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Neighbours bidding for cup final place
FANS from neighbouring amateur football clubs go on their travels this weekend hoping to get a step closer to a dream date at Wembley.
While fans of Spennymoor are enjoying a flight to the popular holiday destination of Guernsey, Shildon supporters are facing a long trip by road and rail to Kent for their tie with Tunbridge Wells FC.
Tomorrow's (Saturday, March 23) away fixtures are the first leg of the semi-finals.
Spennymoor’s record-breaking trip to Guernsey- at 500 miles the longest journey in English cup football history- has been made possible for its dedicated following by generous local businesses.
The club has chartered a flight from Newcastle to the Channel Islands for around a hundred fans to travel alongside the squad and officials tonight.( Friday, March 23)
They will all stay over for two nights, with the total bill coming in at a hefty £25,000.
Some of the cost is being met by Moors chairman Brad Groves, Guernsey FC and the FA but there was still a £15,000 shortfall.
Thanks to generous backing, including a sizeable donation from kit manufacturer Motif8, the club plugged the gap to subsidise fans’ flights.
Mr Groves said: “It’s a special game for the club but with it comes a special bill, thankfully a lot of businesses and supporters have dug deep to try and help us fund the trip.
“It shows the respect and the working relationship we have with supporters and businesses, that everyone is doing their bit to give the team the best preparation and a chance to go there and hopefully do the club proud.”
Chris Pomfret, of Motif8, said: “It hasn’t just been about trying to get a squad of 25 players across to Guernsey, it’s been about trying to get a football club over there, and it’s a fantastic achievement.”
Around 200 fans from Shildon are expected to be in Kent for their game against Tunbridge Wells FC.
Club officials already have their sights firmly fixed on a day out at Wembley for which they could hire a £28,000 train, should they reach the final.
Secretary Gareth Howe said: “The atmosphere is electric and will only build.”
The return home legs are played next Saturday, March 30.
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