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Saints march on in FA Cup
CHALFONT St Peter are putting themselves on the footballing map again.
Four seasons ago the Saints earned national recognition when they battled their way to the semi-finals of the FA Vase.
Only a penalty shoot-out defeat at Glossop North End denied them a place at Wembley, but after a few quiet years in the cups the Saints are marching again.
On Saturday they won their third match in the proudest competition of them all – The FA Cup – to earn a potentially lucrative home tie with Bishop’s Stortford in the third qualifying round on October 6.
Manager Danny Edwards said: “There is a nice buzz around the club again. It’s a little adventure that we haven’t had for a few years and it’s putting us back on the map.
“And it’s important for the club to be bringing some money in. Everyone is struggling and it’s a big hit for club like Chalfont.”
Saints will take their FA Cup prize fund up to £16,000 if they beat Bishop’s Stortford, and a victory over Merthyr Town in the FA Trophy tomorrow would take earnings in that competition up to around the £10k mark.
Edwards said: “I know some clubs rely on cup money and reaching a certain round, but that’s dangerous because you only need to have one slip up.
“We try to run the club the right way and whatever money we earn will go back into the club, not into players’ pockets.”
Everything depends on what happens on the field though, and Saints had already seen off Camberley and Newport Pagnell before they rocked up at Ryman Premier League outfit Carshalton, who had been expecting a comfortable afternoon.
Edwards said: “There was a comment before the game, someone said, ‘I hope you enjoy the day’.
“We felt a bit patronised. It wasn’t a tool for motivation because the players were motivated already, but I thought, ‘we will enjoy the day, but we’re here to get a result’.
“I think they expected us to turn up and just roll over, but perhaps they didn’t know what we achieved a few years ago.
“The players are more experienced now and they weren’t as over-awed as some of the bigger clubs might expect us to be.”
Daniel Hughes was the match-winner with the only goal in a match that forced the resignation of Carshalton boss Paul Dipre, and another upset against Bishop’s Stortford is not beyond the realms.
Edwards said: “They’re two leagues above us so we’ve got nothing to lose.
“We’re underdogs going into the game so even if we lose we’ll have done well to have got that far.
“But we’re at home, which is a big plus for us.”
First though, Chalfont must go west to meet Merthyr on Saturday.
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