BADSHOT Lea head to Dorset tonight looking to add a new chapter to the club’s FA Cup story.

Fresh from a tough, two-legged tussle with Ascot United, the Baggies take on Wessex League side Christchurch under the lights at the Hurn Bridge Sports Club ground for a place in the first qualifying round.

And it’s a game that Lea boss Gavin Smith is relishing having had his own tales to tell of life as a player in the oldest club knockout competition in the world.

“It’s always one of those things you look at as a non-league club, you want a nice little cup run,” he said.

“Mark (Broad), the chairman, listened to the Christchurch manager on the radio on Saturday and they are confident that they can beat us. You’ve got to be confident that you can beat your opponents, but we’ll see on the day.”

A place in the first qualifying round is the prize for both clubs, with Lea out to emulate the achievements of the 2012-13 side who reached the heady heights of the third qualifying round before succumbing finally to Chippenham Town 3-1.

But that team seven years had one heck of a magical cup journey, winning through four rounds and five games, beating Mole Valley, Egham Town, Folkestone Invicta and Leiston along the way.

And the Lea faithful at Wesfield Lane will be hoping that the current side can have just as much fun and success in the grand old competition – just like Smith did himself in his playing days.

“I never quite made it through to the first round proper,” he said, “but I got to the fourth qualifying round with Bracknell. We played Barnet, which was probably the best draw we could have got at the time because Barnet had just been relegated from the Football League. We lost 3-0.”

Eleven years ago, in 2008, Smith was the width of a post away from going down in FA Cup folklore at Ashford Town when he had a gilt-edged chance against Forest Green Rovers.

“I hadn’t been playing for a while and I came on and I went clean through in the last minute and clipped the outside of the post,” the Baggies boss lamented. “We would have gone through to the first round proper. We lost 3-0 in the replay.

“I’ll never live this down and when I go back to Ashford I always get reminded of it.”

Lea have already guaranteed prize money of more than £3,000 by reaching the preliminary round at the expense of Ascot United, winning 2-1 in a replay at Westfield Lane after coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first game.Tonight's game at Christchurch kicks off at 7.45pm.