It would be amazing if Punjab United could make it to The FA Cup First Qualifying Round, says manager Chipie Sian

Thursday 03rd August 2023

PUNJAB UNITED manager Chipie Sian says he has set his side a challenge of winning at least two FA Cup ties this season.

The Gravesend-based outfit opened their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign with a 2-2 draw at home to Kevin Stevens’ Bearsted last weekend.

Beckenham Town loanee Alfie Bloomfield opened the scoring for Punjab United, before Arun Suman won a penalty, which was tucked away by right-back Chris Edwards as Sian’s men went in at the break with a two-goal lead.

However, the Bears hit back with Joel Wakefield and Ryan Blake scoring inside the seven minutes to earn a point.

“Coming into the game we knew that just like every other team in the league, Bearsted are a good side and we’d have to be at our best if we wanted to win,” said Sian.

“Overall, it was a game where we should have won being two goals up and I was disappointed in the two goals we conceded.  However, we move to our next game in The FA Cup.”

Sian takes his side to Horley Town on Saturday, to contest a FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie.

The hosts haven’t played a league game yet this season but Punjab United have got 90 minutes in the tank going into their trip to Surrey.

“Every team loves The FA Cup as anything can happen,” said Sian.

“We’ve looked at a few videos of how Horley play but it’s down to us as a team being better on the day.”

The two sides met each other in The FA Vase Second Qualifying Round in 2000 with Horley Town coming away from the Elite Venue with a 3-2 win.

Punjab United’s FA Cup debut was screened by the BBC but they lost their Extra Preliminary Round tie at home to Broadbridge Heath by a single goal in 2019.

Broadbridge Heath will be playing in the Isthmian League South East Division for the first time this season and claimed the victory courtesy of a George Goodwin own goal.

“The FA Cup means at lot to the club. Having had the actual trophy at the ground a few years’ ago was a dream come true.  It was also amazing to have our game televised live on the BBC,” recalled Sian.

“We’ve always had high aspirations of going far in the Cup and in our history we’ve only got to the Preliminary Round.  It would be amazing if we could make it to the First Qualifying Round but we need to take each game one at a time.

“We’d like to see as many Punjab fans’ at the game on Saturday cheering us on and hopefully the boys will be able to repay you with a great result.”

The winners will be at home to AFC Croydon Athletic or Sutton Athletic on Saturday 19 August.

The two sides meet each other in the Extra Preliminary Round at Mayfield Stadium on Sunday, 6 August (15:00).

Horley Town  v  Punajb United
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 5 August 2023
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The New Defence, Anderson Way, Horley, Surrey RH6 8SP