Daventry Town’s prize money fund will approach the £20,000 mark if they can gain victories over Sutton Coldfield in the FA Trophy this Saturday and in-form Grays Athletic in the FA Cup a week later.
Grays operate at step three level in the Ryman Premier League and have scored a dozen goals in winning their four most recent league and cup games against Romford, Margate, Bury Town and Tilbury.
Of the trip to Essex, Town boss Darran Foster said: “Make no mistake this will be our toughest assignment so far this season. Grays Athletic were champions at our level last season and are doing well again after a shaky start to the new campaign.”
The FA Cup third qualifying round tie may yet have to be played on Sunday, October 13, not 24 hours earlier, as Grays ground share with nearby host club Aveley FC who are due to entertain Waltham Forest in a Ryman League match on the Saturday.
Before Tuesday’s surprise 3-1 loss at Dunstable, Town had been left as the only one of the top 368 football teams in England still in possession of a 100 per cent record following Leyton Orient’s 1-1 draw with Walsall last Saturday.
Victory in the FA Cup tie a week on Saturday would earn another £7,500 (Town have already pocketed almost £10,000 from previous round wins) from the FA, but first Daventry must play for much smaller beer (£2,500) when entertaining Sutton Coldfield in the Trophy in two days’ time.
Currently sitting in mid-table in the NPL First Division, Sutton Coldfield only lost by the odd goal in five to Stourbridge in the Cup last weekend. Even so the Town look favourites to reach the first round proper of the FA Trophy. Grays though seem a different proposition altogether. Currently seventh in the Ryman Premier Division, the Essex men were promoted as Division One champions last season.
Top scorer Joao Carlos has netted only four times so far however, and this compares poorly with Daventry’s leading marksmen Scott Cross (7 goals), Ashley Robinson (6) and Ross Oulton (4).
Meanwhile Daventry’s near-neighbours Rugby Town will travel to Worcester City in the FA Cup after a comfortable 6-0 win over step six minnows Blaby and Whetstone in the second qualifying round.
Daventry’s scheduled Southern League match against Uxbridge on October 12 has been postponed already, while the league game against Aylesbury United at Leighton Buzzard has been re-arranged for Wednesday, October 23.
Town may be going from strength to strength, but things have not gone so well this season for Ady Fuller who lost the manager’s job at both Daventry and Banbury United through no fault of his own.
Fuller won a UCL title and took Town to the Southern League play-offs but has now resigned at NLP club Bedworth United after his platers won only one of their first nine league games this season.