The FA Cup is massive, I loved playing in it and I love managing in it and I hope our journey continues, says K Sports' joint-manager George Batten

Friday 19th August 2022

K SPORTS joint-manager George Batten says he is plotting another FA Cup upset at Beckenham Town tomorrow.

The Paperboys raised eyebrows when they came away from Brighton with a goal-less draw in the Extra Preliminary Round.  However, their impressive 3-2 extra time win over the Isthmian League South East Division side was even more outstanding.

Whitehawk went on to recover from that shock by claiming back-to-back league wins over Sittingbourne (2-1) and Littlehampton Town (1-0) and are in second place behind leaders Beckenham Town.

Jason Huntley’s men claimed the Combined Counties League Premier Division South title at the first attempt last season and came away from Horsham YMCA with a 3-0 win in the last round and have won their first two games at their new level 3-2.

They came away from Lancing with an opening day win and were 2-0 up over Corinthian, who fought back to equalise before Beckenham snatched the victory with an late Jamie Humphris’ header.

K Sports, meanwhile, are in the bottom five in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having lost 4-1 at home to Punjab United, lost 4-0 at home to Erith & Belvedere before bouncing back with a 1-0 win at Lordswood on Tuesday night.

“We’ve had an acceptable start.  The fixtures draw wasn’t the kindest on us, so to get two wins and a draw from the opening five games is ok,” said Batten, who runs the team alongside his brother Ian.

“To beat Whitehawk over two legs is a magnificent achievement for the club, as they are fancied to challenge in the Isthmian.  I hope they do, they were very professional and gracious in defeat and it’s no surprise they’ve started their league campaign extremely well.

“It’s always a hard game at Lordswood and very difficult to get a result, but credit to the boys, we played very well and deserved all three points.”

Batten attended Beckenham’s last outing so knows what to expect at Eden Park Avenue tomorrow.

“I’m expecting Beckenham to be very strong, but they watched us against Whitehawk and will know what’s coming their way.  If we play to our potential, we can beat them,” said Batten.

“The FA Cup is massive. I loved playing in it and I love managing in it.  I hope our journey continues.

“We have been to watch Beckenham, so we know what to expect.  I have always had a lot of respect for Beckenham, they always play a nice brand of football on a lovely pitch.  Whatever happens tomorrow, I hope they go on to have a successful season.

“We may have one or two players missing but that won’t change the game plan.  We trust every player in our squad, whoever gets the shirts tomorrow will make a good account of ourselves.”

Beckenham Town  v  K Sports
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 20 August 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL