Newbury Forest set for historic date
PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 October 2015
Club host Clacton in first-ever FA Vase tie this weekend
Essex Olympian League side Newbury Forest will make a little bit of history on Saturday as they play their first-ever match in the FA Vase.
Forest welcome Eastern Counties Premier Division side FC Clacton to Oakside Stadium in the second qualifying round of the competition.
It is the latest chapter in an impressive recent history for the club after they joined the Olympian League in 2012. And manager Leo Connolly says everyone involved with the outfit is looking forward to the tie.
“The whole club is buzzing for the match,” he said. “It’s nice to have Clacton at home, but we wouldn’t have minded them away either as it would have been a good day out!
“Hopefully we can get a good crowd down to watch us. I know Redbridge (Forest’s landlords) are away on Saturday, hopefully a few of their fans will come along.”
The winners of the weekend’s tie will receive £800 in prize money in addition to place in the first round proper.
And Connolly admits figures like that would make the world of difference to Forest as they look to grow.
“If we could win through a couple of rounds, it would be fantastic,” he added.
“Our long-term aim is to make sure our first team no longer have to pay subs and money like that would go a long way to
helping us achieve that.”
Forest will be hoping any kind of positive performance this weekend can kick start their season, with the club currently bottom of the Olympian League.
Clacton have enjoyed a good start to their league campaign and find themselves sixth in their league, which is one step above the Olympian League, but Connolly believes form will count for little on Saturday.
“We’ve been unlucky in the league lately but the players we have will be up for the match.
“We won’t be overawed by the occassion, that’s for sure. It would be nice to get the win but we’ll see what happens.”
With the sides competing in separate competitions, they are unlikely to know too much about each other ahead of the meeting at Oakside Stadium.
But Connolly is confident Newbury have it in them to eliminate their higher-ranked opponents and progress to the next round.
“We played their reserves a few years ago so we know a bit about them but probably not enough.
“We’re not too fussed though as I’m not sure it will help us. We’ve played the likes of Redbridge in friendlies before, so we know the standard we have to play to if we want to beat Clacton.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.