Lancing gunning for FA Vase glory
Lancing bid for FA Vase progress on Saturday promising supporters: We’ll give it our best shot.
The Lancers host Flackwell Heath behind closed doors at Culver Road on Saturday in a game delayed by nearly four months because of lockdown.
If Kane Louis and James Rhodes’ team win, they will travel to the winners of the all-Western League premier division tie between Plymouth Parkway and Clevedon Town in round five – the last 16 – seven days later.
Lancing, Sussex’s last remaining side in the competition, have already beaten Reading City, Worthing United and North Greenford United and now host Flackwell Heath – with Wembley dreams starting to form for teams left involved.
There will be a £1,875 prize pot for the winners of fourth round games, while fifth round winners will receive £2,250 – vital funds after a year in which clubs at that level have been able to play only a handful of games in front of paying fans.
Lancers joint boss Rhodes said the squad, who beat East Preston 2-1 on Saturday in their opening SCFL Cup group game were in good shape for the tie and looking forward to it.
He told the Herald: “Everyone is really happy to be back and the lads look hungrier than ever.
“All the minutes to date have been really important for the whole squad, and playing against a young dynamic East Preston team was a good test.
“As for the Vase game, being at home does help our game, but I’m confident in the squad’s ability and know they will give everything on Saturday and that’s all we ask.”
With spectators still not allowed at football at Lancing’s level – despite the fact shops and beer gardens are doing a roaring trade – Rhodes said it was a shame Lancers fans would not be at Culver Road to support the team on Saturday.
“It’s really disappointing but we cant do anything about it and with the way the world is we are just happy to be playing again,” he said.
Meanwhile Lancing are waiting to see if the planned restructure of steps four to six of the non-league pyramid might open the door for them to be promoted to the Isthmian south east division.
Rhodes said: “It sounds like something might happen but until something is presented and confirmed I’m not worrying about that.”