Spennymoor Town manager Jason Ainsley is hoping his side can repay the “driving force” behind the club by reaching The Emirates FA Cup first round proper.
The ambitious Northern Premier League Division One North outfit welcome Burscough to their Brewery Field home on Saturday, and they head into their second round qualifying unbeaten this campaign.
Following their triumph over north-east rivals Blyth Spartans in the previous round, the Moors have gone on to record two successive triumphs on the road in the league to take them up to second in the table, and Ainsley says his men are in determined spirits leading into the weekend.
Spennymoor v Burscough
The Emirates FA Cup
Second Round Qualifying
3pm, Saturday 26 September
The Brewery Field
Winning clubs receive £4,500
Tickets: £8 adults, £5 kids
“That was a great result for us against Blyth in the last round and a real advert for The FA Cup,” he told TheFA.com.
“That gave us some real confidence and we carried that on and played really well against Trafford and won 2-0 there and then we went up to Lancaster and won 3-0.
“So if the lads can’t play full of confidence now then they never will.”
Since chairman Brad Groves took over the club in 2009 the transformation of the County Durham outfit has been remarkable under his stewardship.
With Football League standard floodlights now fitted and a much improved ground to house their ever-growing fan base, Spennymoor really is a club on the up.
However, the financial support offered by Groves means the players have “no excuses” not to perform according to their manager.
“The chairman is fantastic. I get on with and speak to a lot of other managers and they are struggling both in terms of squad and financially – we have no excuse,” said Ainsley.
Spennymoor Town 2-1 Tunbridge Wells - FA Vase Final 2013
“The chairman has given us a good budget and the professionalism of the club – we travel on a coach, the food that is provided to us – and the players that come in see that.
“We also have our own academy from under-sevens right up to the first-team, so the aspirations and the vision of the club continue to grow.
“Although he has the backing of a lot of sponsors, he is the real driving force and is very ambitious.”
That support from the boardroom has been rewarded on the pitch in recent years with Ainsley at the helm.
They gained promotion from the Ebac Northern League two years ago and came within a whisker of following that up with a second successive promotion last season when they were defeated in the play-offs by Darlington 1883.
Former Hartlepool midfielder Ainsley also guided the side to Wembley success in The FA Vase three seasons ago, and he is hoping to reward his chairman’s faith and outlay in the club with a run in The Emirates FA Cup.
“We had a real good run last year and got to the last qualifying round. It was a real kick in the teeth the way we went out against Telford. We were two up in the final minute and let them get a draw out of it and then in the replay we got beat,” said Ainsley.
“But when the draw for the first round was made on the telly we were in the hat for it. In the end it would have been Basingstoke, which is no disrespect to them, but we were so close to that and it’s something we would love to be involved in.
“I always say every year that there is always one north east non-league team that goes far. It was Blyth and Gateshead last year, and this year why can’t it be us?
“Obviously you are reliant on the draws, but we have beaten Harrogate Railway away, we have beaten Blyth, and now we have to take care of Burscough. It won’t be easy, but it’s a home draw where we are usually quite strong.”
He added: “We know it’ll be tough though as they’ve won their last two. We also played them twice last year and they were both difficult games. If we turn up and don’t perform then we know we’ll be out the cup, but if we are on form then they will have to be a very good side to beat us.”
Moors take on Buscough at 3pm on Saturday 26 September at Brewery Field in Spennymoor, County Durham. Tickets for the clash are available on the gate and priced at £8 adults and £5 kids.