All to play for as Lancaster City look to progress in FA Trophy

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown
Lancaster City boss Phil Brown

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown knows there’s a lot on the line when his side look to make the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

The Dolly Blues welcome Bostick League North side Mildenhall Town to Giant Axe in the final qualifying round on Saturday.

There is £5,000 on offer for the winners as well as the chance to go into the hat to face one of the National League sides that come into the competition at the next stage.

“It’s a big game for all sorts of reasons,” said Brown.

“The club haven’t got this far in the competition in a long time and I know I’ve mentioned it before but there is a real financial reward on offer for us if we do well.

“The fact our opponents have called it the biggest game in their history puts a bit more on it as well.

“We’re really looking forward to it.

“I really do feel it is about us and not the opposition.

“That isn’t to say we won’t be taking into account what they are going to bring.”

Mildenhall make the long trip up from East Anglia as the underdogs, currently sitting 18th in their league, the equivalent of one below City.

They have however beaten two higher ranked sides in the previous rounds, Lancaster’s Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals Barwell and Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division leaders King’s Lynn Town.

“I know a little bit about them,” said Brown.

“I’ve spoken to someone in that neck of the woods and you pick up bits from clips and interviews.

“You only need to look at their results as well. They’ve beaten two teams at our level to get to this stage, one from the southern league and one from ours.

“We know it’s going to be a difficult game.

“But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

“We’re at home, we’ve been decent at home this season, we’re from a higher league and will rightly be the favourites.”

That home record stands at 11 unbeaten in all competitions, eight of those games being victories.

It means the Dollies will fancy themselves against anyone at Giant Axe with the chance of one of non-league’s big boys coming to West Road if Brown’s side can progress.

“There’s some big teams who have come in at this stage and there will be some even bigger ones in the next round,” he said.

“We want to be in the hat.

“We want to be in the hat to keep our cup run going, we want to be in the hat because of the financial reward and we want to be in the hat to keep our home record going which can help us build momentum to take back into the league.”

Brown has an almost fully fit squad to choose from on Saturday.

Rob Henry, shoulder, and Glenn Steel, hamstring, are a couple of weeks away from a return to action but Gavin Clark is back in training after his medial knee ligament problem.

It’s a week of cup action for the Dolly Blues who also travel to Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals Warrington Town in the Integro League Cup next Tuesday night, November 28.