Wednesday 24th August 2005

Will Hastings be up for their battle at the Borough?

VCD Athletic boss Martin Ford insists his side can beat Ryman League division one side Hastings United in the FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

Wales and Everton goalkeeping legend Neville Southall will face a "culture shock" when he takes his side to Harrow Meadow, the run-down home of Greenwich Borough and Ford admits this could work in his club's favour.

The Vickers are groundsharing Harrow Meadow until their own ground in Crayford is ready.

And the long serving Ford is relishing the chance to stand alongside the Welshman in the opposite dug-out.

After demolishing another Sussex side, East Grinstead 7-0 last weekend to book their place in this round, Ford admits he is confident of progressing into the next stage.

"After our convincing 7-0 demolition of East Grinstead we can now look forward to this round against former Everton and Wales goalkeeper, Neville Southall's Hastings United at Greenwich Borough," he told the club's website www.vcd-athletic.co.uk

"The players certainly deserve the chance to take on the Ryman League division one outfit after there performance at East Grinstead, and as a club we are all looking forward to this fixture."

Ford watched Hastings beat Corinthian-Casuals 2-0 on Tuesday night, and reflected: "While Hastings looked very composed and good on the ball I felt Corinthian should have gave them more of a match."

Ford added: "I have learnt a few things about them and if all of our players are fit I really do think we can give them a run for their money."

Speaking about their temporary home at Harrow Meadow, Ford said: "They will not enjoy their visit to the Borough and I am sure they are in for a certain culture shock when they arrive, but apart from that if we can continue our good start to the season, knock the ball around like we have done and take our chances then we will knock Hastings out.  It's as simple as that.

"You may feel I might be off my rocker but I really do have faith in this group of players so why not go into the game in confident mood?

Having banked £500 from their exploits in east Sussex last weekend, if they do beat Hastings they will bank a further £1,000, which will be handy for ground improvements at their Oakwood ground.

"With the injuries we have at the moment we are again on the lookout to strengthen the squad and I really do feel at this moment we still need a couple of extra players," Ford admitted.

"Dean (Frost) and I are continually looking at ways of bringing in new players but without the financial clout we might just have to beg a couple of favours for the time being."

If a replay is necessary, it takes place at The Pilot Field, Elphinstone Road, Hastings on Monday, thus calling off any planned league fixtures.

VCD Athletic v Hastings United
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 27th August 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Greenwich Borough FC, Harrow Meadow, Eltham Green Road, Eltham