Daventry Town showed a real ‘Dunkirk spirit in beating Banbury United 5-3 in the Red Insure League Cup on Tuesday - just days after chairman Iain Humphrey announced a crippling two thirds cut to the weekly players’ budget.
Another mass exodus of players seems inevitable after only eight of Darran Foster’s squad were prepared to commit themselves to the Communications club in the immediate future.
Foster and his assistant Neil Champelovier somehow conjured up a magnificent response from the remaining players at Banbury on Tuesday night, but the manager was under no illusions about the rocky road ahead.
“With such a tiny budget to work with we will have our work cut out to avoid relegation let alone mount another promotion bid,” he conceded.
Already Bedford Town have put in a seven-day approach for player-of-the-year Ollie Wilkinson, while Rugby Town have done likewise for goalkeeper Richard Morris.
Understandably too Kyle Cartwright has decided to play closer to home with Bedworth United, while striker Luke Keen is unwilling to travel from West Bromwich to pick up minimal wages.
Coach Jamie Gould has been released, and several other players have expressed their desire to join other clubs.
Those committing their futures to Town are Ash Deeney, Kieran Fitzgerald, Ben Heath, Ryan Howell, Josh O’Grady, Martin Hutchcox, Joe Power and Barry Deacon.
Centre forward Mitchell Piggon who scored twice in the first 17 minutes against SL Premier Division outfit Banbury, remains undecided despite saying how much he was enjoying his football at Daventry.
On the credit side central defender Ricky Hill, once of Bedworth, has joined the club at a time when striker Sam Haynes is awaiting international clearance.
Jamie Calvin is also rumoured to be seeking a quick return to Daventry.
Chairman Humphrey, who is currently away in Las Vegas, controls the purse strings through his Shebang mobile phone company.
Meanwhile, Foster and his backroom boys have promised to do their best in difficult circumstances despite a new budget that would not even prove adequate back in the United Counties League.
The manager though was understandably proud of his players’ response in midweek at The Stadium where a Fitzgerald goal set up a three-goal lead inside half an hour.
Harry White even scored a hat-trick for Banbury but further goals from O’Grady and Angus secured the 5-3 win.
Just how many players will be prepared to cup tie themselves by playing in the FA Trophy against Romulus in Sutton Coldfield on Saturday remains to be seen.