory to set up a trip to Newhaven in the Preliminary Round on Saturday 12 September.
“It was a really interesting tactical battle,” said Golding.
“Sheerwater came with a very clear game plan and their players stuck at it. They sat behind the ball and made it very difficult for us, didn’t give us too much space to play in the final third and all credit to them. Fortunately, our quality shone through at the end.
“We hit the post, we hit the bar and had two cleared off the line and should have had a penalty, so we were definitely the better side and we were dominant.
“The FA Cup is full of upsets and that’s what happens every single year in every single round, so we’re pleased that we weren’t on the end of an upset.
“We’ve got a really bad record in The FA Cup as a club over the last few years but we’ve made it clear we expect to do better in that competition this season.
“There’s no reason why we can’t, with a little bit of luck in the draw but it’s probably naturally that one or two of them were thinking about Saturday’s FA Vase tie.
“We’ve made several changes to the side that will go out in the Vase on Saturday.”
Corinthian trained at Gay Dawn Farm tonight and all attention turns to the club’s biggest ever game in their 48-year history.
Northern League outfit Hebburn Town kicked off their campaign by beating Hemsworth Miners Welfare 4-1 in The FA Cup on Tuesday night and come to the Kent countryside as favourites.
“Spirits are really good, training was good and sharp and we’ve gone through everything and we’ve focused on ourselves like we always do and highlighted key areas and areas of concern that we may have against Hebburn,” said Golding.
“We’re looking forward to it. It seemed for a long time during lockdown that this moment wasn’t going to come and I’m just pleased that the players have got that opportunity and they’ve not had it taken away from us.
“Winning the league or challenging for promotion and a Kent Senior Trophy Final was taken away from us and it’s tough.
“We lost out in the league to Cray Valley the year before and lost in a cup final. Those things are disappointing and when you can’t control what’s gone on and all off a sudden when you get the news from The FA (that we can play the FA Vase Semi-Final), it was pleasing to get that and everyone’s happy and excited and looking forward to it.
“It’s a great opportunity. We haven’t achieved anything yet and we know that we’ll have to work ever so hard to get anything out of the game on Saturday – but one thing I know this squad has in abundance is they don’t know when they’re beaten and they work extremely hard for each other and I wouldn’t put it past them.”
Not many teams come away from the Farm with a victory and Golding wants his players’ to ensure their impressive home form continues.
“It gives us a chance. It would have been very, very tough going up there and it changes all the routines and we would’ve had to have a day off work on Friday to travel up there and stay in a hotel, which we just don’t do at this level,” said Golding.
“It gives the boys an opportunity to prepare the same way as they do in every single game, whether it’s Lordswood at home or Hebburn in the FA Vase Semi-Final.
“The boys can keep their prep the same and that’s the biggest thing for us.
“Hebburn are massive favourites and they’re massive favourites for the whole competition, so they’re massive favourites for the tie.
“But at home, we know the pitch well, we’ve got good form here over the last year or so and it gives us a little bit of a chance that we were hoping for.
“It’s on the day. We can plan and we can prepare but we can focus on what we do and what we’re capable of and if we can put in a performance that I know we are capable of then it gives us that little bit of a chance.”
But what would it mean to lead this little club out at Wembley later on in the month?
“It would be a massive honour but I’ve said the whole way through the Vase it’s not about me or Sam Groombridge (my assistant manager) and the management team,” said Golding.
“The Vase is for the players, it’s their competition. They’re potentially 90 minutes away from Wembley, they’re the ones walking out at Wembley. Yes, we lead the side out and we go out there with them but it’s for the players.
“It’s for the players and their families, their parents who come and watch them every week.
“It’s also for the people behind the scenes at the club, the Sue Billings’ and Charlotte Billings’ who do so much for the club that people don’t even realise.
“If we can get there, that’s what I’m looking forward to, giving something back to these people that we probably wouldn’t have dreams off two year ago that we would even have been so close so that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Knowing Corinthian, DO NOT write them off on Saturday! Underdogs, yes, but they do relish the underdog tag and they are capable of sealing a historic victory, especially at home and it’s such a shame that only 300 can be there to see it.
Golding said: “I think we could probably solid it out 10 times over. We’re still receiving phone calls and we’re all receiving texts asking for extra tickets. It’s disappointing it’s not a massive crowd. It potentially plays into our hands as we don’t often play in front of big crowds. It’s a different factor and the boys will have to soak that in.
“Three hundred people will be here, 150 from each side and it will be down to what happens on the day and we’re looking forward to it.”
Corinthian v Hebburn Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Semi-Final
Saturday 5 September 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Longfield, Kent DA3 8LY