The fates have been kind to Southam United this season as they go into their third FA Carlsberg Vase home match in a row when they take on Cleethorpes Town at Banbury Road tomorrow, writes David Hucker.
Qualifying-round wins over Wednesfield and Barnt Green Spartak have seen Saints into the first round proper against Town from the Northern Counties East League.
A resounding 6-1 win at Radcliffe Olympic in the previous round was the start of an impressive run for the visitors who come into the tie in top form.
Two goals from Marc Cooper helped Town to a 3-1 win over Shaw Lane on Wednesday night, their seventh win in a row.
Saints, meanwhile, continue to impress one week and disappoint the next, although there was no faulting their performance in hammering Studley 8-0 in their last match.
Without a fixture last weekend, Quentin Townsend’s men should be fit and raring to go and the Saints boss cannot wait for kick-off.
“It is nice to have a game of this magnitude so early on in my management career and I am looking forward to pitting my wits against a side that is very much an unknown quantity for us,” said Townsend.
“We are going into the fixture off the back of our best performance of the season against Studley, which their chairman told me was the worst defeat in their proud history.
“In the same manner that it’s my job to lift the players when we suffer defeat, I also need to manage expectations and not get carried away with ourselves after one top-notch performance.”
New signing Mark Bellingham is cup-tied but Saints will still have plenty of firepower with leading scorer Louis Bridges having scored 16 this season.
In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, there will be extra time and, if needed, penalties to settle the tie on the day.
Admission is £5, with £2 for concessions and £1 for under-17s.
Robbie Stephens hit a last-minute equaliser as Southam Reserves gained a 4-4 draw against reigning champions Badsey United.
Sukki Nijjar, Joe Williams and Josh Marshall were also on target for Saints.