Daventry Town’s fairytale runs in two major cup competitions have finally ended.
In all, a total of 7,760 spectators watched 12 matches in which 41 goals were scored before £40,000 in a FA prize money found its way into the club’s coffers.
All along though manager Darran Foster has maintained that promotion is the number one priority for a Daventry team which must now fulfil no less than 30 Calor League fixtures in the final five months of the season.
The run-up to Christmas does not look too onerous as this Saturday’s tricky trip to newly-promoted St Ives will be followed by games against Chertsey Town, Chalfont St Peter and Aylesbury.
By reaching the first rounds proper in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy, Daventry Town’s name has been put well and truly onto the football map. Obviously though the game at Chesterfield will live longest in the mind.
The Purple Army made up about 700 of the 5,269 strong crowd, but local interest has been hard to maintain as only 203 spectators witnessed last Saturday’s unlucky 1-0 Trophy defeat by Conference League strugglers Maidenhead.
That attendance was slightly lower than the figure for an earlier round defeat of Ramsgate, and bettered only one other Trophy return at the weekend. Gosport Borough’s 1-0 win over Concord Rangers attracted only 192 spectators.
In losing 1-0 to Maidenhead, Town are entitled to feel hard done by. The winning goal in the 68th minute came from a hotly-disputed free-kick awarded against Tom James.
Michael Malcolm slotted home on the rebound after an excellent save by Town goalkeeper Richard Morris on a day when the home team again squandered numerous scoring chances of their own.
Acting captain Guy Sanders and ever-reliable full back Ollie Wilkinson stood out in the Town defence, but it must be hoped that by the time you read this re-inforcements will have arrived to boost the team’s goal scoring potential.
Barwell’s Luke Richards was expected to put pen to paper this week, while talks will also be held with David Blenkinsopp (Bedworth United) and Luke Keen of Romulus.
Meanwhile boss Foster has always kept his feet on the ground.
“To get so far in both the FA Cup and the Trophy was beyond our wildest dreams, but the priority has always been to gain promotion to the Southern League’s Premier Division,” said Foster.
“Now we must knuckle down and concentrate upon picking up league points, starting at St Ives this Saturday.
“The Boxing Day game at Rugby Town will also act as a barometer when judging our continued progress.”
Leaving the Chesterfield encounter aside, Daventry’s best performance in the FA Cup came with the 4-0 away win over step three Grays Athletic. Six-goal bonanzas against both Berhamsted and Hartley Wintney were not to be sniffed at either!
A 3-1 win at Belper was right up there too, while the Trophy successes included two against higher-placed opposition in Corby Town and Wingate and Finchley.
Unfortunately the Maidenhead reversal put paid to an excellent home record.
Before that result Town had won 17 matches on the trot at Communications Park dating back to a 1-1 draw with Biggleswade on April 4.