Away FA Cup draws for Dereham and Lowestoft
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Dereham Town and Lowestoft Town will have to do the business on the road if they are to make the first round of the FA Cup this season.
The fourth qualifying round draw was made at Wembley, with the Trawlerboys handed a tough trip to Blue Square Conference strugglers Braintree Town.
Thurlow Nunn Premier side Dereham Town have the prize of a trip to fellow step five side South Park from the Combined Counties League – but only if they can beat Met Police on their own patch in their replay tomorrow night.
Fourth qualifying round ties will be played on Saturday, October 20.
Dereham and the Met Police drew 1-1 at Aldiss Park on Saturday and boss Matt Henman said: “To get the chance to get a step five side in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup gives us a good incentive, although we cannot look too far ahead of Wednesday.”
South Park play near Reigate in Surrey and have only lost once in 17 games this season and overcame Ryman Division One side Brentwood on Saturday.
Henman said: “They must be a good side to have beaten step four teams. On the face of it you want a team close to you or a really big one. And this is winnable. But it is not on the table yet and we have to win on Wednesday. Everyone is positive and we can play better.”
As for Lowestoft, their reward for a 1-0 win at St Albans is a trip to the Amlin Stadium. Braintree have won just once at home in six attempts this season, and Lowestoft will be looking to add to their misery.
“It’s another away draw – we must have set some sort of record for that this season, so we’ll certainly do it the hard way,” said Town director of football Craig Fleming.
Lowestoft’s draw at Braintree, on Saturday week, is their sixth away from home out of seven knock-out rounds this term.
“Braintree are struggling a little bit this season in that league, which is a tough league to be honest with you. But there are some very good players there, and some good young players in Sam Habergham, Luke Daley and Josh Dawkin from the Norwich set-up. I know Sam quite well actually, and have spoken to him quite a lot, as well as the other two. So it should be a good game.”
As well as the Canaries connection, Braintree are managed by former England and West Ham winger Alan Devonshire – who already has a superb reputation for non-league success.
“He’s done well there and elsewhere, taken them to the top flight of non-league football, and they’ve done pretty much what we’re trying to do at Lowestoft; climb the leagues and find themselves where they are now,” added Fleming, whose side are now just 90 minutes from entering the FA Cup first round for the second time in four seasons.
“I think our lads have proven over the years we’ve all been together that when it comes to big games, regardless of the result, the performance has always been there. Every time we’ve had a big game the performance has been tremendous.
“So the occasion won’t get to them for sure. It’s always a heck of an achievement if you can get to the first round, and then it opens up a lot of big games for us. It’s financially massive, it’s good for the club and good for the fans. But we’ve got to get through this one first.
“Braintree have got some very good players and good young players I know a bit about. We’ll have them watched and I’m looking forward to it – but we’ve got a league match before that first.”
Lowestoft’s Ryman League game against Thurrock originally scheduled for tonight has been postponed for their rivals’ FA Cup replay at with Welling United.
Meanwhile, Met Police assistant manager Gavin Macpherson described the team’s performance at Dereham on Saturday as “our worst of the season so far.”
“The first 30 minutes were quite bright but it was always going to be tough. It was a long journey to play a team that has won all but one of their games this season and it would always prove difficult.
“But we started well and had we been more clinical then the game could have been over inside the opening 30 minutes.
“Dereham are a good side, their record this season speaks for itself so if we are to progress we will need to play a lot better than that. We’ve been playing well and must feel we will play better. The tie is far from over and we have a lot of hard work still to do.”
Macpherson added: “I don’t think we have an advantage now the game is back at Imber Court. Dereham had an excellent wide pitch which suited us and I thought we should have done better on Saturday.”
*Dereham is running a coach to the replay, which is now fully booked. Admission to the match will be £10 adults, £5 concessions.
*For those travelling independently, Met Police’s ground is: Imber Court, Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Ember Lane, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 0BT.
*See our website www.edp24.co.uk for a gallery of pictures from Saturday’s game.
*Match highlights can be seen at www.thefa.com/TheFACup.
*See tomorrow’s EDP for a full preview to the replay.
*We will be providing updates on our websites www.edp24.co.uk and www.derehamtimes24.co.uk via our reporters Ian Clarke and Gavin Caney and photographer Ian Burt who will be at the game. There will also be a report and pictures in Thursday’s EDP.
You can follow Ian and Gavin on Twitter - @IanClarke41 and @GavinCaney