Brantham ready for new venture

BRANTHAM Athletic are ready for their first foray into the FA Cup for 15 years tomorrow.

The Ridgeons League Premier Division newcomers have a home tie in the Extra Preliminary Round against Woodbridge Town, and manager Tony Hall said: “It is a new venture for us and everyone is looking forward to it.

“Last season we played in the FA Vase and this year we are in both the FA Vase and the FA Cup. Brantham have not played in the FA Cup for about 15 years and it shows where the club are going.

“It is a decent draw for us. I would think both sides are going to be mid-table in the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League this season, so I think we will be well matched, and we hope to get something out of it.”

Brantham have lost both their opening games following their return to the top flight – conceding four second-half goals in a 4-0 defeat at Debenham LC last Saturday and going down by the only goal of the game at home to Felixstowe & Walton United on Tuesday.

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Hall said: “We have learned a lot from the Debenham game. We controlled the game in the first half and then made mistakes in the second half and they capitalised on them and there was no way back from that.

“On Tuesday night, to be honest, I was pleased with the performance. It is not an understatement to say we had ten good chances to score while Felixstowe had two or three and took one for the only goal of the game.

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“We never gave up, like we did on Saturday, but could not buy a goal.”

Hall is hoping that Ollie Mann, who was the leading scorer in the whole of Division One last season with 36 goals, will be fit to return after a throat infection while Kieran Lawler will be available after serving a two-match ban carried over from last season.

Left back Andy French won’t be involved as he is only just returning to training after missing the last five weeks with an Achilles problem while Lee Wilcox needs to regain his sharpness after being ruled out by a jarred knee.

Hall added: “We have a small squad and players and we have had to use lads from last year’s under-18 side, whether they are ready or not.”

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