Hearn's up for the Cup

EYES ON CUP: Nick Crittenden celebrates scoring in the fourth qualifying round

EYES ON CUP: Nick Crittenden celebrates scoring in the fourth qualifying round

First published in Sport by

“BRING it on” is the message from chairman Shaun Hearn after Dorchester Town landed a plum tie with Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the FA Cup.

The Magpies will host the Pilgrims on the weekend of November 3-4 after disposing of nine-man Bury Town on Saturday.

The two clubs have met previously in the most famous of domestic cup competitions – albeit 55 years ago – when a second round tie in 1957 ended 5-2 in favour of the Devon-based side.

And although the Blue Square Bet South Magpies lie 37 places below their Npower League Two opponents, Hearn is quietly confident of seeing his men produce a major upset at the Greene King IPA Community Stadium.

He told Echosport: “I went down to the club to watch the draw, along with a few others, and it was unbelievable. It’s a fantastic draw and you could not write it any better.

“I don’t want to be too greedy but I would love to see us get a draw and force a replay.

“Our boys are up for it and we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a fantastic tie and at the end of the day it’s 11 versus 11 and on the day who knows what will happen.

“We will just enjoy the occasion as everyone is really looking forward to it – bring it on.”

The Magpies have already accumulated £24,500 in FA Cup prize money and their date with Argyle could prove a real money-spinner.

With Plymouth boasting a gate of 6,261 for their last home match – a 3-1 victory over Rochdale – Hearn is hopeful of attracting a large crowd for the upcoming clash.

And he is therefore calling on the local community to turn out in force. The county town businessman added: “Hopefully the supporters will come and watch it and we’ll also pick up a few new supporters.

“It’s not about the money though. Obviously it helps and we have been able to stabilise the club as a result, but for me it’s about putting Dorchester on the map.

“Getting to the first round is a fantastic achievement and hopefully the town, and surrounding areas, will get behind us.

“It’s a massive draw for the club and there’s a lot of hard work to do now before the game.

“We’ve been fortunate with the draws this season whereas in previous years we have been pretty unlucky at times. Long may our good fortune continue.

“Being a former season-ticket holder I would have loved to have drawn Portsmouth but Plymouth is a great draw and it would be fantastic if we could get the game televised as well.

“There is a bit of history there as well, which is nice, and my parents lived in Plymouth for a while because my dad worked in the Navy.”

The current campaign is shaping up to be a memorable one for the Avenue faithful, with Dorchester also lying an impressive fourth in the league table and yet to taste defeat on home turf.

Hearn said: “We just want to keep our good start going. Phil Simkin and Stuart Heath have put a great squad together and as I have said before we get real value for money from our lads.

“With the FA Cup game, one or two will now be in the shop window, so it’s a great opportunity for them in that sense as well.”

* Ticket details for the first round tie are expected to be released later this week.

 

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