CIRENCESTER Town chairman Steve Abbley is hoping for a ‘massive boost’ from the visit of local rivals Gloucester City in the FA Trophy tie on Saturday.

In the week that overspending Southern League rivals Windsor and Eton face a High Court battle with the taxman which could see them go to the wall, Abbley will not be deflected from his mantra of ‘living within our means’.

The club suffered a huge financial blow – £20,000 per year – when Gloucester City reluctantly ended their groundshare deal at the Corinium Stadium, which failed to meet criteria laid down by the Blue Square North Division.

But despite the constraints of a tight budget, manager Brian Hughes’s promoted team is thriving – seven wins in the last nine – and holding down a place in the top ten of the Zamaretto Premier.

Being at the helm of a non-league club, Abbley readily appreciates the financial benefits of cup competitions. “Our FA Trophy run has netted more than £10,000 so far and there is a £5,000 prize for the winner on Saturday, which would give us a massive boost,” said Abbley.

“I will also be disappointed if we don’t get between 500 and 650 through the turnstiles.”

Abbley has never wavered from his position of ‘only spending what comes through the gate’ despite moving up a division this campaign and he believes the team are now accepting they have a right to be where they are.

“I think we have got over our inferiority complex in this division,” he said.

“Having been promoted through the play-offs, some players thought we did not really deserve to be where we are and there has been a hangover from that. Now they are starting to believe.

“Okay, the likes of Salisbury and Truro have a lot more money and there is perhaps a gulf in quality there, but generally the players can see that most of the teams are not better than us.

“All credit to Brian (Hughes) because he has done wonders on the budget we can afford to give him. No one plays at Ciren for the money.

“Brian understands what it takes to make a team winners and we are lucky to have him. I definitely think he could manage at a higher level.”

Town will again look to a couple of their junior teams to raise the decibels in the stand at the Tigers clash on Saturday when Abbley is hoping for a good local turn-out.

“I thought we would get more bums on seats playing at a higher level this season,” said Abbley.

“Hopefully, they will come out in their numbers for what is our biggest game of the season, spend some money in the bar and perhaps come back again.

“There is a lot of friendly rivalry between us and Gloucester City and they seem as excited about the game as we are.

“They enjoyed their time with us as tenants and I hear it is not the same experience for them at Cheltenham.”

Another boost for Abbley’s club is that both Swindon Town and Cheltenham Town have agreed to play pre-season friendlies as part of the deal to use Cirencester Town’s indoor arena for training during the latest cold snap.

“The only cloud on the horizon is if Windsor go out of business this week because then we would lose the three points for our win there in August,” said Abbley. “And we are one of only two teams to have beaten them this season.”

MIDFIELDER Jamie Reid is available for selection for Saturday’s match against his old club Gloucester City after serving a one-game ban on Saturday when Town beat Bashley.