I think at this stage every team left in will believe they can go all the way but we need to be realistic and just look towards the next game and not look too far ahead, says Stansfeld joint-manager Jamie Phipps
STANSFELD joint-manager Jamie Phipps says his side are relishing another underdog tag for their FA Vase Last Sixteen clash against Southall tomorrow.
Stansfeld do not pay their players and have a spirit within the camp that money can’t buy as they have pulled off shock after shock throughout their best run in the competition.
Stansfeld have beaten Bagshot (3-1), Worthing United (5-1), Staplehurst Monarchs United (3-1), Badshot Lea (2-) and Frimley Green (3-1) and Raynes Park Vale (2-1).
“Not too many people outside of our club thought we would go to Raynes Park and win I the last round, but we always believed we could go there and win,” said Phipps.
Southall, sixth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division North, welcome Stansfeld with a place in the Quarter-Finals up for grabs.
“As you would expect at this stage of a national competition, every team left in are going to be decent, so we know we are in for a very tough game and will have to be at our best to get a positive result,” said Phipps, whose side play one level lower than their opponents.
“We went and watched their last game and believe we have seen enough to put a plan in place to be able to beat them.
“They haven’t played for a couple of weeks so hopefully that will work in our favour too.
“We are more than happy being the underdogs in every round as the weight of expectation is taken off you and we will go and play without fear and pressure.
“We have got two coaches going to the game, without those who are travelling independently, so we certainly won’t be short of support.
“I think at this stage every team left in will believe they can go all the way but we need to be realistic and just look towards the next game and not look too far ahead.”
Stansfeld are in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table, having banked 50 points from their 22 league games.
The club are four points behind leaders Sutton Athletic but with three games in hand.
Daniel Kelly’s side suffered a shock 4-2 defeat at Dartford based side Kent Football United in midweek.
“Our league form has dipped the last couple of games and maybe we have had an eye on tomorrow’s game, but fortunately it hasn’t really cost us as all the teams around us have dropped as many, if not more points than we have,” said Phipps.
“We have to careful and make sure that being in the Vase doesn’t undo all the good work we have done in the league.”
Stansfeld have pulled off a transfer coup ahead of their biggest game in their history with free-agent Tommy Whitnell, 31, joining the party.
The versatile striker has played for a number of higher-league clubs during his career.
“We have brought in Tommy Whitnell, who with his experience and quality will be a great addition to the group. He is in the squad for the game tomorrow.
“We will try to enjoy the day as much as we can and whatever the outcome of the game, the one thing guaranteed is that there will be two coaches having a few sambucas and beers on the way home.”
Southall v Stansfeld
The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round
Saturday 12 February 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Short Lane, Stanwell, Middlesex TW19 7BH