Sydenham's Football League (Wessex) 12-13
Published 10th August 2012
....continue their winning ways this weekend when they host Ash United in the opening round of this season’s FA Cup competition.
It may only be ninety-eight days since Chelsea lifted the famous cup, defeating Liverpool in the final, but Saturday sees the road to Wembley begin all over again with the cup’s Extra Preliminary Round ties.
Downton have taken a maximum six points from their opening two league games and are sitting pretty at the top of the Wessex Premier Division.
Spectacular wins against big-spending Blackfield & Langley (4-0) and title-favourites GE Hamble (7-3) have been the talk of the division this week.
Nic Turpin scored five on Tuesday evening to add to the one he scored last Saturday, while Danny Finnigan’s brace against Hamble takes his tally to three in two games.
It is no surprise that the Robins will start firm favourites at home to Combined Counties League outfit Ash, but manager Jeff Softley insists his players will take nothing for granted.
“We’ll give our opponents the respect they deserve. We’ve had two brilliant results so far this season but they will count for nothing on Saturday.
“I know it’s a cliché, but it’s a one-off cup tie and we all know that anything can happen in the FA Cup. That’s why it’s still such a special competition.
“We need to make home advantage pay and make sure we approach the game exactly the same as we did our opening two league games. If that’s the case then of course, I’d expect us to progress to the next round. But Ash will come here with nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we’re not at our best then they’ll punish us.”
The Downton boss is again without skipper Josh Thomas and full back Will Young (both unavailable) but will name midweek signing Danny Western in his eighteen-man squad for the tie.
Softley also hopes the area’s football followers will head out to Wick Lane on what promises to be a sunny afternoon for the eagerly-awaited cup tie.
“We’re an entertaining side and have scored eleven goals in two games," added Softley. "We try and play attractive football and it’s the FA Cup! It’d be great to have a decent crowd cheering us on.”