By Mark Carruthers
Dunston UTS chairman Malcolm James has revealed that the prize money they have received from their FA Cup run has been a “massive boost”.
The Ebac Northern League Division One club host Chester in the Third Qualifying Round on Saturday and £15,000 is on offer for the winners of the tie.
Dunston have already received just over £20,000 in prize money after seeing off the likes of North Ferriby United, Hebburn Town and Irlam so far.
The prize money will be put to good use as the club look to revamp their UTS Stadium home and James insisted that not a penny would be wasted.
He said “The FA have doubled the prize money and with us doing so well, deservedly I may add, it’s opening avenues for us that we wouldn’t be able to afford.
“Clubs are ran on a shoestring at our level and this money will be put to good use.
“It won’t be wasted.
“We are playing for £15,000 on Saturday and when we won the FA Vase in 2012, we got £15,000 for winning it.
“It’s a massive, massive boost for the club.”
Dunston are in fine form as they prepare for their meeting with Chester.
Chris Swailes’ side are unbeaten in their last thirteen games, with just one draw coming in that period.
They current sit in sixth place in the Northern League Division One table, but hold as many as six games in hand over the sides above them.
That form has seen an increase in attendances and James is hopeful that they will draw a big crowd for Saturday’s FA Cup tie, especially with Premier League neighbours Newcastle United facing an away game at Manchester United on the same day.
“The crowds have improved and we have had decent crowds in the cup games,” said James.
“But that has also improved the league attendances.
“Last Saturday we had nearly 400 here against Consett and hopefully the interest, throughout the region with Newcastle being away, if we can pull in a few on Saturday and get a few behind us.
“Hopefully Chester will bring a few and if we can match that I think it will be a great day.
“We have a good side, we are playing really well and we have lads that really want to play for the club.
“They love it when they get the support here and they love the rapport with the fans.”