FA Trophy-hunting Dereham Town will respect Vase-winning visitors Sholing
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Dereham Town boss Matt Henman is refusing to read too much into Sholing's lowly league position.
The Magpies welcome the Southampton-based Boatmen to Aldiss Park this afternoon for an FA Trophy second qualifying round match. And although their 18th-placed visitors are struggling in the 22-team Southern League Division One South & West following promotion, Henman is well aware of their cup pedigree.
Sholing won last season's lower-level FA Vase amid joyous scenes at Wembley and that triumph is enough for Dereham to know they'll be in for another big test come 3pm.
The Magpies' manager said: 'You probably have to put their league position to one side and respect the fact that they know how to win cup competitions and matches.
'They've got the same manager, a few of the same players, and they know what you have to do to travel a long distance and win a game. So that's probably what you have to respect more than anything. We've done our research but essentially, if we play well, we've got a few different ways of playing and quite a lot of different threats on the pitch. I feel if we get it right we're quite a difficult team to play against and stop from creating chances.'
Sholing have recently reappointed Vase-winning chief Dave Diaper to improve their fortunes after moving up to Step Four of the non-league ladder. He has picked up two wins in three matches.
Dereham on the other hand are flying during their second term at the same-level Ryman Division One North and sit sixth. Stunning long-range efforts from Ryan Hawkins and Matt Hockley secured a deserved 2-0 derby victory over Wroxham on Tuesday night which made it seven victories out of eight in all competitions.
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'They were two great strikes. Ryan's been excellent for us all year and just having him in the team means he's a threat they (opponents) have to worry about,' said Henman, whose club will pocket £3,250 if they progress to the penultimate qualifying stage.
'You could see right from the start Wroxham were concerned about his pace going forward. It was a good strike with his wrong foot. The second goal was a little bit uncharacteristic.
'Hockers (Hockley) got his first goal for us on Saturday with a header, which is probably more his style, and I wasn't quite sure where he was going when he drove onto it from centre-back. The strike was excellent, right in the top corner.'
Hawkins' brace saw off Hanwell Town in the preliminary round while a Sam Borrer goal against Enfield Town set up the Magpies' third home Trophy game in a row this term.
'I'm really, really pleased where we are as a club. We're just outside the play-offs,' added Henman.
'But we've given ourselves a chance of sneaking in there over the next couple of months and trying to stay in there around the turn of the year. If we can win today we've got another few thousand quid in the bank and another Trophy game to look forward to in a couple of weeks.'
If the sides can't be separated after 90 minutes, a replay will take place down on the south coast on Tuesday evening.