1874 NORTHWICH resume their bid to win the FA Vase against Leighton Town with Wayne Goodison content for supporters to let their imaginations run wild.

A team he manages jointly with Paul Bowyer has progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time, and a victory on Saturday would edge them closer to playing at Wembley.

And they’re expected to have more than 300 travelling fans pitch-side to cheer them on.

“They’re enjoying the ride, and who can blame them?” he said.

“If the reports are accurate and there is that many making the trip, then it would be a phenomenal turnout for a journey of that distance for a club at this level.

“We’ll be happy to have all the help we can, and the players will spark off backing like that.

“I know I did when during my career; it really can make a difference to know the crowd is behind you at those delicate moments in a game.

“We have to be aware of people’s expectation, and I’d rather have that than nobody taking an interest.

“In some ways, if the season ended tomorrow then we’d have achieved what we set out too and that’s to galvanise the club.

“The mood around it has changed, and it’s something we sensed during the FA Cup run.

“That’s been reflected too in the decent crowds we attracted in the past two rounds of this competition.”

He told the Guardian a testing fixture list had kept the side focused since a 1-0 win against Chichester in the last 16 earlier this month.

Their form since suggests he was right; they have lost two of their past three games, including a 2-1 reverse at Runcorn Linnets on Tuesday.

However Bowyer and Goodison perhaps gave an indication of where their priorities are, for the short-term at least, after making seven changes for that game from a side that edged Runcorn Town last weekend.

“We had a judgement to make,” said Goodison.

“The fixture list is relentless, and we’re carefully planning ahead who plays and when so that everybody is as sharp as they can be.

“It’s an argument we couldn’t win; if we picked Mark Jones, for example, and he gets injured then we’ll have been criticised.”

1874’s players will travel to Bedfordshire this afternoon ahead of a training session tonight.

Among them are three men – Greg Hall, Sam Hind and Matthew Russell – that were part of a Glossop North End squad that reached the final in 2015.

Their know-how could prove invaluable.

Goodison added: “It’s certainly stopped anybody in the dressing room from getting carried away.

“The last-eight is a fascinating stage, but with a two-legged semi-final to follow we’ve still got plenty to do.

“There comes a moment on every cup run when you think ‘we can win this’.

“I’ve certainly felt it when I was a player.

“I’m unsure if we’ve experienced that yet, but if we beat Leighton then we have to consider ourselves in with a serious chance.”