£150k dream for Suffolk clubs

BURY Town and Leiston could be in for a £150,000 windfall should they progress through the next round of the FA Cup.

Mike Bacon

BURY Town and Leiston could be in for a £150,000 windfall should they progress through the next round of the FA Cup.

That's the exciting prospect facing the two Suffolk sides as their continuing FA Cup dreams will be played out in front of their own fans after both clubs were given home ties in yesterday's fourth round qualifying draw.

And progress through that round could possibly see them gain a money-spinning tie at Millwall, Leicester City, or possibly even Leeds United.

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Saturday, October 25 is set to be one of the biggest days in both clubs' footballing lives, as Bury entertain either Blue Square South side Basingstoke or Southern Premier League Bashley, while Leiston entertain Blue Square Premier side Lewes.

For Bury boss Richard Wilkins it's a decent draw.

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“We are happy with a home draw and that's four home draws in a row now,” he said.

“It gives us a better chance, of course it does. If we had been drawn away at Basingstoke or Bashley, it wouldn't feel the same.

“But our win over Chelmsford showed us what we are capable of. We did our homework then, as we did against Worthing on Saturday. The draw has given us a winnable match.”

Bury have already been this far in the competition - and further.

In the 1968/9 season they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. Just over 3,000 fans saw the Blues hold Third Division leaders AFC Bournemouth to a goal-less draw at Bury's old ground, Kings Road, but the Blues lost the replay 3-0 at Dean Court.

Leiston meanwhile will be up against a Lewes side who only a few seasons ago were pitting their wits against AFC Sudbury in the FA Vase.

It's been a superb climb through the divisions by the Sussex side, but they are struggling this season and on Saturday won only their second league match of the current campaign.

“We are going to need everyone to perform on the day and hope they suffer a lack of confidence or have a bad day,” Leiston boss Carl Chenery said.

“I've heard it a few times now about if we win it could be Leeds away in the next round. Yes, we are that close, but it is a huge ask to get past this next round.”

However Bury and Leiston have been pitted up against opposition who are struggling in their respective leagues.

Basingstoke haven't won a league match to date and are bottom of Conference South, while Bashley only have three victories to their name and are in the bottom six.

Leiston face a harder task, despite Lewes' lowly position.

The Conference is three steps higher up the pyramid, and as Haverhill found when entertaining Aldershot, and Debenham LC found when entertaining AFC Wimbledon - both in recent years - class is a big factor.

- HEAR more from Carl Chenery and Bury Town chairman Russell Ward on their thoughts of the FA Cup draw on Green'Un TV under non-league news (www.greenun24.co.uk).

- DO you have any memories or photographs of Bury Town's FA Cup clash with Bournemouth 40 years ago?

If so, share them with us and EADT readers, contact Mike Bacon on 01473 324686 or e-mail sport@eadt.co.uk

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