WANTAGE Town boss Ben Sadler says the club are buzzing ahead of their Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round tie at near neighbours Hungerford Town tomorrow.

The Uhlsport Hellenic League side have reached this stage for the first time, and have earned £11,000 already, having beaten Oxhey Jets, Slimbridge and Bishops Cleeve.

Starting in the extra preliminary round back on August 11, Sadler says Wantage have nothing to lose as they travel to the Vanarama National League South side.

And with the winners earning a further £9,000, there’s plenty to play for.

He said: “We’ve got everyone fit, and we’re really looking forward to it.

“This is the furthest we’ve ever been and we are clearly underdogs.

“But this is a one-off game, and there’s no pressure on us at all. I’m sure Hungerford won’t be looking forward to playing a side three leagues below them.

“If we play to our full potential and they have an off day, you never know.”

Wantage are boosted by the return of goalkeeper Curtis Meare from suspension.

A club that knows all about cup runs is Oxford City, and they host Southern Counties East League outfit Cray Valley Paper Mills tomorrow at Court Place Farm.

Mark Jones’s side went all the way to the second round proper last season, before agonisingly losing out in stoppage time at then League Two leaders Notts County.

“Cray Valley will be gunning for us for sure,” City’s manager said.

“We had a fantastic run last year, and it’s definitely something we’d want to repeat.

“But we’ve seen it all before when you’re playing a team from below you. If you’re not up for it, you can come unstuck.

“Cray Valley are very capable and have already knocked out two teams from leagues above them, so we will not be underestimating them at all.”

Meanwhile, Jones has told his players they must pick up their performance levels quickly after three defeats in a row.

“I was pretty angry at our display against Bath last week,” he said.

“Our performance levels were nowhere near what they should be.

“I’m not usually one that slates the players, but we have had three or four that haven’t been doing enough.”

Joe Oastler returns from suspension, while Rob Sinclair is rated 50-50 as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Banbury United boss Mike Ford is hoping supporters turn out in their numbers for the home clash with Vanarama National League South side Bath City.

The Puritans reached this stage with a replay win over Weymouth in the last round.

And Ford says tomorrow is a huge game for the club.

“I’m hoping we can get near 1,000 in,” he said.

“It almost has the feel of a fourth qualifying round. I don’t know why, but it’s just got that feeling.

“The money isn’t the be all and end all, at the end of the day, we’d love to make the first round proper.”

Ford gave his players a night off training last night in order to ensure they are fresh for the tie.

“We’ve played a lot lately, and I think perhaps there’s been a bit of fatigue. But I think the FA Cup will invigorate us. We know we will have to play really well, get a bit of luck and our keeper will have to make some good saves, but let’s hope we can cause a cup shock.”

Ford names an unchanged squad from the side that beat Bedworth in midweek.

Didcot Town make the trip to Hitchin Town on the back of a five-game unbeaten run.

The Railwaymen lost to tomorrow’s opponents in last season’s Southern League Cup final, and boss Andy Ballard is eager to avenge that

He said: “We’re looking forward to putting that result behind us, and with a nearly full squad, I have all the attacking options I need to create chances and score goals.”

David Murphy and George Reid return from injury, while Ross MacDonald, Caelan Isaac and Siji Akinlusi are added from the development squad.


Wantage Tn (v Hungerford Tn, away): from Aulsberry, Comer, Flanagan, Cheetham, Jackson, Cox, Glover, Davoile, Robertson, Patterson, Dunmall, Scholes, Mattimore, Threlfall, Markham, Wright, Meare.

Oxford City (v Cray Valley PM, home): from King, Godwin-Malife, Jefford, Ruddick, Oastler, McEachran, Fleet, Ashby, Paterson, Tshimanga, Wiltshire, Stewart, Fasanmade, Grantham, Krasniqi, Atkinson, Sinclair.

Banbury Utd (v Bath City, home): from Goff, Hawtin, Ngathe, Rasulo, Henderson, Wise, Finch, Self, Johnson, Shamsi, Kaziboni, Bell, Awadh, Diggin, Whitehead, Gabbidon.

Didcot Tn (v Hitchin Tn, away): from Bedwell, Barder, Learoyd, Carnell, McNeill, Hayden, Thomas, Humphries, Gardner, M Williams, Cattell, M Woodley, Reid, Murphy, MacDonald, Akinlusi, Isaac.