Totton - the FA preview
with acknowledgements to the FA Website from where I have nicked the article..
Shortwood United manger John Evans does not need any lessons in why The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON is so important to lower league clubs as he prepares to take his team to Totton & Eling in the Preliminary Round on Friday.
In fact, the Deputy Head Teacher need only glance around his club's new-look ground to see the benefits that football's oldest Cup competition can bring.
"Two years ago we won several games and met Havant & Waterlooville, who had given Liverpool a real scare the year before,” explained Evans. “We gave them a fright that day by drawing 2-2 at their place and then they beat us 1-0 at our place after we'd missed a penalty in the last minute. That was hugely exciting.
"The year before that we beat Gloucester City from the Southern League Premier which was very exciting. So, for our level we've done pretty well. Those runs have helped finance a new stand and improve the facilities at the club."
The clash has been scheduled for a Friday night due to Totton's ground-share scheme with a cricket club, meaning all their home games in August are played on Friday evenings. That means a two-hour journey to Hampshire for Shortwood, who currently play in the Hellenic Premier, the lowest entry level for The FA Cup. And Totton manager Andy Tipp hopes to make the most of Shortwood's potentially travel-weary legs.
"I know they are a decent side but they've got a long way to come after a work day so I am hoping that's an advantage for us," he said.
But one man who will be fresh for the game is Totton striker Chris Marwood who Tipp will be looking to for goals.
"Chris usually scores goals for us. He’s a PE Teacher and he's just come back from holiday so I am hoping he is fresh and ready to go.”
Another trick up Tipp's sleeve will be former Shortwood player Phil Ward who now plays at Totton and has revealed his old side's secrets.
Tipp said: "Phil has given us the lowdown on the team and we know they will be organised and a hard team to beat."
It should be an enthralling FA Cup encounter.