WORCESTER City make the trip to Atherstone Town this weekend with a place in the quarter-finals of the Buildbase FA Vase and a payday of £2,250 on offer.
City head to Atherstone, who sit sixth in Midland League Division One, bidding to continue their road to Wembley which has seen the Blue and Whites make the latter stages of an FA competition for the first time since they tackled Telford United in the FA Trophy in 2000.
Victory will put City just three games from Wembley and a shot at the £30,000 on offer for the winners of the competition but Ash Vincent’s men will be wary of the threat posed by Atherstone who knocked out 2018 finalists Stockton Town 1-0 in the last round.
Saturday’s opponents also thrashed an injury and suspension-ravaged Malvern Town 10-0 in the third round of the competition.
City go into the clash having failed to end their Heather St John hoodoo on Saturday as the men from the East Midlands emerged from an ill-tempered clash at the Victoria Ground with all three points.
The Blue and Whites tackle the men from Leicestershire bidding for their first win of the season at the third attempt against the side now third in the table. A 2-0 defeat in the league in September came after the Saints dumped City out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at St John’s Park in August.
A second half deflected effort was enough to seal the points although the visitors had the best of the chances throughout the match.
Their first came early on when Kory Burke was put clean through, his shot rebounded back off the inside of the upright and then, with the ball falling back straight into his path, he missed an open goal.
Minutes later a glorious long range effort from Umar Zaman just inside the semi circle was tipped wide by quickly retreating City keeper Dan Jezeph. Sam Hall then cleared off the line from Trea Bertie with City offering little in return during the first half.
The second half was much the same with Burke again missing a clearcut chance, heading against the upright from six yards out but within a minute the visitors took the lead. A strike from the edge of the box from Zaman rebounded off the back of Luke Rowe and past a stranded Jezeph.
The goal seemed to pick City up with Sam Hawkins narrowly heading a Rowe free kick inches wide of the post before Demetri Brown nearly pulled City level with a curling 25-yard shot which hit the underside of the bar before being cleared.
Several of the Heather players celebrated in front of the City fans at the end of the game despite the efforts of the vistors’ manager and senior players bidding to defuse the situation.
Club chiefs have launched an appeal for witnesses to the incident. Any City fan who wishes to make a statement is asked to visit www.worcestercityfc.org for more on how to make a statement