CHAIRMAN Colin Pick is ‘buzzing’ after Yate Town were handed an exciting home tie against Blue Square Premier league leaders Newport County in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.
The draw couldn’t have been any tougher for Southern League Division One South and West’s bottom club, who are one of the lowest placed teams left in the competition, and a big crowd is expected for the game at Lodge Road on Saturday, October 20.
One of the grandest names to enter the competition at this stage, Newport are managed by Justin Edinburgh, who won the FA Cup as a player with Tottenham in 1991.
Pick, who has been involved with Yate since 2000 and replaced Peter Jackson as chairman last year, said: “It’s fantastic. I think it’s the tie of the round and I’m really looking forward to it.
“They are top of the non-league pyramid system and we are bottom of level four so you cannot get much difference.
“If we go out at least it will be a good game and it should be a good crowd.
“From the club’s point of view we are massive underdogs and anything other than a defeat would be good, and a replay would be fantastic.”
Yate have already pocketed £16,750 in prize money from their FA Cup exploits, which has seen them knock out league rivals Poole Town, Winchester City and North Leigh and Conference North high-flyers Oxford City.
With a large following expected to make the short trip over the Severn Bridge from Newport, the extra revenue is a significant boost to Yate, who have submitted plans to South Gloucestershire Council for a new clubhouse.
“It means an awful lot to any club,” said Pick, who added that the money will go towards ongoing ground improvements.
“If we get a positive result in the planning application it would be the icing on the cake.
“The ultimate aim is to get into the Premier Division of the Southern League and then play the likes of Oxford City again in the Conference.”
Although Yate boss Rob Cousins was hoping for an easier draw to give his side more chance of meeting a Football League side in the First Round Proper, he is relishing the prospect of facing one of non-league’s most illustrious clubs.
He said: “It’s going to create a buzz for the people associated with the club and live in the area of Yate.
“Newport are the highest placed team in the competition so it will be a tough tie but upsets do happen and we’ve got to look forward to it.
“You would like to get a lesser team because you’d love to progress to the First Round Proper, but Newport are a big club in their own right.
“There are a lot of clubs in the Conference that were in the Football League and Newport are one of them.
“Hopefully they will be well supported and hopefully this will generate an interest locally so we get a big crowd and make it a good day.”
All tickets will be sold on the day, with the usual admission prices of £8 for adults, £5 for OAPs and under-16s and £1 for under-11s when accompanied by an adult being applied.