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Dover Athletic midfielder Nicky Deverdics keen to hit the goal trail again in FA Cup tie against Eastbourne Borough

Nicky Deverdics scored the goal that signalled the start of a memorable FA Cup run for Dover last season.

The midfielder headed home the only goal as boss Chris Kinnear’s side beat Eastbourne Borough in the fourth qualifying round replay at Crabble after the sides had drawn the first game 0-0.

And the former Newcastle United trainee wouldn’t mind finding the back of the net again when the sides clash at the same stage of the competition in Sussex on Saturday.

Nicky Deverdics Picture: Matt Bristow
Nicky Deverdics Picture: Matt Bristow

As long as it paves the way for his side progressing to the next round.

Deverdics said: “Playing in the FA Cup is always special, regardless of what round it is. You always get a buzz playing in it.

“There is not a competition like it anywhere in the world where non-league sides get the chance to mix it with the big boys, so why wouldn’t you want to perform well in it.

“We got to the third round last season – the furthest I’ve ever been in the competition – so I would like to savour that experience again.”

Whites’ impressive FA Cup run ended with a 4-0 defeat against Premier League Crystal Palace in the third round at Crabble in January and that day remains a huge disappointment.

He said: “We didn’t do ourselves justice at all. That was disappointing given how well we’d played to get there.

“That performance hurt and it’s not one I want to see a repeat of should we get that far again.”

But how does Deverdics rate his team this season compared to the one that performed so well in the cup last season?

He said: “We are certainly stronger and better throughout the squad – just look at the way we’ve started the season compared to last year. We’ve just got to make sure we perform.”

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