Non League Club

Revenge is a dish I’d rather not have to eat

Posted in Uncategorized by stuartnoel on February 25, 2012

The term “after the Lord Mayor’s show” could not be more apt this weekend as Lewes play their first home game in a month. On Tuesday night I followed proceedings in the Ryman League Cup semi-final, using the Twitter equivalent of the refresh button on Ceefax. The most important game in almost a year for the club ultimately ended in close defeat to Essex upstarts East Thurrock United. If Ernie, the fixture computer was alive today, he would have raised a wry smile as the Rocks hopped on their fun bus and headed south to the Rooks. A chance for some immediate revenge perhaps?

In early December East Thurrock United sat in the relegation zone whilst Lewes were in the play off places. A week is a long time in football, let alone 11 1/2 of them and coming into this game twelve points separated the sides, with the Essex team having four games in hand. In terms of current form the stats could not be more contrasting. In the League East Thurrock had taken 13 points from a possible 18; Lewes just 2. Why had there been such a reversal of fortune? That would be the power of the FA Cup.

As of the 31st January East Thurrock had played 14 games in the FA competitions. They reached the first round of the FA Cup, drawing Macclesfield Town at home which was televised. The prize money alone for that FA cup run was £27,500. Add in the gate share in the seven games they played, plus the TV money and you will get a figure close to £50,000. Add to that the £14,000 from prize money in the FA Trophy and you will get a figure that is probably 75% of their annual playing budget. And with that cash the club has been able to strengthen their squad accordingly.

Lewes, on the other hand, were knocked out at Chertsey Town in the FA Cup in the first qualifying round and would have got less than £1,000 as a share of the gate, and around the same after being knocked out of the Trophy at the first stage to Harlow Town. Success or failure can rest on a kind draw in the non leagues. (more…)