The Bears will welcome their NWCFL Premier Division counterparts Bury AFC to the Cleric Stadium on Saturday as the two teams prepare to lock horns for a place in this year’s FA Vase semi-final, and be just 90 minutes from a trip to Wembley.
The two sides met last month, days after finding out the quarter-final draw, in a game that almost felt like a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s encounter.
A last minute strike from Jon Beaumont cancelled out Bury’s first-minute opener to share the spoils, in a game where Congleton may have been disappointed to have come away with just a point.
Richard Duffy’s side head into Saturday’s game in great form, winning their last four outings. As for The Shakers, they’ve won two of their last six games. But in any cup game, let alone a match of this magnitude, it would be naive to think form plays any sort of factor.
“It’s not just another game, it’s a quarter-final of a competition that’s big at this level.
“I’ll tell the lads it’s a big opportunity for us, one we are looking forward to and we will fill the place out with however many of our fans, and hope we come out on top!”
Following a first round bye, Congleton’s FA Vase adventure kickstarted with a 2-1 victory over Coventry United in December, courtesy of two goals from Tom Pope.
The Bears then advanced into round three in which saw Ethan Hartshorn’s late strike secure a place in the fourth round, following a chaotic 4-3 win over Lye Town.
Pinchbeck United awaited Richard Duffy’s men in the next round, in a game Congleton won in comfortable fashion.
Goals from Shakeel Jones-Griffiths, George Sankey, Ryan Read and Tom Pope secured a 4-0 win and a meeting with AFC Wulfrunians in the last 16.
Dan Needham’s first-half goal proved to be enough after a ten man Congleton side had their backs against the walls following the interval with Richard Duffy being dismissed on the stroke of half-time. A defensive performance worthy of winning any game of football.
Many memories have been made so far in this year’s FA Vase journey. Is there more to be made on Saturday? Let’s hope.
Come on you Bears!