Friday 01st October 2004
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Erith Town's record breakers ready to kill Hornets

ERITH TOWN manager Willie O'Sullivan has admitted his side can cause a FA Cup upset when they face fifth placed Ryman League Division One side Horsham at the Erith Sports Stadium on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Dockers have never reached the second qualifying round before, but the manager is confident his players can rise to the challenge and pull off the club's best ever result in the world's greatest cup competition.

However, he is happy with a home tie against higher league opposition and fancies his chances against the Sussex side, and flirt with Nationwide Conference opposition in the next rounds.

"Yes, we do fancy our chances with a home tie, you've got to," he said.

"The way the boys can play, if they are on top of their game, there good enough to play anybody!"

O'Sullivan used to play under Horsham manager John Maggs when they were both at Crawley Town together but both sides have done their homework on each other, as they prepare for the David v Goliath cup clash.

O'Sullivan admitted: "We know a couple of people who have played against them this year and have given us a little bit of information.

"They are a good footballing side, very good up front, but as you know, on the day - the FA Cup is a big competition and you want to win!"

However, the Horsham camp predict they are the favourites to win the game, and Maggs has voiced his opinions on the cup clash.

Maggs said: "It's a winnable game - we would be favourites to win.

"It's a good draw, it could have been a lot tougher.  There are some big sides in the cup now but we will not underestimate Erith Town.

"My assistant Tommy Warrilow has looked at them.  They are a young and lively pack.

"I know their manager Willie O'Sullivan.  I signed him years ago when I was at Crawley Town.

"I know what type of player he was and I know what type of team they will be - they will be workmanlike."

Warrilow reported back to his boss that, although the playing surface at Erith's base is in good condition, the, and I quote, "running track around the pitch meant the atmosphere was lifeless."

Maggs continued: "I'm not worried about playing away from home.  We have not done badly away from home this season.

"Their pitch is good so we won't have any problem with that.  I'm looking for our supporters to travel and make it a good atmosphere."

However, O'Sullivan's side may make Maggs eat his words, calling them workmanlike, and send them back home to Sussex on the end of a cup upset.

O'Sullivan added: "We've got quite a few players in the side who can go and play at a higher standard.

"It's a great day for the club, we've never been in this round so everyone involved with the club is really looking forward to it, hopefully we can turn it around on the day."

Speaking about the club's progress in the competition, the Erith boss added: "Normally in Erith Town's case we've never been this far before, so every round we go in now is a big bonus.  If we get past this one we will be over the moon!

"Cup football is the most unpredictable, so you've got to go with it."

O'Sullivan's players will be prepared with all guns blazing, as the club that used to be called Woolwich Town, make the Hornets slide on the banana skin awaiting for them.

Erith Town vs Horsham
FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 2nd October 2004
Kick Off 3.00pm
Erith Sports Stadium, Avenue Road, Erith