FA Cup victory would see Whitton United face Ryman Premier Leiston in next round
A home clash with Ryman Premier League outfit, Leiston, will be Whitton United's reward if they can defeat Haverhill Borough at King George V Playing Fields tomorrow.
For Paul Bugg it would see him come up against his former club – the Whitton boss having managed the Blues’ reserve team – and pit him against his friend, Steve Ball.
However, the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division new-boys are refusing to get carried away with the prospect of facing the Victory Road-outfit and Bugg acknowledged that his team – yet to win a league game this season – will be in for a tricky afternoon.
“We will pay Haverhill the utmost respect and I am sure they will do the same to us,” said Bugg, who led his team to the Thurlow Nunn Division One title and a Suffolk Senior Cup final success last season.
“They are a good side, I like their manager and they must have strengthened over the summer.
“I think we played them three times last season and won 2-0 away and 1-0 in the league and cup so they will be up for it and will provide a real test. But we want to progress too.”
Leiston are currently flying high in the Ryman Premier – two steps above Whitton – and sit third from top in the division ahead of their trip to Margate tomorrow.
“We play Leiston at home in the next round which is a nice incentive if we get through,” added Bugg.
“It is an exciting prospect and I am sure it would capture the imagination among football fans in Suffolk.
“I have still got some very good friends there in Steve Ball (manager) and the chairman Andy Crisp – they are really good people.
“Even some of Leiston’s supporters and committee members, when we played their under-21 team in a pre-season friendly, were saying they hoped we could get through the first two rounds and set up a game against them.”
Whitton have already defeated Eton Manor in this season’s competition, pocketing a cool £1,500 for the club’s coffers in the process.
A win tomorrow would be worth a further £1,925 but, for Bugg, just being part of the world’s most famous competition is special.
“For me, being a player of a manager and being able to say you are involved in the oldest cup competition in the world is fantastic,” explained Bugg.
“Glenn Read (Ipswich Wanderers’ manager) hit the nail on the head when he talked about the excitement of seeing how far you can go. If we win, it will be the furthest I have got as a player or a manager.”
Elsewhere in tomorrow’s draw, Whitton’s Premier Division rivals Ipswich Wanderers will set up an away tie at Wingate & Finchley, should they defeat Hoddesdon at Humber Doucy Lane.
As for Needham Market, the Ryman North leaders will travel to Southern League Premier Division side Cambridge City if they overcome Soham Town Rangers at Bloomfields.
Mark Morsley’s men reached the First Round Proper last season, eventually succumbing to City’s neighbours, Cambridge United, 1-0 at home.
Thurlow Nunn Premier table-toppers Hadleigh United’s reward for winning at Burnham Ramblers, tomorrow, will be an away fixture at Billericay Town.