Football
Arlesey Town thank Sky Blues for fantastic occasion

By Steve Carpenter Tuesday 06 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 15:31

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Buy photos » Sky Blues chief executive Tim Fisher hands over a signed football to Aslesey chairman Manny Cohen. (s)

ARLESEY Town have praised the warm reception they received from the Sky Blues during their visit to the Ricoh Arena in the first round of the FA Cup.

The Southern League Premier Division side made it through four qualifying rounds and were rewarded with a dream away tie at the Ricoh Arena to take on the 1987 FA Cup winners.

And despite their impressive run in the competition coming to an end on Saturday following a 3-0 defeat, chairman Manny Cohen was full of praise for the way his side were treated after receiving a signed ball and shirt as well as meeting FA Cup-winning manager John Sillett.

“It was a fantastic occasion for the club and one we'll all never forget,” Mr Cohen told the Observer.

“Coventry treated us amazingly well. The result could have been better but they looked after us and treated us well.

“The players did the club proud with their performance and it could have been a different story had we taken our chances but Coventry showed their quality in the end.

“We're four divisions below so it was such a great honour for us to play a club like Coventry. We'll be keeping an eye on their results in the future and I hope they can return to the where they once were one day.”

Arlesey's director of football, Gary King, echoed those words but believes Coventry will struggle to win promotion this season based on Saturday's performance.

“I am really proud of my team because I didn't expect us to do as well as we did,” said King.

“One of the biggest things I have taken away from the game is the possession stats. I didn't expect us to enjoy 46% of possession and that just shows how we managed to compete.

“We had our chances too and if we'd taken one of them then who knows it might have been a different result.

“It was a fantastic occasion for the club, from coming into the stadium on the coach and seeing all the fans to walking out there on the pitch in what is a fantastic Olympic venue – it really is a Premier League facility.

“I think what Coventry need is a few wins under their belt and then they'll be fine. I don't think they are good enough at the moment to get promoted but they've certainly got enough quality not to get relegated this season.”

Sky Blues vice-chairman John Clarke added: “Arlesey Town are a lovely football club with great people and their team justified the shirt. It was a memorable day for all.”

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