Brantham Athletic boss Tony Hall’s rallying cry ahead of FA Vase tie
- Credit: Andy Abbott
BRANTHAM Athletic boss Tony Hall is urging his players to stand up and be counted as they bid to create history in tomorrow’s FA Vase fifth round proper tie.
The Suffolk side entertain Shildon from the north east at Brantham Leisure Centre as they attempt to reach the quarter-finals for the first time ever.
Brantham got as far as the last 16 in the 1982/83 season, before Stan Box’s side lost to VS Rugby 2-1, who went on to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium.
Hall said tomorrow’s opponents had been scouted twice – in Saturday’s 1-0 league loss to Newcastle Benfield and again in Monday night’s 7-0 victory over Seaham Red Star in the Durham Challenge Cup.
“We had them watched on Saturday and again on Monday – they lost one and won the other – and we have learnt a lot from that.
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“But at the end of the day it is about Brantham Athletic and how we perform on Saturday.
“I know that we can score goals and win games, but if you have two, three or four players under-perform on the day a good side will stuff you, which is why we need everybody to stand up and be counted.
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“They have got an opportunity to do something in this competition, and they may never get as close again in their football lifetime,” said Hall.
Utility player Adam Bloss (thigh strain), midfielder Dave Grimwood (tight calf) and left winger Sean Gunn (groin) are all carrying knocks, but Hall said he was hopeful all three will be fit.
Shildon sit tenth in the Ebac Northern League Division One – the same league as Whitley Bay, who Brantham beat 1-0 after extra time fortnight ago.
Hall, who is hoping a big crowd turn up to support his side, added: “Shildon are now third favourites to win the FA Vase, so we class ourselves as underdogs on Saturday.”
Shildon are 10/1 to win the FA Vase, while Brantham are listed as tenth favourites at 25/1.
Leiston were the last Suffolk side to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, before losing 1-0 to Leicestershire side Coalville two years ago.