Norwich United will not fear higher-level FA Cup opponents Barwell
05:45 27 September 2014
Archant © 2014
The last remaining Thurlow Nunn League team in this year’s FA Cup are not heading to Barwell for a nice day out.
That’s the view of boss Damian Hilton who has masterminded an excellent run in the competition which has seen Norwich United progress from the extra-preliminary round to this afternoon’s second qualifying stage.
The Premier Division Planters’ reward for extending their stay in the world-famous knockout cup is a trip to Leicestershire. And although they are facing a side that play two levels above them in the part-time pyramid, Hilton insists returning with a positive result is possible.
The United boss said: “We had a good run in the FA Vase last season and then, like now, we didn’t want to get to a stage where we think ‘we’ve done as well as we can now’.
“You can’t just go anywhere and make the numbers up. Our cup run this season has been fantastic and I know the lads are really looking forward to it. But we’re definitely going there with every intention of trying to get a positive result. We’re not travelling all the way there for a big day out.
“It’s a big game and we’ve got some big-game players. Some have played at a higher-level, won championships and some have played in a Vase final at Wembley. We’ve got some high-calibre players that we hope can impose themselves on the game. If they do that, and we have a little bit of luck, which I’m sure we’re going to need, then there’s no reason we can’t come back with at least a draw. Stranger things have happened.”
United have seen off Deeping Rangers, Thetford Town and Wisbech Town to pocket £6,425 in prize money and set up this afternoon’s clash against their Evo-Stik Premier Division hosts who play in the same league as King’s Lynn Town. The latter’s boss Gary Setchell has passed on some “pretty good” knowledge to Hilton about Barwell.
Defender Greg Crane injured his ankle during the victory over Wisbech in the last round and is still sidelined, as is long-term injury victim Gavin Lemmon. Striker Matt Blake – who has bagged four goals and scored in each of his side’s FA Cup victories this term – should be fine to shake off a slight niggle.