The FA Cup hasn’t been a good competition for us over the past few years so we are determined to put that right on Friday, says Crowborough Athletic boss Sean Muggeridge
CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC boss Sean Muggeridge says he is keen to improve on the club’s recent poor FA Cup history.
The Crows defeated Chichester City 5-2 in the Extra Preliminary Round away from home in 2012 before going down to a 5-2 away defeat to Chipstead in the Preliminary Round.
Since then the East Sussex club have lost to East Preston, Dorking Wanderers and Chessington & Hook, each at the second attepmpt, at the first hurdle before Farnham Town came away from Crowborough with a shock 3-1 win on the opening day of last season.
Muggeridge’s men fought tough and nail for the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title in an enthralling title race last season but had to settle for second-place as Ashford United sealed promotion into the Bostik South Division by a couple of points.
Crowborough Athletic play Lingfield in the Extra Preliminary Round on Friday night (20:00 kick-off) and the match will take place in Maidstone as the clubs 3G playing surface is not ready.
“The game is going to be tough on Friday as they have good players and management and in Dixie Dean they have got a dedicated manager, who will have them spot on so we need to be at our best,” said Muggeridge, who's side collected 90 points from 38 league outings last season.
“The FA Cup is always special to any club and we are no different. It hasn’t been a good competition for us over the past few years so we are determined to put that right on Friday.
“We have had a mixed pre-season and every manager will tell you that holiday’s, work commitments and fitness always play a big part.
“We’ve had a couple of quality players leave but have replaced them with quality, so we are hoping for a good season.
“We also have a few youngsters that have done well in pre-season and around the experienced players will have a good balance.”
When asked about the current situation regarding their stadium pitch, Muggeridge replied: “Of course, the main thing is to get the 3G pitch up and running this season to push the club on. Although it is taking longer than we thought, we don’t want to rush a very exciting project and get the best 3G rather than getting a lesser surface and rush it just to get it in as quickly as possible.”
Lingfield play one level lower than Crowborough and finished in the top five in the Southern Combination First Division last season.
Visit Crowborough Athletic’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/crowboroughathletic
Crowborough Athletic v Lingfield
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Friday 4th August 2017
Kick Off 8:00pm
At James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ