DAVENTRY TOWN: Maidenhead clash the biggest game yet at Communications Park

BIG DAY - the Daventry players enjoyed their day out at Chesterfield, and now they face another big match at home to Maidenhead
BIG DAY - the Daventry players enjoyed their day out at Chesterfield, and now they face another big match at home to Maidenhead

The trip to Chesterfield in the FA Cup represented the biggest match in Daventry Town’s 127-year history.

Maidenhead United in the FA Trophy a week on Saturday will be the most important game so far to be staged at Communications Park.

The Skrill (Conference) League South strugglers provide ideal opposition having failed to win in 11 outings before scoring the only goal against Eastbourne Borough in the Trophy last weekend.

Extended cup runs have already had a positive effect on attendances at Browns Road.

A crowd of 215, including injured England and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, witnessed the 3-2 FAT defeat of Ramsgate.

Foster had tagged along to watch his friend Tom James, scorer of Daventry’s second goal, but must also have been impressed by the agility of ‘TJ’s’ goalkeeping colleague Richard Morris.

Meanwhile the Ramsgate gate compared very favourably with turnstile figures of 99, 124 and 159 for previous home matches in the Trophy involving Sutton Coldfield, Wingate and Finchley and Corby Town.

Given the option of staying warm in front of television sets to watch England’s friendly against Germany, only 94 hardy souls turned up on Tuesday night to witness an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Uxbridge as Daventry returned to league action after a six-week gap

Going into that match the Town had dropped to seventh place in the Division One Central table, albeit with four or more games in hand over all their closest rivals.

Pre-Chesterfield league matches saw crowds of 88 (Egham), 109 (Beaconsfield SYCOB) and 115 (Leighton Town) at Communications Park, while even the recent NFA Senior Cup tie against Wellingborough led to an upsurge in local interest.

The Doughboys were watched by 94 spectators compared to a crowd of only 22 for a local derby Hillier Cup tie against Woodford United a year earlier.

On the debit side though, Town’s casualty list has grown recently with Ryan Howell and Ashley Robinson both sidelined by injuries picked up in the FA Cup tie while Adam Confue missed the Ramsgate clash because of a one-match suspension.

Promising young central defender Joe Henderson also limped off the pitch last Saturday at a time when Morris was again troubled by a persistent problem to his right foot.

Fortunately Daventry manager Darran Foster has added to his squad recently by the addition of Foster’s friend James whose previous clubs include Corby Town and professional outfit Watford.

Just as well then considering that crucial league games against Slough Town (at Beaconsfield on Saturday) and at home to North Greenford United three days later will precede the Trophy first round game against Maidenhead.