Leiston ready for FA Cup battle at home to Gloucester City
Leiston chairman Andy Crisp believes the spirit of 2008 has returned to the coastal club, as the Blues aim to go on another memorable FA Cup run.
Seven years ago, Carl Chenery-managed Leiston got all the way to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, eventually losing to then-Conference North and now-League One outfit, Fleetwood Town, after a replay.
Today (3pm kick-off), the class of 2015, who top the Ryman Premier Division, host National League North side Gloucester City, at Victory Road, aiming to collect another scalp and pocket a cool £7,500 in prize-money.
“The Gloucester game brings back memories of that run in 2008-09,” said long-serving chairman, Crisp, whose side are two victories away from being joined in the hat with the likes of Colchester, and recent winners, Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic.
“It’s often spoken about how an FA Cup run can be good for non-league clubs and that run played a big part in what we have achieved since, and it’s a great opportunity to do it again.
“They (current squad) are a great bunch of lads and I have been involved with many teams at Leiston.
“Three or four seasons ago we had a tremendous spirit which followed on from the FA Cup success a couple of years earlier, and it is brilliant to think we have got that coming back.”
While the prestige that comes with an FA Cup run is not to be overlooked, Leiston would have hosted Brighton & Hove Albion had they overcome the Cod Army, the financial rewards are probably more important to teams at Leiston’s step 3 level, as Crisp explains.
“From a financial point of view, being a small club punching above our weight, a cup run is great for our sponsors and our financial board, which was set up to try and continue the good work that had already been done,” Crisp explained.
“Nothing but good comes from a cup run, the team becomes the talk of the town and it can encourage new sponsors to come on board.
“It would be great if we could relight the candle and have success again.”