We just have to hope they don’t like coming down to Jockey Farm because it’s probably a little bit below the standard of ground they play at, says Rusthall joint-manager Andrew McKechnie

Wednesday 05th September 2018

RUSTHALL joint-manager Andrew McKechnie says there’s no pressure on his side going into tonight’s FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay against Cray Wanderers.

The Rustics came away from Hayes Lane with a 1-1 draw on 25 August and welcome Tony Russell’s unbeaten side for their first home game of the season at Jockey Farm Stadium after playing eight games away from home.

The winners will travel to Metropolitan Police on Saturday in the First Qualifying Round.

Cray Wanderers are in second-place in the Bostik South East Division with a 100% record in four league games, while Rusthall play a division below and are in the bottom three with one win in five games in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said McKechnie.

“The first game for me was an old fashioned FA Cup game. They had a lot of possession, as you’d expect.  We dug in and we defended excellently and when we got the opportunity to play, we did play football.

“We go into the game as absolutely massive underdogs.  They’re complete favourites to come and win the game but we love that. 

“We’ll go and enjoy ourselves, go and play football and we’ll be positive.  We’re not there to make the numbers up and we’re going to try to win the game.”

Goalkeeper Callum Christie had an outstanding game at Hayes Lane and McKechnie wants nine or ten out of 10 from all of his players to cause a FA Cup giant-killing act.

He said: “There’s three saves that he made that were brilliant saves. 

“When you’re playing against a side - they’re just not a side from the league above, they’re a side that are going for the title in the league above.  There’s a huge gap in the two teams but in The FA Cup that’s what you need.  You need your keeper to have a blinder and pull off saves like that.

“I think we have to go with the same format as the first game. We’ve got to defend incredibly well all the way through the team.  Everyone has got to have a nine out of 10, a 10 out of 10.

“Callum in goal, as he did in the first game, he’s got to pull a blinder off.

“We just have to hope they don’t like coming down to Jockey Farm because it’s probably a little bit below the standard of ground they play at although it’s a fantastic ground now, with the work that’s been going on.

“It would be nice to play at home. Luckily we’ve had a few training sessions there so yes, I can just about find it, so it will be nice to play at home and I think all round it ticks all the boxes nicely because we’re going to have our first home game and it’s going to be a big game but it’s one that we can go and enjoy.

“We’re hoping for a little bit of extra local support on Wednesday.

“This game is a bit of a win-win, the players want to play football. We’re going into this game against a very good side but the biggest thing is there’s no pressure on us, so we can go and enjoy the game.  That’s a dangerous thing.”

When asked the question that this would be Rusthall’s biggest ever result if they send Cray Wanderers crashing out of The FA Cup in Rusthall’s first ever home FA Cup tie, McKechnie replied:  “I think that will be a little bit harsh on me to comment on that. The club has been around for a long, long time and they’ve had some fantastic results over the years. It would be up there, it will definitely be up there.”

Visit Rusthall’s website:  www.rusthallfc.com

Rusthall  v  Cray Wanderers
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Wednesday 5 September 2018
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Jockey Farm Stadium, Nellington Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8SH