Published: 06:00, 09 October 2020
Lydd Town are breaking new ground and have the chance to really make a bit of history this weekend.
After four years of trying they have made it into the second qualifying round of the FA Vase for the first time and manager Mickey Doyle feels his side have a real chance of taking their run further.
On Sunday they head to the Imperial Sports Ground in south London to play away at fellow step six outfit Tooting Bec, a side who groundshare at Tooting & Mitcham, and who play in the Combined Counties League first division.
Doyle said: “It will be nice for the lads to play there, it is a bit of a journey, but we are going in high spirits and I think we have just as much chance as anyone of getting through to this next round.
“It’s a massive game, a big game for the club and it’s an historic one, especially as the first round proper starts after this game so if we can get over this one then we are making big history.”
Doyle took over as manager following the departure of long-serving Liam Smith at the end of last year, stepping up from his role as assistant. It’s his first stab at the top job and things are looking promising for the Southern Counties East Division 1 side.
They’ve made a steady start to their league campaign and beat Broadbridge Heath on penalties to claim the club’s first ever success in the FA Vase.
Goalkeeper Tom Barnes was the hero that day, saving a penalty and the rebound in normal time and then two more as Lydd won on penalties.
They head into this weekend’s match with spirits high after beating the odds to claim a home draw against Croydon in the league. Dale Horton’s second of the match clinched a point, scoring with six minutes left from the penalty spot.
They had been playing for 60 minutes with 10 men after a controversial dismissal, their man adjudged to have used an elbow, although video evidence shows it wasn’t the case.
That comeback point may just help them to be firing on all cylinders come Sunday.
“To claw it back is testament to the boys,” said their manager.
“Since I took over they have impressed me with their work rate and how they all play for the badge.
“Confidence is pretty high, there is a real buzz around the place. The lads have really bought into myself and the team, Justin Day and Kyle Galea, who we brought in this year.
“We are making strides on and off the pitch and I feel, for a little town club playing in the SCEFL, people are thinking ‘these boys are actually not going to be pushovers’.
“The chairman is a lovely bloke, the secretary Bruce is an absolute diamond. It is such a nice family-run club.
“We challenge everyone at the club to push forward and they have grabbed it and ran with it, it is excellent at the moment.
“It would be massive (to get into the first round) and the boys are capable. We don’t fear anyone. We try and take games to teams, sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed.
“It’s the way we want to play, to be positive and play football the right way, and I think we do that most of the time.”