CUP runs can sometimes be double-edged swords.

They are lucrative but come with increased match minutes, which in turn adds to the risk of injuries and suspensions.

Or, they can act as a motivation outside of league football to transform a struggling team’s fortunes in their division.

In the case of Weymouth at Dover Athletic this weekend, the Terras will be hoping it’s the latter.

Bobby Wilkinson’s men have turned into draw specialists, sharing the points seven times in the Vanarama National League South, and sit 17th in the league, six places ahead of Dover.

OPINION: Do Weymouth need consistency and stability or a radical overhaul?

Dover away, a venue at which Weymouth have won on each of their previous three visits, presents the Dorset side with an excellent chance of reaching the third round this weekend.

Prize money of £3,750 and a potential tie at home to a National League side would also be a decent reward for Weymouth.

But there could be an even bigger prize awaiting them should they build up a head of steam in the Trophy.

The old saying goes that winning breeds confidence and, right now, Weymouth could do with some of that.

Yes, they have only tasted defeat twice in ten games, but Weymouth’s fans would love to do a little more winning.

Of the 20 games completed this season, Weymouth have won only five.

Admittedly, they have also collected seven draws and are harder to beat than 2022/23.

But there is a case, as Wilkinson himself has repeatedly stated in recent weeks, for turning draws into wins, what he describes as “fine margins”.

So, what benefits does a potential cup run have in Wilkinson’s eyes?

“It can go two ways,” he admitted.

“Sometimes it can help your season, sometimes it can dent your season.

“For instance, a year ago the FA Cup helped me. It got players fitter and us to look at other players.

“We’ve decided as a group, we’re going to stay quiet and do our business, just try and win one game at a time.

“We had a really good meeting about it and the group has never been as together as what it’s been in the last two weeks.

“I’m really pleased with what they’ve been trying to achieve.

“We know certain weeks we haven’t been at it, but there’ve been certain weeks where we have been.

“As long as we’re at it more than not, we’ll have a good season. We want to move up the table by turning draws into wins.

“But we’re very happy where we are, to a certain point. The togetherness is absolutely first-class.”

The crucial question is whether any sort of cup run could translate into wins in the league as Weymouth look to press on up the table.

Wilkinson said: “It could do, but it has to lift wins instead of draws.

“We spoke about consistency. Last Tuesday (5-1 loss to Bath) was one of the worst performances since I’ve been here.

“Then, on Saturday (1-1 draw at Farnborough) it was one of the best, and that’s about consistency.

“We’re not going to start putting pressure on our players about form and results.

“We’ll keep it tight-knit, keep it together and we’ll start getting results.

“A prime example, I hate to say it, is that I stayed positive last year even when it was right up against me and look what we ended up doing.

“Stay positive and you will always achieve what you want to achieve. Right now, we’re just at that fine margin.

“I’d rather be drawing than losing, but we’ve got to turn the draws into wins to start climbing the table and be more comfortable.

“It shows how tight the league is. If you win two, you’re right up there. If you lose two, you’re at the bottom.

“We didn’t win a game in the bottom five last year, this year we’re drawing. That’s an improvement in its own right.

“We all get carried away thinking we should win and it has to be the most buoyant football out there.”

Could a cup run even be a trigger to future success?

Wilkinson insists he would not have moved to the Terras if he didn’t see potential to take the club forward.

“Success is coming to this football club, make no mistake about that,” he insisted.

“I’ve seen this happen many times over the years. To get success, you have to build success.

“We haven’t built success the last three years and that’s why we haven’t been up where we want to be. I’m not here to be where we are right now.

“I’m not here to be 17th or 15thh. I did not sign up to be there. I did sign to bring success and so far we have.

“Now we have to climb the league and be there. We’re not in the relegation zone, we stayed up and made the FA Cup first round proper last year.

“Now, success is climbing the table and being mid-table, then play-off contenders. That will happen if we believe in each other.”

Whether Weymouth can progress in the FA Trophy this weekend remains to be seen.

However, if they can, the carrot on the stick for a better future on the field is there for all to see.