Potters Bar Town confident of adding win to historic FA Cup clash with Barnet
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:22 17 October 2019
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He expects the crowd to feel 10,000 strong and the day to last long in the memory but Lee O'Leary is determined that Potters Bar Town are not just going to make up the numbers when Barnet visit in the FA Cup.
The fourth qualifying round match between the two neighbouring towns, separated by a mere four miles, has been hugely-anticipated ever since commentary legend John Motson and ex-Tottenham midfielder Danny Murphy pulled out the tie.
Motson's old employers will also be there with the BBC cameras streaming the game live and the Scholars' record attendance will be destroyed in the process.
O'Leary has tasted the excitement and build-up of first round day as a player and while this is one round before that, the occasion already has the hairs standing up on the back of his neck.
"I don't think we could've got a better draw," he said. "There were so many difficult ties out there and ones we wanted to avoid.
"But because it's at home I genuinely feel we have a chance to progress.
"I'm so glad for everyone at the club because when we spoke in the summer they saw my vision and aspirations and they put their trust in me, a young manager.
"It's good for me but it's also good for the club. I'm glad I can repay them.
"It's going to be a great occasion and I know how important days like this are when you are looking back on your career.
"And good cup runs are what clubs and players like us are known for. It's very difficult to win leagues but you can go on a good cup run.
"It doesn't matter what the actual attendance is, it is going to feel like 10,000.
"For a neutral it's going to be a great game to watch and a real party atmosphere and my boys sense it."
Their preparations were given a boost when the Isthmian League offered them a chance to postpone Tuesday night's Premier Division game against Worthing, something which O'Leary accepted "to give us the best preparation going into the weekend".
And he has whole-hearted belief that the squad he has assembled can cause an upset.
He said: "When the chips are down we have a good bunch of boys who are always really positive.
"They are looking forward to it and we can take a little bit of momentum into it.
"There's a focus about them in every game we play and that tells you all you need to know.
"We have got the balance right.
"Barnet should win, they are expected to win but that brings its own pressure.
"I'm sure Darren [Currie] and Junior [Lewis] will have them ready but a little bit of complacency can creep in and it can be a real worry.
"We have to be good in both boxes and play at our maximum but the exposure it could give us, I'll take that all day long."
n The demand for tickets has been high with the expectation that the crowd could top 2,000.
Remaining tickets can be purchased from the ground on Wednesday and Friday between 6pm and 9pm while the times on Thursday are from 2pm to 9pm.
The match is all ticket and will be segregated with Barnet fans taking the Church End and Flatside parts of the ground.