We have a little taste of success by creating the clubs longest run in The FA Vase – and we would love to keep that going, says Holmesdale boss Andy Constable

Thursday 11th January 2024

HOLMESDALE manager Andy Constable says he is relishing the chance of being involved in the clubs biggest game in their history on Saturday.


The Bromley-based outfit welcome Highworth Town to Oakley Road in the Last 32 of The FA Vase – a wonderful cup competition for clubs in the ninth and tenth tiers (Step Five and Step Six) with the Final staged at Wembley Stadium in May.

Holmesdale go into the game on the back of a 1-1 league draw at home to Deal Town last Saturday, a result that puts them in thirteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having collected 26 points (seven wins, five draws and 10 defeats) from their 22 of 40 league outings.

Wiltshire-based Highworth Town, meanwhile, arrive in Bromley sitting in sixth-place in the Hellenic League Premier Division table – the same level as Constable’s men – having picked up 39 points (12 wins, three draws and seven defeats) and are 20 points adrift of league leaders Worcester City.

“The excitement around the club has been building and we are all set for what we hope is an entertaining game for the supporters,” said Constable.

“Hopefully, we can get our highest attendance of the season as well, as any additional support will go a long way of helping to try and achieve our goal of getting to the national stage of this wonderful competition.”

Reflecting on their draw against Steve King’s side last time out, the well-respected Constable added: “I was very concerned what type of performance we would get, given the nature of the two previous defeats against VCD and Kennington.

“Thanfully, we were excellent and, in my opinion, well worthy of the point we got thanks to Manny Oshinowo’s excellent injury-time strike.

“This was the perfect little injection of confidence we needed coming into Saturday’s Vase tie and following a decent training session, I know the boys will be fully focused on delivering what is needed to advance.

“If we apply ourselves correctly and get the footballing gods onside – you always need some luck in cup football – then we can continue this historic run for the club.

“If we don’t turn up, then we are under no illusions that Highworth, who are a very decent side, will punish us and end that run.”

Constable – who scored 400 career goals during his non-league career – admits January is a defining month for the club.

“January is a massive month for us with this game as well as some vital League matches and the big Challenge Cup Quarter-Final at home to Erith Town (23 January), will define our season, so hopefully come the end of the month we are still in both cup competitions and have pulled away from the relegation battle.”

Constable urges his side to perform like they did at the weekend and show their good side, rather than their inconsistent side.

“The season so far has been up and down, pretty much as I would have expected, but I will be honest, it has been extremely frustrating,” admitted Constable.

“Beating top sides like Glebe, Fisher, Corinthian and Lydd, drawing with Deal, Snodland and Punjab, has shown we can match anyone on our day, but we haven’t been able to find a level of consistency to stay competitive and that has cost us against teams below us in the table.

“We currently sit thirteenth and if we can stay around this position then overall it wouldn’t be a bad season.

“The longer we can stay in these cup competitions though the more exciting the season gets, so hopefully we can get through another few rounds in the Vase and also the Challenge Cup.

“We have a little taste of success by creating the clubs longest run in The FA Vase – and we would love to keep that going!”

Holmesdale  v  Highworth Town
The Isuzu FA Vase Fourth Round
Saturday 13 January 2024
Kick Off 3:00pm
at 68 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HG