FA Cup – County trio looking to progress

Desborough Town boss Steve Walker is confident his team can progress in the FA Cup
Desborough Town boss Steve Walker is confident his team can progress in the FA Cup
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The ‘Road to Wembley’ continues tomorrow (Saturday) with three local teams looking to book a place in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Kettering Town, fresh from their first win of the Calor League Division One Central campaign at St Ives on Monday, take on Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South outfit Gresley at Latimer Park.

AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division when they head to Northwood while Desborough Town – unbeaten so far this season – take on Loughborough University at the S6 Stadium.

Poppies boss Dean Thomas is hoping his team can repay their fans and pick up their first home success of the campaign as they look to get though the preliminary round.

“Once again we had tremendous support with us at St Ives on Monday and the fans have been behind us in the two home games we have had so far,” Thomas said.

“But our performances haven’t been good enough and it is important we try to repay them. We want to get off the mark at home.

“The club has a very good history in the competition and I have had some good moments in it as a manager as well.

“We have given ourselves something to build on with the win at St Ives so now we have to bring it home and give something back to the supporters.”

Diamonds boss Mark Starmer expects his team to be well backed by an army of fans at Northwood and he insists his team should feel confident about their chances.

“Hopefully we can get a positive result, whether that be a win or bringing them back to our ground,” Starmer said.

“We have to be confident. We have been scoring goals and winning games and that automatically breeds confidence.

“So we will fancy our chances but our feet are firmly on the ground. We always have to be realistic and we know it will be a tough test.

“The fans have continued to come and watch us this season.

“No matter where we go there is always an army of supporters who get right behind the team and it can make a big difference.

“I am sure they will travel in numbers again at the weekend, it is a big game for all of us.”

Desborough manager Steve Walker, meanwhile, sees no reason why his team should not book their place in the next stage as they take on the students from Loughborough.

He said: “It is a big game for the players and a big game for the club.

“I went to watch Loughborough on Monday and they won 3-1 at home.

“With them being a university team, it goes without saying that they are quite young and they are quite a small side.

“We are a big, strong outfit and we have to make sure we use that to our advantage.

“They are a decent team but, having watched them, I have to say I would be disappointed if we don’t get a positive result.”