Saturday 20 October Home to Leatherhead FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round kick-off 3.00pm. If the game is drawn the replay will be on Wednesday 23 October kick-off 7.45pm.
FA CUP DRAW
There is another massive incentive to beat Leatherhead on Saturday as we have learnt that if successful we will host the draw for the First Round of the FA Cup in our clubhouse on Monday.
The programme will go out on BBC2 and BT Sport from 7.00pm and it will also be broadcast around the world. If we lose it would be held at Leatherhead.
As you are probably aware the Herts Senior Cup tie with Tring was postponed on Wednesday. Please see the full story on our website but once again I would like to thank the officials of Tring Athletic and the Herts F A for their magnanimous gestures to help our FA Cup preperations.
- Dan Webb is suspended for the Leatherhead game after being booked twice in earlier rounds.
- Charlie Smith and Robbie Burns returned to training this week and face fitness tests on Saturday.
- Macsen Fraser has started his rehabilitation but has little chance of playing on Saturday.
MARK BURKE ON LEATHERHEAD
Saturday is our biggest FA Cup game for 23 years and I am really looking forward to it. We need to have a positive approach to the game and ensure we enjoy the experience without allowing the occasion to get the better of us. This will be as much a mental test as a physical one.
Both teams will have been happy with the draw having avoided National League sides and it is a great opportunity for one of us to make a name for themselves. Leatherhead are a good footballing side with a number of players who have played at a higher level. It will be good to welcome ex-Canary Shaun Okojie back to Top Field.
I watched their replay at Hanwell and our scout Ian Stratford watched them at Wingate Finchley last Saturday so we have prepared thoroughly.
I would ask our supporters to really get behind the lads and should at any stage we be struggling or even fall behind please be patient and continue to give your support. You really can make the difference.
LEATHERHEAD – A PERSONAL REFLECTION
Having been treasurer of Hitchin Town FC for over 40 years I have experienced many highs and probably even more lows over the years. I have seen too many financial crises none more so than when Andy Melvin took over the club to prevent almost certain liquidation.
Since Andy took over we have always lived within our means and have had great stability. That is not to say things have been easy and we work very hard to maximise our income. But in an average season we hope to break even by cutting our cloth accordingly.
The doubling of prize money in the FA Cup has had a great impact on non -league football. By winning the first three qualifying round games we have won £6,000, £9,000 and £15,000 respectively. So we have won £30,000 that was not budgeted for and is bonus money in our accounts. It will enable us to carry out a programme of repairs in the clubhouse and in the ground. If we won on Saturday there is a further £25,000 at stake and this could help set us up for next year. It is no wonder I am having difficulty sleeping and waking up early thinking about Saturday and the potential consequences!
It is 23 years since we last reached the First Round Proper and I vividly remember the excitement of our giant killings. There was an unmistakable buzz around Top Field and we became national news. Appearances on Match of the Day, reports in national newspapers, players and management becoming celebrities-what great memories. Such events do not happen very often so you make the most of them when they happen.
Hitchin Town FC can bring great publicity to the area with an FA Cup run so I really do ask all our supporters to come along in great numbers on Saturday to help the team across the line. We really do need your support and we need to get behind Mark and the team. I will try to survive the next
couple of days without that £25,000 prize dominating my thoughts but I am not hopeful!
Once again many thanks to the Daily Mail for the excellent article written by Matt Barlow that appeared in Monday’s paper. To get such high profile national coverage was a real coup for us and thanks again to Matt Furniss for setting it up. Matt also was instrumental in getting an interview with Mark Burke as the lead item in the BBC review of the fourth qualifying round on their sport website.
CSS LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP DRAW
We have been drawn at home to Biggleswade Town in the 2nd Round of the League Cup. The date and time will be announced in due course.
HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19s
Our academy side were beaten 6-4 by Bishops Stortford on Wednesday.
HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC
The Ladies were beaten 2-1 by Letchworth Garden City Eagles at Offley on Sunday. But they are still top of the table with 10 points from 5 games.