Herne Bay boss Sam denly aiming to knock two-time FA Trophy winners Grays Athletic out of the competition
Herne Bay are aiming to knock two-time FA Trophy winners Grays Athletic out of the competition on their own patch this weekend.
Victory in the first qualifying round tie would earn Bay £2,700 prizemoney but Grays go into the game as firm favourites.
The Essex club lifted the Trophy in 2005 and 2006 under the guidance of former Gillingham manager Mark Stimson.
Bay, by contrast, have only ever played three games in the competition – but history clearly isn’t burdening Bay manager Sam Denly.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a massive competition to play in and Grays are a big club but we go there full of confidence.
“No-one’s expecting us to get anything. There’s no pressure on us because Grays are in a higher league and they’re expected to win.
“But if we continue to do what we’ve been doing, then we could quite easily cause an upset.”
Grays, who resigned from the Football Conference in 2010 due to financial problems, have had to work their way back up the non-league pyramid.
Promoted from Ryman League Division 1 North last season, they now sit ninth in the Premier Division, while Bay are 13th in Division 1 South.Denly said: “It’s nice to go into a game with no pressure but we’re not going there to make the numbers up.
“The lads are aware how I feel about the competition and we know we can go there and get something.
“But they’re a good team and we’ll have to be at our best. If two of my players have an off-day, we’ve got no chance.”
Denly has been boosted by the return of several players in time for the Grays tie.
Stuart King is back after suspension, while Danny Lawrence, Steven Lloyd and Connor Sanders are all expected to be fit for selection.
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