Boomtime as Leiston fairytale continues

LEISTON'S fairytale run in the FA Cup has already netted the club nearly £30,000 in prize money - and the club could be in line for a further financial windfall.

LEISTON'S fairytale run in the FA Cup has already netted the club nearly £30,000 in prize money - and the club could be in line for a further financial windfall.

Leiston joined fellow Suffolk side Bury Town, who will play at Alfreton, in the first round proper of the competition after their stunning 3-1 success away to Blue Square Premier side Lewes in Tuesday night's fourth round replay.

Leiston's victory was worth £12,500 and has taken their earnings from prize money alone in this season's competition to nearly £30,000.

The Ridgeons League Premier Division side will now face Fleetwood Town, who play in the Blue Square North - one league below Lewes - at home in the first round proper, when victory would earn the club a further £20,000.

Leiston officials were last night meeting with ITV executives to discuss the possibility of match coverage of the tie, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 8.

ITV and Setanta between them selected three ties following Sunday's draw, with each of the six clubs involved receiving £75,000 from The FA's Broadcast Fund.

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Havant & Waterlooville versus Brentwood will be shown on ITV, directly after the draw for the second round proper at 1.45pm on Sunday, November 9 while Leeds United versus Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon versus Wycombe Wanderers will be screened on Setanta Sports 1 on the Friday and Monday respectively of that weekend.

As the lowest ranked club left in the competition, it is almost certain that Leiston will receive some television exposure, even if it is in a highlights package which would benefit the Victory Road club financially.

Andy Crisp, chairman of Leiston, said yesterday that the last few days had been “a bit of a blur” for everyone connected with the club.

“We were excited about getting drawn against a team like Lewes.

“Having drawn at home on Saturday we travelled to Lewes for the replay backed by massive support and turned in one hell of a performance which has given us an excellent tie in the first round proper.

“It is a very exciting time for the team and everyone connected with the club.

“It will take us a few days to get our heads around what is happening, but rest assured we will be ready for the tie.”

Crisp said that in accordance with FA regulations for the first round proper of the competition spectators would be charged £10 for adults and £5 for concessions on the day of the tie.

However, the club will be selling tickets at discounted prices of £8 for adults and £4 for concessions at their two forthcoming Ridgeons League Premier Division home games - against Haverhill Rovers on Saturday and Wroxham next Tuesday.

Crisp said: “We are reducing the prices on those two match days in order to reward our loyal supporters.”

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