Worcester City: FA Cup run all about belief, says Daniel Nti
Worcester City goal hero Daniel Nti says the non-league part-timers' FA Cup run is about "belief" in each other.
City's 1-1 second round draw with Scunthorpe United on Sunday earned Carl Heeley's Conference North side a chance to make the third round for the first time since 1983.
Striker Nti says the secret ingredient is the team spirit instilled by Heeley.
"The management team have been great - they've upped everyone's confidence," he told BBC Hereford & Worcester.
"It's just the belief we have in the club. Everyone's belief. We trust each other, plus we've got talented players."
City were in danger of relegation for the first half of last season - their first at their new home just up the road in Kidderminster at Aggborough after being forced out of their 108-year-old St George's Lane home.
|Worcester City's FA Cup run|
|Second qualifying round (27 September)||City 3 (Geddes 2, Rowe) Rugby 1||Attendance: 570Prize money: £4,500|
|Third qualifying round (11 October)||Leamington 1 City 1 (Wright)||Attendance: 755|
|Third qualifying round replay (14 October)||City 2 (Deeney, Jackman) Leamington 0||Attendance: 598Prize money: £7,500|
|Fourth qualifying round (26 October)||City 2 (Deeney, Nti) Greenwich Borough 1||Attendance: 896 Prize money: £12,500|
|First round (9 November)||Coventry City 1 City 2 (Geddes 2)||Attendance: 8,439 Prize money: £18,000|
|Second round (7 December)||Scunthorpe United 1 City 1 (Nti)||Attendance: 5,606Potential prize money: £27,000|
But a turnaround in the second half of the campaign saw them secure their status with some comfort.
City started this term started badly, winning just three of their first 11 league games, but the FA Cup has truly galvanized their form.
It all started with their 3-1 home win over Rugby in the second qualifying round in late September and the club are now unbeaten in 14 matches.
Over £40,000 in prize money has been banked with considerably more to come, in gate and TV money, now the replay with the Iron has been chosen for live television coverage.
Prize money alone for winning the tie is £27,000.
The run has memorably featured a 2-1 first round victory at 1987 Cup winners Coventry City, and peaked again at Glanford Park, against another League One side, on Sunday when Nti scrambled in their early second-half equaliser.
"We were disappointing in the first half," admits Nti. "But we came out firing after the break. Luckily, the ball bounced in my favour and I was happy to get the goal."
The draw put City in the hat for the third round and Heeley's men were paired at home against Chesterfield in the first weekend in January.
That potential tie is now subject to investigation, following claims that the Spireites had not officially registered Wolves loan signing George Margreitter for Saturday's 1-0 second round win at MK Dons.
City could end up playing the Dons instead, if they make it to round three by winning their second round replay with Scunthorpe at Aggborough, which has now been moved to Wednesday 17 December (19:45 GMT).
"Our support at home will be amazing," said Nti.
"We'll try to score early and I'm sure we'll put on a great performance."