Saturday's big Kent FA Cup tie is probably the hottest ticket in town, says Nicky Southall

Friday 24th October 2014
MAIDSTONE UNITED assistant manager Nicky Southall says he still loves competing in The FA Cup.

The 42-year-old has vast experience of the competition having played in every level of football from Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League all the way down to Whitstable Town in the Ryman League Division One South and is relishing tomorrow’s winner-takes-all Fourth Qualifying Round tie at home to Welling United.

The game at The Gallagher Stadium is an all-ticket sold-out affair and Southall cannot wait for the game to start.

“Saturday’s big Kent FA Cup tie is probably the hottest ticket in town, added with The FA Cup coming to Maidstone tells it’s own story,” said the former Gillingham midfielder.

“There is such a buzz about the place, it’s what makes The FA Cup what it is. It brings communities together and the sell-out fixture proves this.”

The Stones go into the game sitting at the top of the Ryman Premier League table and have an impressive 100% home record.

Jamie Day’s Welling United are in seventeenth-place in the Vanarama Conference.

It’s an exciting weekend for all non-league sides that are playing at the weekend as they all know that they are potentially 90 minutes away from having their name in the iconic velvet bag in Monday’s First Round Draw.

Southall said: “We all know that Welling are huge favourites to win the game as they’re two leagues above us, but we all know how The FA Cup seems to even up the odds and very often brings it’s shocks, not just in this round but right things all the rounds and even up to The Cup Final itself.

“As a player I’ve been very fortunate to be involved in Cup shocks over the years, ask Barry Ashby (Welling United’s assistant manager), my former team mate with Gillingham. 

“We’ve had some great FA Cup games together so along with Barry and Jamie they will undoubtedly treat us with the respect that we deserve and know it’s hopefully going to be a fantastic occasion for both teams, fans and directors, not forgetting players and staff to be involved in.

“Let’s hope for a superb game of Cup football.”

Meanwhile, Welling United have brought in three players to strengthen their squad ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup tie.

Goalkeeper Lee Butcher has signed on a non-contract basis and needs no introduction to the Park View Road faithful having won player-of-the-season last season for his performances.

Central defender Michael Chambers has signed on a month’s loan from Premier League side Crystal Palace, who plucked him from Ryman League Dulwich Hamlet.

Liechtenstein full international goalkeeper Benji Buchel, 25, has received clearance from AFC Bournemouth to play in FA Cup matches for the Wings and will remain at Park View Road until January 2015.

DOVER ATHLETIC travel to Vanarama Conference South side Eastbourne Borough tomorrow, looking to reach the First Round for the second successive season.

The Whites lost 1-0 away to Milton Keynes Dons in the Second Round last season and manager Chris Kinnear told the club’s website: “It’s not easy, but it could have been a lot worse.  They are a good side with a decent manager.”

EVESHAM UNITED manager Paul Collicutt is looking forward to staging Vanarama Conference South side Bromley, who under boss Mark Goldberg bid to reach the First Round for the fifth time in nine years.

The Robbins are looking forward to their biggest ever game at Jubilee Stadium on Cheltenham Road, which has only been opened for two years.

The only time that the club reached the First Round was when they went down to a 2-0 defeat at Torquay United in 2008.

He told the Evesham Journal newspaper: “This game is for the supporters. They’ve had to put up with a lot in recent seasons and the time spent playing at Worcester.

“Now we have got something to be proud of and this is the biggest game that has been played at the Jubilee Stadium since it opened.

“It’s an opportunity for the people of Evesham to come out and support the club. It’s what we need as a team and to show the potential we have here.”

The Robbins are in eleventh-place in the Southern League Division One South & West and with Bromley in fifth-place in the Vanarama Conference South table, tomorrow’s game in Worcestershire has the makings of a typical FA Cup tie.

Collicutt said: “We are the underdogs. Bromley are a very good team. I just want to make the most of it. As long as I can get the players to give 100%, I think we will cause Bromley problems.”