ANTHONY JOHNSON insists that Chester are as determined as ever to make progress in the famous competition.

The Blues entertain fellow National League North outfit Spennymoor Town at the Deva Stadium in the third qualifying round this evening.

And while the FA Cup has lost a lot of its' prestige in recent years, it's a competition that Johnson still holds close to his heart.

Joint-boss Johnson told reporters after Saturday's 3-2 home victory over Leamington: "I'm lucky enough that I'm from the generation of waking up on a Saturday morning for FA Cup final day and watching the teams sing their songs, be in their suits and that type of stuff.

"I used to watching Match of the Day and seeing the build up for non-league clubs from villages when they had balloons out and bunting.

"It's great to reminisce, but we are two wins from the first round proper and we've said all along that it would be a dream to get to those rounds again.

"We've got a tough opponent in-front of us, but we will be taking it as seriously as any league game."

Having battled past Worksop with only the lower league side's fans allowed into the ground, Johnson is glad to have home advantage tonight - even if no supporters will be in attendance.

"We lose home advantage without the crowd here," he said. "I felt that in the last 15 minutes (against Leamington) - I'd not felt that in the two games, but I felt it.

"You lose the home advantage with no crowd, but they've still got to travel to us on Tuesday, so you get that back.

"It's a tough game, they are my favourites to win the league because they've put a brilliant squad together.

"But we are at home and when I was asked who I wanted in the next round I said anybody at home.

"We know our pitch, our ground, how good our record is, we know the dimensions and we've a style that we feel suits us no matter what the opposition do.

"It's a really tough game and it's all about recovery from us."

Spennymoor boss Jason Ainsley, whose side head into the tie on the back of a 1-1 draw at Alfreton, labelled the scheduling of the fixture as "an absolute shambles".

Speaking about heading to Chester, who make the trip to County Durham on Saturday in the league, Ainsley said: "They've started brilliantly. They've had two wins out of two, three if you include the FA Cup.

"It's an absolute shambles that you are going there on a Tuesday night in the FA Cup.

"The FA Cup has always been sacrosanct and played on a Saturday every fortnight.

"But we will go there full of confidence, we are unbeaten, and we know what Bernard and Johnno are like, they organise their sides really well and we've got to go there confident that we've got players who can hurt them."