FA Cup fever sweeps town

A SUFFOLK town is has again been hit by FA Cup fever as its team looks to secure a dream tie against some of football’s top sides.

Leiston Town will play Dartford tomorrow in a bid to reach the first round proper of England’s most illustrious cup competition.

The Blues are hoping for a sell-out crowd at their Victory Road ground to roar them on to a historic win. If they get through the club face the mouthwatering prospect of being drawn against the likes of former Premier League sides Southampton or Sheffield Wednesday.

The club and local businesses have been running a “Paint the Town Blue” campaign, encouraging traders and residents to get behind the team.

The Ryman League Division One North side are no strangers to FA Cup success – in the 2008-9 season they beat Conference club Lewes 3-1 in a replay to reach the first round proper when they lost to Conference North club Fleetwood Town and after drawing 0-0 in front of a record crowd they lost the replay 2-0.

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Yesterday the FA Cup trophy paid a special visit to Victory Road ahead of tomorrow’s clash with their Ryman Premier League opponents.

Chairman Andy Crisp said: “When we had a good FA Cup run a couple of years ago the whole community got behind us and we are really hoping they will do the same again this weekend.

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The “Paint the Town Blue” campaign has been co-ordinated in partnership with the newly-reformed Leiston Business Association.

Last night its chairman Jonny Newton wished the team the best of luck. “When the football club does well it creates a fantastic buzz in the town,” he said.

“We were only too happy to show our support and a number of businesses have been dressing up their windows to get behind the team.”

Tomorrow’s match will be the seventh that Leiston have played in the competition so far this season – the last of which was a 5-0 demolition of North Greenford United.

Tony Cooper, chairman of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, said: “It is wonderful how they are putting Leiston back on the map and doing something positive for the town. We are all hoping that they have a good run.”

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