|Sittingbourne manager Steve Lovell is
anticipating a very tough game when they host Nationwide Conference South
outfit Cambridge City in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy at
Bourne Park on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.
But the Welshman admits his injury hit squad will need to be at their best
to progress into the first round.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk,
Lovell said: "It's a very tough game, they are two leagues above us
and doing well in their league.
"They will be expecting to come down and win the game so it's going
to be very tough, but hopefully we can put up a good performance and cause
a bit of an upset."
Lovell calls on his fringe players to impress as eight of his squad are
unavailable. Paul Ainsworth (foot), Lee Browning (shoulder), Steve
Williams (back), Mark Lovell (knee), Jon Neal (hamstring), Dan Edwards
(cartilage), Dan Tanner (ankle) and Michael Smissen (cup-tied) all miss
And Lovell asks the fans to get behind his team.
He said: "We've got a very good home record so I'm pleased. We
should have a decent crowd down there and if all our players perform the
best we can. I think we can get a result. But we need to be at our
Lovell admitted former Welling United striker Paul Booth will "be a
danger" to his side but he is looking forward to meeting visiting
manager Paul Roberts, the former St Albans City, Braintree Town and
Baldock Town boss.
"I know their manager very well and he's had a good record in
non-league football," said Lovell. "He's been around a few
years, like myself, so it will be quite interesting how the game
The Brickies, however, were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup by
Nationwide Conference outfit Gravesend & Northfleet on Tuesday night.
Goals from Jamie Darville, Luke Moore (2) and
Richard Hodgson booked Liam Daish's men into the last eight and joined
Ramsgate, Folkestone Invicta and Bromley in the hat.
"They had a very strong side out,"
admitted Lovell. "I played most of the boys that haven't played
this year for me in the first side to give them a run out and it was a
very good game of football. Gravesend's little bit of class in
front of goal told in the end."
Lovell, whose side lost 4-0, added: "Their Conference aren't they?
They're (at the) top of non-league football and their goalkeeper played
very well making two good saves.
"It was a good work out for us and the boys that played enjoyed
Lovell revealed he might be adding two or three new faces to his squad and
said his team will rise up the Southern League Division One East table -
once everybody's fit.
"Hopefully, If I get everybody fit I will play my strongest starting
eleven," he said. "I've got a few injuries at the moment
so it's important to give the other boys a game."
Lovell has captured former Gillingham midfielder Danny Lawson from
Nationwide Conference South outfit Welling United. He has been
playing at Herne Bay most of the season to regain his fitness.
"We're pushing towards getting everyone fit, looking to go into the
new year with a very strong squad to push in the final half of the
season," said Lovell.
"The team's we've played (suggests) there's nothing to fear really.
We've got to get a little bit more consistency in our play and the main
thing is getting everyone fit.
"I think if we can get everyone fit, we'll have a very strong squad
and one that will move rapidly up the league.
"At the moment I'm quite happy, but anybody that does become
available I'm always interested in improving my team and within the next
couple of weeks there might be two or three players coming in."
Sittingbourne v Cambridge City
FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 26th November 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Bourne Park, Central Park, Eurolink, Sittingbourne