Steelmen keeper Jeffries looks forward to Avenue FA Cup clash
“The biggest game in the club’s recent history” – that was the verdict of Consett AFC’s keeper Peter Jeffries as his side prepares to welcome Vanarama National League North club Bradford Park Avenue to County Durham.
“It’s a massive game for everyone at the club. Our manager Colin Myers (pictured below left in his time with Blyth Spartans) called it the biggest game at Consett for a long time and I think it is the biggest game in the club’s recent history. Bradford Park Avenue are a big club in non-league terms, a former Football League club too so it is a big occasion.
Hopefully there will be a big crowd and we can make it tough for them to come up here”
So far the EBAC Northern League club have seen off Colne FC, having already taken the scalp of Evo-Stik NPL First Division North club Scarborough Athletic in the Preliminary Round.
Both deserved wins according to former Spennymoor Town number one Jeffries and in the case of the latter, a win that could and should have been even more comfortable as the Steelmen made a mockery of the difference in leagues between the two clubs.
“We have done well and the teams we have come up against we have outplayed them all. Scarborough were expected to beat us, coming from a higher league, but we outplayed them and really should have beaten them by an even bigger scoreline. Maybe they thought they could just come to Consett and roll us over because of the league we were in.
Obviously going into the game we were underdogs and I think they expected to beat us themselves, there wasn’t a great amount of pressure on us and we managed to pull off a shock.
With Colne it was game over after fifteen minutes and we deserved the win so you can see why it has been a great run so far but we have a big challenge ahead”
Jeffries has recent experience of a memorable FA Cup run as the keeper hit the national headlines along with Blyth Spartans last season.
The Northumberland outfit made their way to the Third Round of the competition before bravely succumbing to SkyBet Championship club Birmingham City at Croft Park.
Jeffries admitted that although the competition was a “special time” he doesn’t talk about it much in the Steelmen dressing room.
“We don’t really talk about last year’s run, they know what happened so we don’t mention it too much. From a personal point of view it was amazing and it showed me that anything can happen.
Obviously it was a special time for myself and it showed me what the competition can be. Before that run I had always gone out after one or two rounds so to make the Third Round was a bit surreal”
And if the Steelmen were to make it all of the way to the First Round proper, they would become the first Northern League side to make it that far since Shildon in 2003.
Jeffries was honest in his explanation of why the league has struggled to make an impact in the competition, stating simply that clubs at step five of the non-league system will always come up against a stronger club if they make it to the latter stages of the Qualifying Rounds.
“The league hasn’t got a great record in the competition in recent times but I think, despite it being such a strong league, at some point you will come up against a club from the top two tiers of non-league and that can be a little bit too much for any club at our level.
It is luck of the draw and although you can’t use that as a defence of the record it is just a fact that it’s tough for clubs at our level to compete when the bigger clubs come in but anything can happen.”
And anything can happen will be something on the minds of Jeffries and his team mates as they walk out at their Belle Vue home on Saturday.