We have the utmost respect for Coleshill and will not be guilty of underestimating them, says Crowborough Athletic assistant manager Steve Ives

Friday 27th January 2017

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC assistant manager Steve Ives says they will not underestimate Coleshill Town in tomorrow’s Buildbase FA Vase Last Sixteen clash.

The Birmingham-based outfit arrive in East Sussex sitting in third-place in the Midlands League Premier Division table, having won their last seven games and are 12 points adrift of leaders Alvechurch, but with three games in hand.

Crowborough Athletic beat Gillingham-based side Hollands & Blair 2-0 last Saturday to climb to the summit of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division with 54 points from their 22 games.

But they lost their 32 match unbeaten run when Newhaven reached the Sussex FA Principal RUR Charity Cup Final with a 1-0 win over the Crows on Tuesday night.

“We obviously want to win every game we take part in but perhaps the timing of Tuesday’s game was asking too much off the back of a tough battle against Hollands & Blair,” admitted Ives.

“Maybe we can all be forgiven for having one eye on this Saturday.  Judging by the atmosphere at training last night I’m sure the group will be determined to give the best possible response tomorrow.”

Attention now turns to tomorrow’s FA Vase Fifth Round tie, which will attract the Crows’ largest crowd of the season.

“We have the utmost respect for Coleshill and will not be guilty of underestimating them,” insists Ives.

“They are a good side, full of quality players who have a distinct identity but so do we; it’s set to be a great game and exciting challenge for us!

“Interest in the club is as high as I’ve ever known it. The players deserve massive credit for capturing the imagination of people in the town. The atmosphere at the ground recently has been brilliant and it definitely inspires us to perform on the pitch.

“We have a game plan that we believe in, if we can execute it we’ll have a decent chance.”

When asked about the club’s chances of reaching Wembley Stadium, just like neighbours Tunbridge Wells did in The FA Vase in 2013, Ives replied: “We haven’t really talked about it much!”

Crowborough defender Jason Barton, who cannot play tomorrow, was in Tunbridge Wells’ Wembley side that lost 2-1 to Northern League Spennymoor Town that day.

Ives said: “Barts has been great for us since signing.  I know he’s frustrated he can’t participate tomorrow but he’ll still be with us playing his part and supporting the group. It’s testament to the mentality of this group that all the players turn out and support the team when they’re unavailable for whatever reason.”

Crowborough Athletic boss Sean Muggeridge has said recently that he would swap a Wembley appearance for winning promotion out of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division at the end of this season.

But Ives admitted: “There’s still lots of tough battles to navigate our way through before we achieve anything this season!

With the men on the pitch receiving all the plaudits, Eastbourne-based Ives was full of praise for the management team too.

“We’re very fortunate to have a top quality coach in Jonny Ellwood.  I normally discuss tactical elements with him and he delivers the majority of the sessions," said Ives. 

"Sean has put together a really strong management team with John Kirby overseeing defensive elements and Alan Kibbey responsible for the keeper’s.”

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Crowborough Athletic  v  Coleshill Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 28th January 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Crowborough Community Stadium, Fermor Road, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 3BU