FA Cup: Good Vibrations for Canvey Island's Beach Boys

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Concord look to keep Cup dream alive
FA Cup first round: Mansfield v Concord Rangers
Venue: One Call Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, Final Score, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio. Highlights on BBC Two on Sunday at 18:30 GMT

Concord Rangers chairman Antony Smith hopes their debut appearance in the first round of the FA Cup will bring them greater exposure.

The Conference South side, who are based on Canvey Island in Essex, travel to Mansfield Town on Saturday.

Nicknamed the Beach Boys, the club are enjoying their most successful spell since being formed in 1967.

"For people far and wide, there's probably no chance they'd have heard of us before this," Smith told BBC London.

"It's great for everyone because a lot of hard work has gone on here.

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Rangers hope to control Cup nerves

"Just to see the club's name come up in the live draw, with Phil Neville pulling us out, was fantastic.

"The prize money has been huge for us already. We invest heavily back into the club and our youth section."

Rangers have long been in the shadow of Canvey Island FC, who were in the Conference between 2004 and 2006.

However, following three promotions in six seasons Rangers are now in Conference South - one division above their cross-island rivals.

"Canvey were leagues ahead of us for years and now we are above them in league stature and grabbing the limelight," Smith said.

"There are people who still come to the club for functions or weddings and say 'we've never been here'. They could have lived on Canvey Island for 10 years."

One island, two teams
Canvey IslandConcord Rangers
1926Formed1967
Yellow ArmyNicknameBeach Boys
Park LaneHome groundThames Road
Isthmian Premier DivisionCurrent divisionConference South
14th, Conference 2005-06Highest league placingNinth, Conference South 2013-14
Third Round, 2001-02Best FA Cup runFirst Round, 2014-15

Concord Rangers owe their unusual name and nickname to a beach on Canvey Island.

"It derives from Albert Lant, the president and founder of the club," Smith said.

"Along with his son Steve they had a group of boys who wanted to play and they lived close by to the seafront.

"There is a beach there called Concord Beach and they picked that name and became Concord Rangers.

"Albert is not too well at the moment but he comes to every game home and away and saw us get promotion to Conference South last year."

Concord Rangers' Thames Road ground
Concord Rangers play their home games at Thames Road on Canvey Island

Mansfield are currently 18th in League Two but Smith is upbeat about their chances of progressing and keeping their hopes of facing a Premier League side in the third round alive.

"The main thing for us is that there is no pressure on our players - it's all on Mansfield," he said.

"The FA Cup is the dream for everyone at this level. We saw Havant & Waterlooville go to Liverpool a few years ago. It can happen.

"That is what we will be searching for on Saturday."

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