FA Cup Second Qualifying Round



FA CUP fever will engulf the area tomorrow when Dorchester Town and Weymouth both go to war in make-or-break home ties that could shape the remainder of their respective campaigns.

With £4,500 up for grabs and both clubs’ managers under huge pressure to improve performances and results, the stakes could not be higher in what is expected to be a dramatic weekend.

Playing budgets and the size of future attendances are also on the line but both Ashley Vickers and Brendon King are standing tall under the burden and are convinced their men can produce what is required.

With a host of Magpies’ fans already calling for his head and chairman Shaun Hearn refusing to be drawn on his long-term future, Vickers goes into his side’s second qualifying round clash with Weston-super-Mare (3pm) knowing his neck is firmly on the line.

Three straight defeats in Blue Square Bet South, including a dismal 3-1 home loss against the Seagulls just 10 days ago, certainly makes grim reading ahead of such a massive game but the 40-year-old manager appears to be thriving on the stress.

Vickers said: “You should feel pressure going into every game because every game is crucial. Pressure brings the best out of you and I felt the same when I was playing.

“I’ve had a positive chat with the chairman and we’re all looking forward to the game.

“Shaun could not be any more helpful. He has backed me through some interesting times last year and I will always be thankful for that. We have a good working relationship and he knows I will give everything to the club until the day comes when my services are no longer required.

“Everyone is feeling ever so positive about tomorrow and the mood is really good. We just need everyone to get behind us.”

King also has his critics at the Terras but having received a vote of confidence from the board back on September 10, following a 4-1 defeat at Chesham, it would appear his job is a little more secure than his Dorchester counterpart.

Since then, Weymouth have lost just one of their last five in all competitions but their below-par performances at home have left a lot to be desired, which is an ominous sign ahead of the visit of unbeaten Evo-Stik Division One South & West leaders Hungerford Town (3pm).

King said: “I know there are a few fans questioning my position but that does not concern me at all – I don’t even think about it.

“The most important thing is getting a positive result on Saturday and then again next Tuesday night against Oxford City.

“If the lads were not working hard than we would have a problem but the endeavour is there and I am confident everything will come together sooner rather than later.

“In the meantime, I am quite happy to take all the pressure and the flak as I do not want people to take it out on the lads.

“Tomorrow is a massive game but it is one the players need to make sure they enjoy.

“There are millions of footballers who have never got the opportunity to play in the FA Cup and I want our lads to take that on board, understand what it means to people and embrace the occasion.

“If they can do that and the fans get behind them then we will stand every chance.”

Gary Bowles misses out through suspension for Dorchester along with injured trio Mark Jermyn (knee), Nick Crittenden (hamstring) and Nathan Peprah-Annan (knee). Ashley Nicholls (hamstring) is also a doubt while loanees Lewis Tallack and Nick Jordan are both eligible to feature, although the latter is still struggling for fitness after being knocked off his bike last Friday.

Meanwhile, Sam Malsom, Stephen Reed and Ollie Tribe are all expected to overcome knocks for the Terras with Warren Byerley also set to start despite having broken his nose in last Saturday’s draw with Barwell.

Jamie Beasley serves the last game of his lengthy suspension.

Magpies (from): Walker-Harris, Jordan, Tallack, Martin, N Walker, Critchell, Bell, Vickers, Nicholls, Gleeson, Dovell, Devlin, Symes, Dickenson, Flood, Moss, Wilson.

Terras (from): Manley, Lillington, Tribe, Murray, Dixon, Gerring, Poole, Napper, Reed, Duff, Marshallsay, McKechnie, Conning, Malsom, Groves, Byerley.

* Admission for both ties, which are all-pay, are as follows: Avenue Stadium – Adult £10 (stand) or £9 (terrace), concessions £6.50 (stand) or £5.50 (terrace), under-16s £2.

Bob Lucas Stadium – Adults £10, concessions £7, children £2, unemployed £2.