Smith delighted with home draw
Smith delighted with home draw

Canterbury City have been rewarded for beating Leicester Nirvana in the last sixteen of the Buildbase FA Vase with another home draw against Biggleswade F.C. 

Biggleswade are from the Spartan South Midland Football League and are currently second behind Hadley – a solitary point back but with three games in hand and indeed the two meeting on Saturday.

But for boss Ben Smith, Saturday’s achievement will mean nothing if Canterbury City Council refuses the Club planning permission to finally return to the City this week.  Speaking to KSN on Monday afternoon, the City boss told us, “Delighted to have a home draw – would have like personally for a “long” trip North to test myself/ourselves in a real footballing area, but having the crowd we got on Saturday and knowing that it will increase for the next round, there really is a huge buzz around the club at the moment which is great.  So, for the Club a home tie is brilliant and amazing!”

“The game will be played on the Sunday (February 24th) as Faversham are at home on the Saturday, and so the good crowd we got Saturday could well be bettered.  Let’s face it in the last eight of a national competition, you know that you’re going to face a good side. but we will go into the game in exactly the same way as we have for very other tie we’ve been involved in this season.”

“We’ll worry about us and us alone – we know that they will look at the balls coming out and would have been very happy with ball number eight coming out and they’ll be happy to get us!”

“But we know on our day that with the players that we’ve got in our squad that we’re not a mid-table side, it’s just important that we turn up on the day and if we do, I have no doubt that we’ve got good players at the club – I think of my twenty players, there’s only one or two who haven’t got BOSTIK League experience!  We’re certainly not “heavy” underdogs and we certainly have belief in ourselves.”

“But if we don’t get the support of the Council planners on Tuesday night, it will all mean nothing!  If we get it, it’ll be a fantastic time for everyone, and things could well take off for the club.  We knew that we had to do the business on Saturday as we knew by winning hopefully it’ll put more pressure on the Council!”

“I’ve had the Chairman in my ear saying, “if we get to the Quarter Finals it’ll be huge publicity for the Club…  so, then a bit of pressure on our shoulders but the boys came through it with flying colours!”

But Smith was adamant which was the most important date for the club – February 5th’s planning meeting at the City Council, or February 24th and the Buildbase FA Vase sixth Round.

He said. “Tomorrow night is the most important for everyone at the club – we could get to Wembley and know that the game will be absolutely massive, but if Tuesday night doesn’t go well, there won’t be a Football Club.”

“So, it pales into insignificance really as it’s so important that after being without a home for twenty years, it so important that that injustice will be put right!”

There will be a second Kent side in the last eight as Kevin Watson and Cray Valley face the long trip to just off Junction 27 of the M5 not far from Exeter to face Willand Rovers who currently top the Western Football League having lost once in twenty four matches.

To watch a video on the planning application, click here: