Bury Town and AFC Sudbury handed tough ties in FA Trophy
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk sides Bury Town and AFC Sudbury have been handed difficult Third Round Qualifying games in the FA Trophy.
After edging past their respective opponents in the second qualifying round of the competition on Saturday, Bury have been pitted against fellow Ryman Premier outfit Grays Athletic at home while AFC Sudbury are really up against it with a trip to Conference South side Tonbridge Angels.
For Bury, the draw represents an opportunity to get their own back on Grays, who beat the Blues 4-3 in an enthralling league encounter earlier in the season.
Bury chairman Russell Ward has described that infamous game as a ‘strange night’ and insists that his side cannot wait to gain revenge on their Ryman rivals.
“It was just one of those games for us,” recalls Ward.
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Bury conceded three goals in 10 unforgivable second-half minutes during the trip to Grays at the back of September.
Late goals from Richard Logan and Joe Whight set up a frantic finale but Bury came away pointless and disappointed.
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Ward explained: “To be honest, we were in the ascendancy with two late goals and had there been another 10 minutes I’m confident that we would have ended up winning.
“We’ll be looking to put that right in the Trophy though, particularly with home advantage which is always massive for clubs in cup competitions.”
Victory could bag the Blues a potential £4,000 and add to the financial benefits of hosting the game.
“We’ve been quite lucky in regards to being at home in cup competitions this year,” added Ward.
“I think this will be our sixth cup game we have hosted this season – and that always brings welcome financial boosts in regards to the bar, the food and programme sales.”
In fact, all of Bury’s previous fixtures in cup competitions this season have been at home.
A team that won’t enjoy home comforts in the next round of the Trophy, when the fixtures are played on November 16, is AFC Sudbury, who have been dealt a difficult hand at Tonbridge Angels of the Conference South.
But that does not bother Sudbury boss David Batch who saw his side beat high-flying Ryman South outfit Hastings United 1-0 away from home on Saturday.
“We’ll go to Tonbridge with exactly the same mentality as we did to Hastings,” said Batch.
“We made a real impact with the way we played on the road and should’ve been out of sight if I’m honest.
“We’ll go to Tonbridge with absolutely no pressure on us.
“They might be two leagues above us but they’re not doing particularly well (Tonbridge currently sit in third-bottom) so we go there with everything to gain and nothing to lose.
“They’ll think being at home will be a good opportunity for them against ‘lower’ opposition but it’s up to us to stop them.”