We have to guard against complacency, says Nicky Southall

Friday 31st October 2014
MAIDSTONE UNITED assistant manager Nicky Southall reflects on a great week for the club.

Goals from Jack Parkinson and Frannie Collin saw the Stones stun Welling United 2-1 in The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round last weekend.

Their reward is a trip to League Two Stevenage in the First Round on Sunday 9 November.

Southall said: “Well what a week at Maidstone United as we on paper had a real tricky FA Cup game against Welling United, which it proved to be that way, but in reality we could have and should put to bed in a more comfortable manner but if you don’t take your chances they sometimes come back to haunt you (pardon the pun being Halloween!).

“But really, especially first half, we could have been more ruthless in front of goal and we were saying on the sidelines that we hope we don’t regret those chances and it proved a point as Welling came back at us after the break, which we knew they would as we were sure Jamie Day and Barry Ashby will be giving them a dressing down at half-time and it showed as after the break they had a real go at us!

“But we held firm, stood tall and defended with a real coolness and determination to hold on and eventually win deservedly so in my opinion.

“I have to say the atmosphere and support was truly amazing last Saturday.”

Southall hopes Maidstone United can make it a day to remember at Broadhall Way next weekend.

Reflecting on the draw itself, which was screened live on BBC2 at 19:00 last Monday night, Southall admitted: “Monday’s draw was a very tense watch for me as there were a few clubs that I’ve been connected with over the years no more so than Gillingham FC.

“It would have been a fantastic draw for both clubs and fans connected with the clubs.

“We’ve got Stevenage in the next round, a relative new club who came through the non-league route and have an amazing record of producing their own shocks down the years.

“Let’s hope we can cause our own upset at their place. What I do know they will be fit and strong and very well organised so we really have to be on our game to cause a shock added with let’s hope a massive following from the Maidstone fans.”

But before Maidstone United travel to Stevenage, the Stones welcome Walton & Hersham in The FA Trophy First Qualifying Round tomorrow.

The Swans won 5-4 at Maidstone on the opening day of last season and will be plotting their own cup upset against Jay Saunders’ side that are in second place in the Ryman Premier League.

Walton & Hersham are in the bottom six in the Ryman League Division One South table with six wins, one draw and nine defeats in the league this season.

Southall said: “We have to guard against complacency and I’m sure our boys will treat them with the respect that they deserve but we have to show them that we’re a team full of confidence, full of talent and hopefully full of goals leading into next Sunday’s big game.”

Southall led Whitstable Town to the Second Round in The FA Trophy last season when he was in charge at The Belmont.

He said: “To be fair, I’d rather be playing some league games so we’re not playing catch-up to Margate, especially what happened to me last year at Whitstable with 24-odd games in the last two months really did kill our season.

“Players were near to exhaustion after all the attention of The FA Trophy run we had, the season just petered out to holding on in the end, which should never have happened as they were better than where we finished.”

Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk

Maidstone United  v  Walton & Hersham
The FA Trophy First Qualifying Round
Saturday 1st November 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Gallagher Stadium, James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ