Liversedge look to create more FA Trophy history in Remembrance Day fixture
Liversedge FC are hoping to continue their dream FA Trophy run as they aim to get another win against a side at a step above when they face Basford United at the Clayborn Ground on Saturday.
This is Sedge’s first ever season competing in the FA Trophy and they have qualified for the first round proper at the first time of asking with what has already been an incredible run.
Cup runs can be lucrative for non-league clubs. Sedge's win over Scarborough – who are in the same league as Saturday’s opponents Basford – earned them at least £3,225 in prize money (£2,450 third qualifying round prize + £775 first round losers fee – the minimum they can take.)
But it is not just the prize money at stake for Sedge, it is about maintaining the buzz around the club. The 4-0 win over Scarborough saw their biggest home gate of the season as they welcomed 571 to Clayborn. They hope to attract another big crowd bolstered by Huddersfield Town and Leeds United being out of action and Bradford City playing away from home.
Manager Jonathan Rimmington said: “It seems every week at the moment we’re talking about a massive game and a bumper crowd.
“The crowds have been amazing. We’re trying to put the building blocks in place and it is really starting to show.
“Apparently Scarborough brought between 150 and 200. I know you have groundhoppers and neutrals, but that means around 300 to 350 were our own.
“Hopefully we can keep giving them performances like that and keep them coming back. They’ll play a huge part in getting us over the line on Saturday.”
Before the 4-0 win over Scarborough was another spectacular victory in the competition.
Liversedge travelled to Clitheroe of the NPL West (largely considered stronger than the East division where Sedge compete) and went down to 10 men when goalkeeper Jordan Porter was sent off.
Striker Joe Walton went in goal and kept Clitheroe out with several stunning saves before a 10-9 penalty shootout victory saw Sedge through.
As a step 4 side – the lowest level to enter the competition – there should be a limit to Sedge’s ambition.
But still unbeaten in the league and having already beaten higher opposition, there is no telling how far they could go. Despite the lack of FA Trophy history at the club, there is some in the dressing room as goalkeeper Porter was part of the FC Halifax Town squad to lift the trophy in 2016.
The 2020-21 winners Hornchurch FC provide inspiration as they completed the rare achievement of winning the cup while playing below the National League North/South (step 2 of non-league).
One more win sees Sedge reach the round that sides from step 2 enter and a big draw against one of those sides would probably be enough for people at the club to see the tournament as an enormous success off the field.
But the sense you get from the playing staff is that they will not roll over for higher league opposition and any loss, no matter who it comes against, would be a failure.
Midfielder Ross Daly said: “We don’t see any game as a free hit as we’ll be disappointed if we lose.
“We believe we’ve got every chance of winning this game. We carry that confidence into every game at the moment as nobody is finding a way to beat us.
“We’ve taken out higher league opposition once, what is stopping us from doing it again?
“You see teams have these amazing runs in the FA Cup and Trophy, it didn’t happen for us in the cup this year but we arguably stand a greater chance in this competition. We’re one of the best sides at step 4 right now. So why not us?”
Liversedge FC will be holding Remembrance Day tributes ahead of the match.