Stanway at full strength for mammoth FA Vase trip to St Austell but Harrop is expecting no ‘jolly’ from his players

Angelo Harrop

Angelo Harrop - Credit: Archant

Stanway Rovers boss Angelo Harrop has told his players they are not heading to St Austell this weekend for some sort of weekend ‘jolly’.

The Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side head west in the last 16 of this season’s FA Vase to face the Cornishman, and they will be making a weekend of it – but in the most professional sense says the Rovers boss.

“I’ve spoken to the players this week and told them in no uncertain terms what is required,” the Rovers boss said.

“I’ve told them to forget the league for one week only. But we are not going to St Austell for a weekend holiday jolly.

“It’s serious stuff, we travel down on the Friday and there will be no going out on Friday night. Our preparations will be meticilous.”

Harrop and Stanway travel to Cornwall in good shape after victory in the snow at Thetford on Saturday.

It keeps their hopes of promotion into Step 4 alive.

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“It was an absolute blizzard at Thetford, the weather was terrible, but we got through a real banana skin,” Harrop said.

But it’s the FA Vase that takes centre stage now.

Rovers leave for Cornwall Friday lunchtime and return on Sunday.

The Lillywhites, as St Austell are called, will be strong on their own patch with a few ex-Truro players in their side.

“We have had them watched a few times,” Harrop added.

“They are a strong side and their results show that. I think they haven’t lost in about 20 games. But at this stage of the Vase it’s what you are going to get.

“They will know about us and how we play but I’ve got a full strength side to choose from which at this time of the season is a real bonus.

“We are solid in defence and good up front. We have key players in key positions, so we go there in a positive mood.”

Stanway’s new signing Jack Cawley, who joined the club from Brantham, is ineligible, but Harrop remains defiant that he doesn’t want his side to simply treat the weekend as ‘good experience’.

“A good experience is reaching the final at Wembley,” Harrop said.

“Reaching the last 16 is ok, but it want to be in that last-eight draw on Monday – even if it’s looking forward to a replay.”

Meanwhile St Austell manager Phil Lafferty and assistant manager Garry Penhaligon have travelled to Essex to watch Stanway.

Speaking to the Cornish Guardian, Lafferty said: “I was impressed by their togetherness, their willingness to fight for each other. They are going to be tough opponents, make no mistake about that.”

St Austell are anticipating a crowd in excess of 500 to roar them on as the only surviving Cornwall team in the prestigious national competition. Both sides are only three rounds away from an appearance at Wembley in the final on Saturday May 9.

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