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2 months ago By Stevie R

Blues kick off their Buildbase FA Trophy campaign on Saturday with a Preliminary Round tie against Loughborough Dynamo at Harrison Park.

The competition holds special memories for manager Neil Baker who led Leek all the way to the Wembley final in 1990. A repeat of that feat is highly unlikely but the increased prize money this season means progress would be highly beneficial to the club.

Saturday’s winners will pick up the tidy sum of £3000 from the FA prize fund, with the rewards for progressing to later rounds as shown below.

Preliminary round £3,000
First round qualifying £3,250
Second round qualifying £4,000
Third round qualifying £5,000
First round £6,000
Second round £7,000
Third round £8,000
Fourth round £10,000
Semi-Final £20,000
Final runners-up £30,000
Final winners £60,000

Loughborough have been regular league opponents over the last decade or so, but the two clubs won’t meet this season since Blues are in the EVO-STIK West whilst Dynamo are in the East.

Blues have had much the better of those meetings over the years including landing a double over Dynamo last season with a 3-0 win away and a 1-0 victory at Harrison Park.

Manager Neil Baker has some prior knowledge of Loughborough as his assistant Peter Ward was there manager last season, however he added,

“They have changed personnel quite a bit, but we do know what to expect as Pete and Jamie (Cullerton) went to watch them against Market Drayton.

They are scoring a lot of goals and are a team in form. Up until last weekend they had scored 16 goals in 3 games so our good defensive record will be tested.”

It promises to be an interesting match-up with Dynamo having scored the most goals in the East Division (24) and Blues having the best defensive record in the West Division having conceded just five.

Dynamo’s threat would have largely come from their experienced strike-force of Ryan Robbins and Karl Demidh who have 16 league goals between them this season, however both are suspended along with Blues Jordan Johnson.

Despite their scoring prowess Dynamo are only 13th in the league table having won just 3 of their 10 league games, conceding 18 goals in the process.

Saturday is also national Non-League Day and the club has a range of offers on food and drink plus a free gift for the first 300 people through the turnstiles in an effort to attract a good crowd to Harrison Park for the game, bearing in mind there is no Premier League or Championship football this weekend.

The Match is very kindly sponsored by The Winking Man.

Updated 18:44 - 13 Oct 2018 by Stevie R

Where next?

REPLAY REQUIRED AFTER DRAB DRAW Blues face a replay in the FA Trophy after a drab goalless draw against Loughborough Dynamo at Harrison Park.
BAKER - IT WAS A COMPREHENSIVE VICTORY Blues boss Neil Baker was delighted with his sides performance in their 4-0 victory over Prescot Cables at Harrison Park.


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