Pressure is off as Poppies seek FA Cup upset

Marcus Law and his Kettering Town players are hoping to cause an FA Cup upset at Aldershot Town this weekend. Picture by Peter Short
Marcus Law and his Kettering Town players are hoping to cause an FA Cup upset at Aldershot Town this weekend. Picture by Peter Short

Marcus Law wants his Kettering Town squad to “play with freedom” as they bid to pull off an Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round upset this weekend.

The Poppies, who are three points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central after their 0-0 draw at Tamworth on Tuesday night, will be the underdogs on Saturday when they travel to take on Vanarama National League side Aldershot Town.

And Law is hoping his players will thrive in what should be a pressure-free situation.

The Poppies have lost at this stage in the last two seasons and Law knows his team will need to produce their very best if they are to secure a place alongside the Sky Bet League One and League Two clubs in the draw for the first round proper.

“We can go in there with no pressure,” the Kettering manager said.

“Up until now, we have probably been the favourites in all our FA Cup matches and we are there to be shot at in the league because we are the early leaders.

“That brings pressure on to the players but it will be nice to go to Aldershot for what is a bit of a free hit.

“The players can play with freedom and give us everything they have got.

“Hopefully the fans and board members will have a good day out at what is a Football League standard ground and it will be up to us to make them proud.

“We know there will be an upset somewhere in the fixture list and if it is us causing it then it will be great.

“The first round has eluded us in the last couple of years and we will do all we can to make it there this time.

“But we are realistic, we know Aldershot’s players will need to be threes and fours out of 10 and we will need to be nines and 10s.”

All winning clubs in the fourth qualifying round this weekend will receive £25,000 in prize money while the draw for the first round will be screened live on BBC Two at 7pm on Monday evening.