Saturday is a historic occasion as we host our first ever home FA Cup tie since being reformed, says AFC Croydon Athletic boss Kevin Rayner

Friday 10th August 2018

AFC CROYDON ATHLETIC manager Kevin Rayner says he is relishing a home FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against Rochester United tomorrow.

The Rams go into the game sitting in the top-five in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having remained unbeaten from their first couple of opening games.

They were held to a 2-2 home draw over Deal Town on the opening day of the season, before beating Cray Valley 1-0 on Tuesday night.

“Our league campaign had got off to a good start after dominating Deal, we couldn’t find a winner,” said Rayner.

“Then on Tuesday night we entertained one of the title favourites in Cray Valley and saw out a tough game with a late winner from new boy Bankole Koroma.

“Our defence on Tuesday night was exceptional against a good Cray Valley side. We worked hard and deserved our victory in another really strong display.

“Our target going into Saturday’s game was to not get beat and take four points, so it’s the start we wanted ahead of the Rochester clash.”

AFC Croydon Athletic host First Division side Rochester United, a side that suffered relegation at the end of last season and new manager Barry Morgan hasn’t been able to turn around the club’s fortunes, yet.

“Saturday is a historic occasion as we host our first ever home FA Cup tie since being reformed,” said Rayner.

“The FA Cup is great for club’s at our level and it’s fantastic to see a club go as far as possible.

“We have another tough fixture as we welcome a Rochester United side also looking to stay in the competition for as long as possible.

“It’s great to get a home tie this year after two tough away draws. Since I have been in charge a home draw is what we asked for, even though we know we will need to improve again to ensure we do well against what will be a well-organised Rochester side.”

Rochester United were thrashed by big-spending Welling Town 6-3 at home on the opening day of the season, before losing 1-0 at Kennington on Wednesday night to leave them in the bottom three, with only Meridian VP and Lewisham Borough beneath them in the table at this early stage.

“The opening week has been tough for the boys, who are all very young and inexperienced apart from Andy Constable and Darren Marsden,” said former Sheppey United man Morgan.

“We conceded some very poor goals, gifted Welling Town four of their goals but we played quite well apart from that.

“We gifted Kennington their goal in midweek, didn’t play quite so well but there are some promising signs.

“We’ve got a nice game tomorrow, no pressure.  Would be nice if we won, wouldn’t it?”

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AFC Croydon Athletic  v  Rochester United
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 11 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Mayfield Stadium, off Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 6DN