Harrop knows Saffron Walden will provide big test for his side in big Essex FA Vase last 32 tie

Felixstowe managers Kevin ODonnell (left) shakes hands with Stanway boss Angelo Harrop before the g

Felixstowe managers Kevin ODonnell (left) shakes hands with Stanway boss Angelo Harrop before the game. Harrop knows his team face a tough test against Saffron Walden on Saturday. Photo: STAN BASTON - Credit: Archant

Stanway Rovers boss Angelo Harrop is under no illusions of the huge task his side faces at home to Saffron Walden in the FA Vase on Saturday.

In a fascinating last 32 clash, both Essex clubs meet at The Hawthorns in what is sure to be a blood-and-thunder Vase tie, in front of a large crowd.

And while Stanway should be the overriding favourites, playing a division above Saffron Walden in the Thurlow Nunn League, Harrop knows that is far from the case.

“I’ve got nothing but massive respect for Saffron Walden and all they have done so far this season,” Harrop said.

“We’ve had them watched three times already and it will definitely be a very tough match for us.


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“We’re expecting a big crowd and it would be fantastic if we could bring the good times back to Stanway. That’s what I want to do.”

Harrop was part of a Stanway team that reached the last 16 of the Vase back in 2008, when they were dumped out by Coventry Sphinx in front of a Hawthorns crowd of 365.

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He has also had a good Vase run with Needham Market, before a defeat to Wroxham.

He knows what it takes and has told his Rovers side in no uncertain terms what is required.

“My team have been told time and time again this week there are no underdogs in the FA Vase, especially at this stage. It’s a great competition and although the League is still our main priority, a good Vase run is also important to us.

“I can see Saffron Walden winning the Thurlow Nunn Division One this season – they are better than many sides we play on a weekly basis in the Premier Division.”

Rovers have only lost one of their last 13 competitive games, while Saffron Walden have lost just one of their last 21 in all competitions.

It should be a thriller.

The only other Thurlow Nunn side left in the last 32 of the Vase is Norwich United. The current Premier Division leaders travel to Ashford United, in Kent on Saturday.

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