I’m not saying a day out at Wembley wouldn’t be great but I want to win promotion, says Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson

Monday 29th October 2018

CRAY VALLEY (Paper Mills) manager Kevin Watson says there is pressure on his side to win every game that they play in.

Watson takes his side to Camberley on Sunday to take on Badshot Lea in The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round.

The Millers kicked off their FA Vase campaign with a 2-1 win over First Division side Sutton Athletic in the First Qualifying Round on the first day of September.

Cray Valley then comfortably eased past Hailsham Town 2-0 in the next round and then they had two trips to Greenford to play St Panteleimon in the First Round.

The home club’s goalkeeper collided with the post after the Millers extra-time equaliser and the game was ordered to be replayed by The Football Association after the first game was abandoned but Cray Valley done the business at the second attempt by winning 3-1.

Badshot Lea play in the same level as Cray Valley and are currently in fifteenth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division table with 15 points from 12 games.

“I’m going to watch them on Tuesday,” said Watson, who has a couple weeks off as a school teacher.

“The FA Vase is an opportunity, a dream isn’t it really, just like the other teams we’ll see how far we can get.

“All I want to do in the cup competitions is keep progressing further than the club’s been before, like The FA Cup.

“If we can go further than the clubs been before in The FA Vase and things like that, set some milestones like that, anything beyond that is great.

“I’ve always said the cups are for the players.  I’ve said it in the changing room that’s their opportunity to achieve a memorable moment. It’s not my job, my job is the league. That doesn’t say the cups are less important. It’s a nice opportunity for them but I’m judged on league status and not cup statuses.”

Watson admitted their double-header against Middlesex County League opposition proved to be a tough nut to crack.

“St Panteleimon, cor that was tough but that just shows, like they’re a level below us, that was tough. Alright we’ve drawn the first game. We’ve gone there again and we’ve won so the objective was achieved.

“We could’ve won it on the Saturday, it took until the Wednesday, which was frustrating having to go there twice but the lads put themselves in that position. 

“It’s an unusual circumstance for the players in the dressing room to be expected to win every game and that’s the team they’re involved in. It’s hard. I don’t think people realise that sort of pressure.  You have to go and win every game, that’s the expectation.”

Cray Valley sit in sixth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 23 points on the board from 10 games – five points adrift of leaders Beckenham Town but with three games in hand.

And when asked whether he would like to win promotion to the Bostik League – or lead his side out at Wembley Stadium in The FA Vase Final in May, Watson replied: “Promotion! It’s the truth.  I’m not saying a day out at Wembley wouldn’t be great but no it would be promotion.

“I haven’t won a league as a manager, not many have, have they really at this level.  Promotion, that’s the objective but there’s some really strong teams in our league, really strong and you look at the results, everyone’s been beaten, nobody’s unbeaten in the league.”

Badshot Lea  v  Cray Valley (Paper Mills)
The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Sunday 4 November 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Krooner Park, Wilton Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2QW