Click here for FATV's feature on East Thurrock's big FA Cup day
East Thurrock United 0-3 Macclesfield Town
The FA Cup with Budweiser
First Round Proper
Saturday 12 November 2011
Rookery Hill, East Thurrock United FC
Click here for a full list of results
Despite defeat to League opposition Macclesfield Town in Saturday's FA Cup with Budweiser First Round proper, it was a special day for Essex side East Thurrock United who had reached this stage of the competition for the first time in their history.
A crowd of 1,207 turned out at the Corringham-based club's Rookery Hill Ground, while behind the scenes some 25 people were helping get things ready for their afternoon in the limelight.
Speaking to FATV before the game, East Thurrock secretary Neil Speight was excited as he looked forward to kick-off.
"I thought it was a great draw," he said. "Macclesfield are a perfect club for this fixture. They are lovely people, we've had a great relationship with them and I've been looking forward to meeting some of the people I've been speaking to on the phone. We're honoured and priveleged to have them down at our ground.
"It's all a bit frenetic, but that's got to be what The FA Cup is about, lilttle clubs like ours suddenly stepping into the big leagues. It's fantastic."
He added: "This is a family football club. I know you often hear that phrase but this is. We're all friends, we love away days and we all go together. It's real, shere enjoyment and I love every minute of it."
But a disappointed Coventry was proud of his team after seeing his team go down 3-0 to a side who are three divisions above his Isthmian Premier outfit.
"It's been a fantastic result for everyone concerned, but the result was massively disappointing," he admitted. "I've just said to the players in there that you probably didn't get the result you deserved today.
"It's not just about me and the team, it's about everybody who's helped stage this game. I've been a part of it, but the other people's hard work is fantastic. This has been a good insight into what it's liek if you are involved in a higher level of football, and I don't think anyone would say 'oh, I don't like that'. I've enjoyed it."
And having scooped a total of £27,500 from The FA's Prize Fund for winning four games this campaign, Coventry insist the money will be used to help develop the club from top to bottom.
"I've been here ten years and I've been trying to build up a youth policy, football in the community.Any spare money knocking about we can perhaps help some of the young kids, improve their changing rooms or things liek thart. So it's not just going on the first team squad. They're not getting much of it!" he joked.
Click here to watch all the latest videos from this season's FA Cup.
Play FATV went behind the scenes at Rookery Hill on Saturday as Cup fever hit the Essex town.
Rocks enjoy their day in the limelight.
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