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FA Cup: Ebbsfleet United don't fear Doncaster Rovers ahead of first round clash

By Steve Tervet

Manager Daryl McMahon insists Ebbsfleet don’t fear Doncaster Rovers ahead of their FA Cup showdown on Saturday.

Fleet have only beaten Football League opposition three times in their history and the odds are again stacked against them this weekend.

But the National League side, who have been aiming for EFL status ever since their takeover four years ago, have the players – and the belief – to cause an upset.

Ebbsfleet are hoping to knock Doncaster out of the FA Cup Picture Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet are hoping to knock Doncaster out of the FA Cup Picture: Andy Payton

McMahon said: “We won’t fear Doncaster. We’ve got good players as well that can get on the ball and pass it the same as them.

“If we could get a result against Doncaster, it would be unbelievable for everyone at the club and individual players, for their careers.

“But it’s about enjoying it as well. They should win but we’ll work hard, perform the best we can and hopefully show people how good we are.

“It’s the proverbial free hit, isn’t it? Hopefully we do the fans proud and put a good performance on for them.

“We’re going into the game to win it and I’m sure Doncaster will expect that. They’ll be overwhelming favourites but hopefully we can put a good performance on.”

McMahon wants his players to draw inspiration from last season’s giantkillers as they dream of making headlines themselves.

He said: “We’ve seen lots of shocks over the last couple of years, Sutton and Lincoln last year.

“We put it on the board when we played East Thurrock (in the fourth qualifying round), the runs they went on, to show that sometimes you can get a tie that can be underwhelming in the early stages but they lead to something bigger and better.

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton

“It’s about being professional and make sure you do the right things in those games to get through.”

The FA Cup makes non-league clubs famous every season and McMahon said: “There’s no reason it can’t be us.

“We’re in the hat, up against Doncaster, at home, we’ll have a full crowd behind the team and players running that extra 10% because it is against a team from a higher league.”

Doncaster arrive in Kent just three points above the League 1 relegation zone, although they did win 1-0 at Bury on Saturday.

McMahon said: “We know their manager (Darren Ferguson) pretty well inside the camp with Aaron McLean having played for him for a long time.

“His teams always pass the ball, they’ve got good rotation in midfield, they’re exciting and we know it’ll be a tough game.

“We’re massive underdogs but they’re on our patch and we’re looking forward to it.”

The match, which is all-ticket, kicks-off at 3pm.

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