Warburton warns Cobblers of the dangers that lie ahead

Matty Warburton put Cobblers into a shock lead against Swansea in the League Cup earlier in the season, only for the home side to fight back and win 3-1. Picture: Pete Norton
Matty Warburton put Cobblers into a shock lead against Swansea in the League Cup earlier in the season, only for the home side to fight back and win 3-1. Picture: Pete Norton

The shoe will be on the other foot for Matty Warburton on Sunday when, instead of trying to cause an FA Cup upset, he’ll be hoping to avoid one.

The midfielder played an integral role in Stockport County’s run in the competition last season, scoring three times as they shocked Yeovil en route to the second round.

He is the perfect man to prepare Town of the dangers that lurk in Wiltshire this weekend when they visit Chippenham Town.

“I’ve got great memories of the FA Cup,” said Warburton this week. “We had a great run in the competition with Stockport last season.

“We beat Yeovil in the first-round and they were two leagues above us at the time and although we then lost at Barnet, we went on a tremendous run and played four or five games until that stage.”

But Warburton’s fond recent memories of the competition are not shared by the Cobblers, who have suffered first-round exits in each of the last two seasons.

Now, as they prepare for Sunday’s trip to National League South side Chippenham, Warburton sits on the other side of the fence and is hoping to ensure Town do not experience another ‘Stourbridge’ moment.

The fact Chippenham are currently 11 games unbeaten does little to ease fears of a humiliating cup upset, although six of those have been draws.

“There’s no doubt that Chippenham will be right up for it,” Warburton warned.

“I was in their shoes last year and when you face a Football League club it’s probably the biggest game of the season.

“But, for us, we just need to prepare for it like we would any other league game and not take into account their standing compared to us.

“If we do everything right we should be OK. It is a potential banana skin but we need to make sure our preparations are as thorough as they always are in terms of meals, the warm-up and everything everybody does individually.

“We need to be bang at it and not take anything for granted because it’ll be extremely tough.

“It’s a massive opportunity for them and they’re not just playing for the television or whatever, it’s the financial side of it as well.”

After spending several years dividing his time between teaching and non-league football, this will be Warburton’s first taste of the FA Cup as a professional.

Even entering the competition at the first-round stage is a new experience for the 27-year-old.

“It probably will feel a bit strange to be honest,” he admitted.

“Whenever I’ve played league teams before we’ve always been the underdogs coming from non-league.

“It’ll be a slight change but I’ve just got to carry across the mentality of still thinking I’m the underdog and still try to approach it exactly as I would do if I was playing for a non-league side against a league team.

“It’ll be a tricky tie for us but we need to go there, be professional and do the job to get ourselves into the next round.”