Historic occasion for Brightlingsea Regent as Torquay pay a visit for mouth-watering FA Cup tie

Brightlingsea Regent captain Matt Cripps with the FA Cup trophy at the Taydal Stadium (North Road).

Brightlingsea Regent captain Matt Cripps with the FA Cup trophy at the Taydal Stadium (North Road). Picture: ALAN WALTERS/THE FA - Credit: Alan Walter for The FA

Brightlingsea Regent are looking forward to the biggest game in their history, when they entertain former Football League club Torquay United in an FA Cup third qualifying round tie tomorrow afternoon.

Brighlingsea captain Matt Cripps, left, with boss Tom Rothery and the FA Cup ahead of their clash wi

Brighlingsea captain Matt Cripps, left, with boss Tom Rothery and the FA Cup ahead of their clash with Torquay this weekend. Picture: ALAN WALTER/THE FA - Credit: Alan Walter for The FA

A bumper crowd is assurred for this mouth-watering cup tie against opposition who were still gracing the Football League up until their relegation in 2014.

Another relegation has seen the Devon club slip into National League South, and they will find Brightlingsea to be no pushovers tomorrow afternoon.

The Emirates FA Cup trophy paid a visit to North Road on Thursday evening, to give fans a chance to have their picture taken alongside the famous silverware.

The R’s, from the Bostik (Isthmian) Premier, reached the third qualifying round for the first time in their 13-year history, after beating Egham Town 2-1 in a replay, thanks to an opener from striker Billy Hunt and a terrific free-kick by Jake Turner.

Brightlingsea Regent chairman Terry Doherty with the FA Cup trophy. Picture: ALAN WALTER/THE FA

Brightlingsea Regent chairman Terry Doherty with the FA Cup trophy. Picture: ALAN WALTER/THE FA - Credit: Alan Walter for The FA


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Now they are hoping to take a further step into unchartered territory by progressing into the fourth qualifying round draw.

The Essex club have already earned £15,000 in prize money, and they would double that if they could complete a giant-killing act over the Gulls.

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Club Chairman Terry Doherty enthused: “We’re all enjoying every minute of this season’s brilliant Emirates FA Cup adventure.

“We know the challenge standing in front of us, in what will be a very strong Torquay United side who have such great history in the competition.

“But we’re up for that challenge and can’t wait for Saturday now.

“There’s a real buzz about the place, and the doubled prize money up for grabs is hugely important to a club like ours, as it allows us to make meaningful upgrades which will benefit players, fans and the local community.

“We don’t want the adventure to end just yet!” added Doherty.

Tom Rothery’s men have struggled a little in the league, and have won just two games to date, an opening day 3-2 victory at Kingstonian and last weekend’s 3-2 triumph at Folkestone Invicta.

But they are a team who thrive on the big occasion, and relish the underdogs tag.

Torquay will have to be on their guard, otherwise more history could be made by 5pm tomorrow.

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