Rob Small has issued an emotional statement following Bowers & Pitsea’s exit from the FA Cup at the First Round stage away to Lincoln City.
By Amos Murphy
Bowers push League One Lincoln close
Bowers & Pitsea were competing in the First Round of the FA Cup for the first-ever time in their history and they left the competition with their heads held high.
Max Sanders netted the only goal of the tie midway through the second half, securing League One Lincoln City’s progression to the FA Cup Second Round.
A slender 1-0 defeat away to Lincoln for Bowers & Pitsea represented a stellar achievement for the club in the seventh tier and manager Rob Small took to Twitter to express his gratitude.
Lovely Lincoln welcome Bowers warmly
Impressed with the hospitality on offer from Lincoln, Small was quick to praise the 5,500 home supporters inside Sincil Bank:
“Thank you to your supporters who embraced our little football club from the very moment the draw was made.
You completely understood what this meant to us and were so generous with your comments, your attendance and your applause at the end of the match.
“That was a very special moment that I will personally treasure forever”.
Much like Bowers & Pitsea, the Lincoln supporters have a strong affinity with the FA Cup, having embarked on a historic cup run of their own whilst competing as a non-league side in 2016/17.
Lincoln provide kind gestures for tier seven club
Continuing in his statement, Small appreciated the finer details of Lincoln’s efforts to ensure the Essex side had a memorable afternoon:
“Thank you to the programme editors and media team who went above and beyond to create a matchday programme everyone with Bowers could truly cherish.
“Thank you to Michael Appleton and his staff who gave up their time post match for a beer and a chat.
“That half an hour or so meant the world to me and my staff”.
Generous profit donation moving decision
However, perhaps the biggest token of generosity provided by Lincoln, was the decision to donate their profits from the fixture to Bowers & Pitsea.
Small spoke prior to the cup tie about his frustration that Bowers & Pitsea had missed out on the £50,000 given to the clubs for television coverage, but insisted the choice from Lincoln was a moving touch:
“To the decision makers who generously donated progits from the game to Bowers.
“What an incredibly generous gesture. This weekend has been something I will personally remember forever. It was a special achievement and moment for Bowers & Pitsea, but one that was made all the special thanks to Lincoln City.
“Up the Imps!”