Wayne Abbott believes Rushden & Higham United’s FA Vase second qualifying round clash at Swaffham Town tomorrow (Saturday) is their biggest game of the season so far.
The Lankies have enjoyed an encouraging start to their ChromaSport United Counties League Division One campaign as they currently sit in sixth spot.
But their focus has switched to cup action this week after they slipped to a 2-1 home loss to Leicester Nirvana in the UCL Knockout Cup on Wednesday night.
But now they are gearing up for tomorrow's trip in the Vase and the manager can’t wait.
“To be honest, I like any competition that raise the players’ games,” Abbott said.
“When I was playing these were the sort of matches that really got me going, there is a real sense of occasion to them.
“For me, the FA Vase is always the biggest game of the season especially if you aren’t in the FA Cup.
“If you can get through then it means another big game and it means the players will be pushed to their limits which is what we want.
“We know it won’t be easy. I have spoken to people from Stewarts & Lloyds and Rothwell Corinthians who have already played Swaffham this season. We believe we can go there and win.”
As far as the start to the league campaign is concerned, Abbott is content although he believes it could have been even better.
“Overall, I am really pleased,” he added.
“We could have been right up there if we’d beaten Raunds last week and we had a goal disallowed that shouldn’t have been so that was tough to take.
“But we have done well. I have mainly gone with younger players, we have a big squad and there is competition for places.
“We have a couple missing this weekend so it means others will get a chance and they know they’ll have to take it.”
Elsewhere in the FA Vase, Whitworth entertain Wisbech St Mary while Raunds Town, who beat Wellingborough Town in the first qualifying round, make the trip to Godmanchester Rovers.
In-form Burton Park Wanderers face a tough test at UCL Premier Division high-fliers Eynesbury Rovers, Irchester United also face top-flight opposition at ON Chenecks and Thrapston Town are on the road at Biggleswade United.
In the UCL league action, Rothwell Corinthians head to Sleaford Town in the Premier Division while Wellingborough Town entertain Yaxley.
In Division One, bottom side Stewarts & Lloyds will be seeking their first points of the season when travel to Olney Town.