NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: March Town up for the cup as they go in search of another higher-level scalp
PUBLISHED: 09:36 07 September 2019
Manager Brett Whaley has challenged his March Town heroes to create more magical FA Cup memories today (Saturday).
The Hares travel to Grays Athletic, who play two levels above them, in the first qualifying round of the famous competition, 3pm.
They have already claimed two higher-level scalps after beating Norwich United 2-1 in the extra preliminary round and then seeing off Wellingborough Town by the same scoreline at the next stage.
Those exploits have earned more than £5,000 in prize money with another £4,500 up for grabs for victory tomorrow when March face their toughest test yet against a Grays side who play at Step 4 in the BetVictor North Division.
"We're not just going there for a day out - we're going to do all we can to pick up another great FA Cup result," stressed Hares boss Whaley.
"We're taking a coach full of supporters and it's important to put on a good show for them, everyone connected to the club and the whole town.
"We have absolutely nothing to lose and that's always a good position to be in. The pressure is all on Grays as the higher-level team playing at home.
"They will no doubt believe it is a great draw to be facing us, but we have to ensure that's not the case for them.
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"We haven't had them watched as we don't want to focus too much on the opposition. It's all about ensuring we perform in the right manner and at the right levels ourselves.
"We worked really hard last season to get ourselves into a position to get into the FA Cup and we have already produced two really big performances to get through the opening two rounds.
"It's important we enjoy the occasion but we also have to ensure we give our all and don't leave anything out there on the pitch.
"The run in the FA Cup has created some excitement and helped us boost our support home and away.
"The prize money is so valuable as well and the FA have done superbly to increase it so much in the early rounds.
"We're guaranteed another £1,500 even if we lose tomorrow, but we'd love to be greedy and get more!"
Captain Max Mattless, who is out for at least a month with a knee problem, is the only absentee for March tomorrow.
Opponents Grays have started the season well with three wins from four games in the BetVictor North Division.