He made around 500 Football League appearances, but guiding Royston Town into the FA Cup fourth qualifying round for the first time ever is one of Steve Castle’s proudest moments in football.
The former Leyton Orient, Plymouth, Birmingham and Peterborough midfielder, now in his seventh season as Crows boss, led Royston to a 2-1 third qualifying round win over Beaconsfield Town on Saturday. It was only the second time in the club’s history that they had reached the third qualifying round, the last time ending in a 2-0 defeat to Boreham Wood 20 years ago.
They will now take on Maldon & Tiptree over the weekend of October 19, as they bid to take the dream one step further and secure a place in the first round proper.“It means a hell of a lot to me, and I’m sure it means the same to the club and the players too,” said Castle. “We were aware we could make history, and I’m made up that we’ve got ourselves into this position.
“I don’t think we’ve played as well as we have in the league in the cup until now, but we got ourselves through, and we have a real chance now to put ourselves on the map.
“The attitude of this squad is second to none and the performance levels are huge. Their enthusiasm and willingness to do well is really impressive, and they more than any group I’ve had deserve a bit of success and recognition.
“I’ve got my own FA Cup memories - we knocked out West Brom and Oldham when I was at Orient, but we also got put out by Enfield, so I've experienced both sides of the scalp.
“We just need to make sure we don’t take our eyes off the ball in the league as we’ve had a great start, and there is a belief that we can really compete this year.”
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