FA Trophy test as Chesham get Conference call

Bucks Free Press: Andy Leese Andy Leese

THE Southern League might be a place of anguish and underachievement for Chesham United this season, but so far salvation has come in The FA Trophy.

Tomorrow afternoon Barrow will become the latest team to try and disturb their cup solace, but manager Andy Leese has challenged his players to extend their irrepressible cup form for another game – and make history while they’re at it.

He said: “You will remember very few games in much detail when you stop playing.

“I want the players to remember this one. That’s certainly what I’ll be saying them.

“We’ve had a tough season so far and have had to work hard to get this far, really hard. We’re not hanging on this competition, but it’s where we’ve had some joy and I don’t want the players to let themselves down.

“This club is steeped in history and 1968 [when Chesham were FA Amateur Cup runners-up] may never be repeated, but we have a chance of writing another chapter in the club’s history.

“So let’s be the result and the upset of the round.”

Bishops Cleeve, Taunton Town, Canvey Island and Bath City have so far been dispatched in reaching this stage, but tomorrow will test Chesham further.

Barrow are used to mixing it with former Football League clubs like Lincoln, Hereford, Luton, Stockport, Grimsby, Wrexham, Macclesfield...

The National Conference League is a tough playground these days and coming to The Meadow won’t fill them with dread.

And even less so this season, as Chesham’s league form continues to be a millstone around their necks.

On Saturday they lost 3-1 at Kettering Town, providing the team bottom of the table with their first home win of the season while leaving Leese’s men just three points off the relegation zone.

From their point of view, the less said about that the better.

Leese admitted: “It was an horrendous weekend – really, really dire. So this cup tie couldn’t be timed better.

“There is no rhyme or reason for our better performances in the cup, there aren’t any psychological factors.

“Possibly teams higher up the pyramid give you more room to play and stand off you a bit and maybe playing higher league opposition motivates the players more.

“I certainly hope our cup form continues though. We’re flying the flag for the Southern League.”

Kick off is 3pm.

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