Longlevens First Team Manager Craig Martin has called for the support of fellow club members and the local community after his side were rewarded for Saturday’s FA Cup win, with a home tie in their First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup on Saturday week.
After Brad Martin’s goal was enough to see Longlevens beat Northwood 1-0 in the Preliminary Round at the weekend and now the Hellenic Premier side will host Wessex Premier League club Portland United at Saw Mills in the next round.
“It’s good to be at home because we can hopefully arrange our other club fixtures around the game so we can get some support from the rest of the club,” Martin told Severn Sport.
“But we are calling for all of the local community to come and share this special occasion with us, as it’s a moment of history for us as a small club. It’s our chance to show everybody what we are made of and to see what we can achieve.”
Martin spoke to us after Tuesday lunchtime’s FA Cup draw, just under 24 hours after his side were beaten 4-1 in a Bank Holiday local derby at Bishops Cleeve. Despite the defeat, Martin was delighted with the week his side produced considering they had players missing in each game.
“The last week has been very hard with player availability from the Tuffley game, into the Northwood game, then onto Bishops Cleeve yesterday. But over the weekend the results were both in my eyes totally fair. We didn’t deserve anything on Monday after putting everything into Saturday.
I’m not taking away anything from Cleeve cause they probably could have had 3/4 more goals in the game if it wasn’t for Kane [goalkeeper Kane Winman]. We gave them a good game considering we were two nil down at half time and we came out and straight away got on the front foot and scored a goal through Big Wez [Josh Westcarr]..
The result’s not disappointing for me as I could not ask for anymore out of my lads, from 1-13 and that’s all we could put out. They gave their all but came up against a Cleeve side that on their day can beat anyone,” Martin added.
Martin started for the first time this season due to an injury to Shaun O’Connor leaving Levens short in midfield. We asked the former Longlevens captain about whether this will kick start a resurgence and whether we can expect to see him back on the pitch anytime soon.
“It felt good to be back out on that pitch on Monday, but Monday night and Tuesday morning didn’t feel like it was a clever idea, but you know me Ryan if I need to put the boots on for this club I always will. But it’s not my aim to get back playing, I want these young lads to be the future of this club and I am hoping to guide them all to become better players and be part of Longlevens for years to come,” Martin said.
Longlevens return to action in a re-arranged fixture on Saturday, when they travel to Brackley Town Saints in the Hellenic Premier.