The Buildbase FA Vase gets under way this weekend with Rushden & Higham United boss Wayne Abbott keen to at least emulate what his team achieved last year.
The Lankies reached the first round proper for the first time in their history before bowing out in a 2-0 home defeat to Highgate United.
They begin this year’s competition with a clash against Winslow United in the first qualifying round at Hayden Road tomorrow (Saturday).
The two teams met at the same stage two years ago with Winslow coming out on top by a 6-4 scoreline in a game in which the Lankies boss scored.
Now his team are seeking some revenge with a trip to Bedfont & Feltham awaiting the winners on September 15.
It’s been a mixed start for Abbott’s team in the Future Lions United Counties League Division One but he has seen enough, including a big 6-1 win over Cogenhoe United in the Knockout Cup, to convince him his team will improve as the season progresses.
But only if they take their chances in front of goal!
“We have got an older squad and we obviously brought some of the lads in who had been at Raunds Town after Jim Le Masurier stepped down as their manager,” Abbott said.
“It has not gelled just yet but our main problem has been in front of goal.
“We lost Dylan Wilson to St Ives and he has taken that chance to step up which is great to see, but I have not really replaced him.
“There is so much money around, especially in Division One, and if you don’t pay like we don’t then you find it harder to bring players in.
“It’s frustrating because in the games we have lost or drawn, we have created more chances but not taken them.
“And then we had the Knockout Cup game against Cogenhoe, who are in the Premier Division, and we won that 6-1 which is probably the best result since I have been in charge.
“That result just shows what we are capable of though and we are looking forward to this weekend.
“When you aren’t in the FA Cup, the FA Vase is the main competition and it’s something everyone looks forward to and I am sure we will have the majority of our squad available.
“We got to the first round proper last year so that set the benchmark.
“A good away-day is on offer in the next round if we can get through and we will be doing all we can to make sure it is us who get that place.”
The Lankies made an addition to their squad ahead of this weekend's clash with Jack Dyson joining the club from Whitworth.
This weekend's fixtures
Buildbase FA Vase first qualifying round (selected): Anstey Nomads v Eastwood Community, Bourne v March Town United, Broadfields United v Daventry Town, Clipstone v Aylestone Park, Deeping v Blackstones, Ellesmere Rangers v Birstall United, Gorleston v Boston Town, Holwell Sports v Pinxton, Huntingdon v Wroxham, Kirby Muxloe v Brocton, Lutterworth Athletic v Cradley, Melton v Ingles, NKF Burbage v Lutterworth Town, Newark Flowserve v Harrowby, Oadby v Sherwood Colliery, Peterborough Northern Star v Fakenham, Raunds v Cranfield, Rothwell Corinthians v CB Hounslow United, Rushden & Higham v Winslow United, South Normanton Athletic v St Andrews, Spelthorne Sports v ON Chenecks, Whitworth v Bugbrooke, Woodbridge v Eynesbury.
Future Lions United Counties League
Premier Division: Cogenhoe v Pinchbeck, Harborough v Desborough, Newport Pagnell v Leicester Nirvana, Rugby v Holbeach, Sleaford v Wellingborough Town.
Division One: Sileby Rangers v Long Buckby, Thrapston v Burton Park Wanderers (tonight, Friday).
Reserve Division: Bugbrooke v Raunds, Daventry Town v Peterborough Northern Star, Desborough v Bourne, ON Chenecks v Irchester, Potton v Daventry Town, Wellingborough Town v Rothwell Corinthians, Yaxley v Cogenhoe.
Reserve Knockout Cup, first round: St Andrews v Newport Pagnell.