Published: 00:00, 31 December 2014
Dover striker Stefan Payne knows what it’s like to play – and lose – against a Premier League side in the FA Cup third round.
And he’s got no intention of experiencing that again against Crystal Palace at Crabble on Sunday.
Payne came on as a second-half substitute for Gillingham in the 3-1 loss against Stoke City at Priestfield in 2012.
Now he’s hoping to play his part in making Whites’ showdown against the south Londoners a far more enjoyable experience.
But Payne, who scored the winner in Dover’s 1-0 win in the first round clash against League 2 side Morecambe at Crabble, admits he is not about to treat the game differently to any other.
He said: “Providing I make the starting side that is! All I am thinking about is playing the way I do and doing what the gaffer (Chris Kinnear) tells me to do.
“There is no point thinking about what player from Palace I might be up against – that just complicates things.
“My aim is a simple one. I am in the side to score goals, regardless of who we are playing against.”
And scoring goals is something Payne, who joined Whites from Ryman League, Premier Division side AFC Hornchurch last summer, has certainly been doing of late.
He has found the back of the net six times in his past seven games. It’s form he says he’d love to carry into the clash with Palace.
He said: “To score and do it in front of sell-out crowd at a rocking Crabble would be great experience. Winning would make it even more enjoyable. But to be honest, I don’t care who scores as long as we win.”
Payne and strike partner Tom Murphy are described by their boss as ‘pests’ because they give opposition defences little respite. It’s a tag Payne likes.
He said: “Me and Murph love using our pace to get behind defenders. We’ve got a good understanding going and we’re enjoying being a partnership.”