Brantham Athletic set to enjoy the magic of the FA Cup

George Clarke steers home the winner for Brantham Athletic against Spalding United in the previous r

George Clarke steers home the winner for Brantham Athletic against Spalding United in the previous round of the FA Cup. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Brantham Athletic are determined to enjoy one of the biggest occasions in their club’s history, when they entertain both the FA Cup trophy and Step 2 side Eastbourne Borough this afternoon.

The Blue Imps are involved in their first-ever FA Cup second qualifying round tie, having reached a landmark furthest stage in the competition thanks to a 1-0 home win over Spalding United in the first qualifying round a fortnight ago, courtesy of George Clarke’s 72nd minute winner.

A bumper crowd is expected at Brantham Leisure Centre this afternoon, especially as the famous FA Cup trophy will also be in residence throughout the whole day (from 9.30am).

On the pitch, Brantham suffered their first defeat of the season, and first loss since last March, when bowing out of the FA Vase 3-4 at the hands of visiting Takeley last Saturday.

It brought an end to an impressive unbeaten run which had stretched to 19 games.

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“It’s going to be a big day for the club,” enthused Brantham’s joint player/manager Michael Brothers.

“There was already a buzz about the place, even before the news that the actual FA Cup would be coming to the club for the day.

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“It will be a whole day of celebration for Brantham Athletic, and we are hoping that a few hundred people will turn up to watch the game and enjoy the day.

“We always knew that our unbeaten run would end some-time, though it’s a shame it ended in the FA Vase.

“But we see this weekend as a good opportunity to pit ourselves against some top opposition.

“We won’t have any pressure on us, because they are one of the highest-ranked teams we could have met at this stage of the competition.

“We are just hoping that we are all 150% on our games, and that two or three of their players drop their standards.

“It’s great that we are at home. It’s the magic of the FA Cup, and we’d love to experience some more of it this weekend.

“It’s a one-off game, so anything can happen.

“The squad is looking strong. A couple of the lads will be having late fitness tests in the morning, but we’re looking good,” added Brothers.

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