Geary eager to lead Sports to Vase glory

Ford Sports v Withdean

FORD Sports player boss Shane Geary will spur his side to make club history in the FA Carlsberg Vase tomorrow.

His side have the chance to become the first Royal Oak Way outfit to progress to the last 32 of the national non-league competition when they entertain Brighton side Withdean 2000.

Geary has the confidence boost of a full-strength squad at his disposal, and will have his side ready for the big occasion.

“It will be the furthest we’ve ever been in the Vase, so it’s a massive game for the team and a great opportunity for the club,” he said.

“It would be terrific of we could get through and pick up some more prize money.”

Their south-coast opponents clinched a third round spot after winning 1-0 against St Margaretsbury in Tuesday night’s replay, but the element of the unexpected is just what Geary is relishing.

“I’m glad we’re at home, to be honest,” Geary admitted.

“The team spirit will be great and we’ll be going into the game feeling positive. They don’t know much about us, and we don’t know what to expect either, but it will spur us on to get a great result.”

Geary’s optimism over booking a fourth round berth means that whoever they might face after seeing off Withdean, the Motormen would be ready to tackle anyone on the road to Upton Park.

He said: “If we get another UCL club, we certainly won’t be fearing them.

“We’re as good as any side in the league.”

Raunds Town v Spencer

SPENCER boss Bob Tansley will be without his right hand man Keith Bowen for the remainder of the season as the Millers attempt to build on their promising revival at Kiln Park tomorrow.

Bowen, assistant to former Millers boss Gary Sargent for almost 15 years, has stood down ahead of tomorrow’s game.

But both Tansley and former Miller and currrent Raunds boss Adam Sandy will be relishing the game – for different reasons.

While Sandy will be looking for a big improvement from his players against a quietly confident Millers, hinting that changes would be made to the starting line-up, Tansley’s charges will be gunning for a third straight league success, hopeful that Phil Ringer is back in the fray.

Kempston v Long Buckby

IT’s another big installment in the Station Road side’s ongoing relegation saga tomorrow.

And Bucks boss Steve Renshaw has issued the most straightforward of messages to his charges ahead of their crunch clash with fellow strugglers Kempston: please go out and win.

Renshaw, who is likely to be without four first teamers in Paul Gilligan, Andy Adam and Darren Jameson with knee problems and Nigel Fretwell, is adamant that three points are vital.

“We simply cannot afford to lose the game on Saturday,” he admitted.

“We have got to win this, and I can’t emphasise that enough. Our minds have to be focused on getting it right and getting three points.”

Daventry v St Neots

BOSS Mark Shackleton has urged his Daventry side to keep ‘listening, learning and working for each other’ as they look to prolong their promising top-flight form tomorrow.

While Shackleton revealed that a number of his players had been hit by a flu bug, with a few absentees from training at Elderstubbs on Wednesday night, any changes the Town manager makes ahead of their encounter with St Neots could yet prove beneficial.

Simon Skipworth (ankle ligament damage) and Scott Marshall, who picked up a knock against Wootton last Saturday look like being Town’s two injury casualties.

But Shackleton believes his players are better prepared to face an injury crisis than earlier in the season.

“The lads are in a better frame of mind to deal with absenteeism and injuries, than they were when Darren Towers and Gareth Jones were injured earlier in the season, and we were seriously struggling,” he insisted.

“It’s nice to keep the same team together and get some consistency, but that happens in football.”

On tomorrow’s visitors, Shackleton added: “They are a strange side, who have the potential to be the best in the league, but they lack consistency, and you never know what you’ll get from them. But we know we can compete.”

Cogenhoe v S/L Corby

COGENHOE United will need to dig deep in order to secure three points at Compton Park tomorrow.

Player boss Aidy Mann will be well aware of the yawning gap starting to grow between his Cooks side, currently in 14th place on 17 points, and the safety of mid-season respectability of champions Ford Sports in 11th on 26 points.

That’s a nine-point gap ,but victory on Saturday against a hard-working Corby side would go someway to easing the pressure on a Cogenhoe outfit which has failed to find any sort of consistency to date this term.

Stewarts and Lloyds got the better of the Cooks just a week ago, and the opportunity for a swift revenge job following last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to S&L will be there for the taking.

And with three other teams level on points with Cogenhoe, defeat tomorrow will leave Mann’s side looking anxiously over their shoulder at the competition.

The Rest.

WOODFORD United have the ideal chance to recover from last Saturday’s 4-0 setback to Newport Pagnell as they take on bottom markers Bourne.

Phil Lines’ side go to the Lincolnshire strugglers well aware of the form that has seen them slip into the bottom five of the premier division.

In division one, Sileby Rangers will be intent on stretching their unbeaten run to 12 games as the table-toppers, currently six points clear, play host to Rothwell Corinthians.

At the other end of the table, Blisworth face a battle of the basement boys with Whitworths, Mark Edwards’ men still chasing their first win.