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Canterbury City manager Ben Smith previews FA Vase tie with Newport Pagnell Town

By Mark Stokes

Canterbury City venture into uncharted territory on Sunday when they host Newport Pagnell Town in the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Vase.

City have already made a piece of club history by reaching the last 32 of the competition for the first time and Ben Smith does not want the story to end there.

The City boss is confident but not complacent ahead of the tie and hopes his players will take the chance to seize the moment at Faversham’s Salters Lane (kick-off 2pm).

Canterbury manager Ben Smith Picture: Chris Davey
Canterbury manager Ben Smith Picture: Chris Davey

Smith, whose side are 10th in the Southern Counties East League, said: “It’s the biggest game in the club’s history since it was re-formed, without a doubt.

“It’s massive and we are all really looking forward to it.

“I think you always start the season thinking it would be nice to have a good run in the Vase, and each season we’ve bettered what we’ve done the previous year.

“Just getting this far is an achievement but I don’t want it to stop here, I want us to get into the last 16, and then see where we can go from there.”

Newport Pagnell are 15th in the Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division, but finished third last season and Smith says there is no way he will take the Buckinghamshire side lightly.

He has had already had them watched as well as canvassing the opinion of several managers of other teams in their division in an attempt to cover all the bases.

Smith explained: “All but one of the managers I contacted came back and what they said all tied in with each other .

“They’ve told us that they’re a hard working side with a good striker in Dominic Lawless.

“He’s where their goals come from so we’ll have to keep an eye on him.

“If you look at last season they finished third with a side that was not that much different so it could be they are saving their best for the Vase.

“They were underdogs in the previous round but won (beating Essex Senior League side Hullbridge Sports 2-0 away) so maybe they’ll be happy with being looked upon as underdogs again.

“It won’t be easy but we’re six games unbeaten, and at home, so I’m confident.”

Smith hopes striker Jordan Casey will be fit to play after an ankle injury and Renford Tenyue looks set to start after re-signing for the club from Bostik South East side Faversham.

The winners of Sunday's tie will receive £1,875.

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