Published: 00:00, 03 November 2017
Danny Kedwell knows a thing or two about FA Cup upsets.
Kedwell will captain Fleet against Doncaster on Saturday with the National League side big underdogs against their League 1 visitors.
But the 34-year-old speaks from experience when he says they’re capable of knocking out the big boys.
Kedwell was in the Gillingham side which toppled higher-league Bournemouth in a replay at Priestfield six years ago, playing alongside his now Fleet team-mates Jack Payne and Dean Rance.
Gills made it through to host Stoke City that season and Kedwell also took on Millwall with AFC Wimbledon when they were a non-league club.
He said: “I’ve had some good days in the FA Cup. They’re brilliant games to play in.
“It’s a great buzz because you’re not expected to win and when you do, it’s even better. All the pressure’s on them.
“I’ve been on the other side when I was at Gillingham and we lost to Brackley who were four or five leagues below us. I know how that feels and it’s not nice when you go there and get beat.
“Sometimes you go there with the wrong mentality thinking: ‘it will be easy, they’re in the Conference’ and you end up coming unstuck.”
Kedwell was Wimbledon captain when they survived a scare at Stonebridge Road seven years ago, eventually winning the first round replay 3-2.
He said: “We were expected to win and Ebbsfleet made it really difficult for us. Lower teams do step it up, they’ve got no fear so they go out with a different mentality.
“It’s completely different to a league game, anything can happen in cup games.
“I’ve been on both sides of it and it’s a good buzz when you do get an upset and on the other side of it, when you go into a game with the wrong mentality, the lower teams can step their game up and that’s what we’ve got to do.
“It’ll be a good test for us against Doncaster. It’s exciting because since I’ve been here, we haven’t managed to get into the first round.
“It’s good for the supporters and good for the lads to show what we’ve got. We have got a very good squad and we’re capable of an upset.
“There’s a lot of belief in the team and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’re the underdogs so we can go out there and enjoy it.
“The pressure’s on them and we’ve got to do our job and see where it takes us.”
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