LYDNEY Town boss Mark Lee says his team’s turbulent run to tonight’s Hellenic Floodlit Cup Final could not have been more difficult.
Town made it to the third round of the competition before being knocked out by Royal Wootton Bassett Town but were then reinstated after a series of complications.
Bassett’s second round opponents Sandhurst Town were found to have fielded an ineligible player in their first round tie against Woodley United, and as a result, United were put in Sandhurst’s place.
They then defeated Bassett before going down to Lydney in extra time of the third round.
Lydney’s appearance tonight at Kidlington is their third successive run to a cup final, with Town earning runners-up medals in the GFA Challenge Trophy last year and the Hellenic Supplementary Cup in 2015.
“It’s our third final in three years and I hope we can get over the line and win one this time,” Lee said.
“The boys have earned it. It’s great for them to keep the season alive.
“Every single game has been away from home. We’ve racked up over 700 miles in travelling in this competition and we’ve been eliminated and then reinstated. I don’t think it’s possible to have a more difficult run!
“The lads all work 9-5 jobs and they’ve had to ask for time off work to play these games in midweek, and return home at 2am. It’s created a serious bond.”
Final opponents Flackwell Heath pose a serious threat to Lydney’s silverware hopes but Lee believes his side are capable of causing an upset.
“First and foremost we have to take care of ourselves,” he added.
“We have to be aware of their threats and go out with the right approach.
“We’ve shown we can go to teams like Ardley and Thatcham and run them close.
“We could have beaten them up there and from the first meeting to where we are now, I think we’re a totally different proposition.”
Town are missing just three players this evening, as Tom Maxted and Lewis Halford are both on holiday, while Tom Shaw is unavailable due to work.