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Gillingham manager Steve Evans wants lowest-ranked side left in FA Cup first round draw

Boss Steve Evans is hoping to face the FA Cup minnows in the opening rounds with Gillingham.

He’s eyeing a big-money draw in round three but knows his side have to navigate the opening two rounds first.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans. Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager Steve Evans. Picture: Ady Kerry

“I want the worst team at home, the lowest team in the competition, that will do me,” said Evans.

“If we can get a Premier League team at home (in the third round) then the chairman gets a few quid, to pay some bills.”

Evans was manager of Crawley Town when they took on then-giants Manchester United in the competition’s fifth round, back in 2011, losing narrowly at Old Trafford.

The draw for round one – which for the sixth year running includes non-league neighbours Maidstone United – takes place today (Monday) when 32 non-league clubs are joined by 47 sides from League 1 and 2.

Evans’ former team Boston United are one of those to have made it through to the first round, after they beat Hednesford Town 1-0 on Saturday, while there is Kent interest too.

Maidstone’s win over Southern League side Kings Langley at the Gallagher ensures they are in the hat.

Andy Hessenthaler’s National League side Dover Athletic are in the draw after beating Weymouth 2-1 away on Saturday and Ebbsfleet United face a replay after drawing 1-1 with Woking, who equalised with a penalty in stoppage time at Stonebridge Road.

However, Margate were knocked out by higher-league Oxford City and Dartford – under new manager Steve King– were beaten at home by lower-league Kingstonian.

Gillingham may be keen to avoid long distance trips to places such as Gateshead, Darlington or Hartlepool – a club which provided edge-of-the-seat entertainment for Steve Lovell’s men in the competition last season.

There is an easier route into round two, however. as one side will receive a bye.

The expulsion of Bury from League 1 this season means that the team drawn out of the hat last will receive free passage from the first round proper, along with £36,000 in prize money.

Gillingham made it to the fourth round last season, knocking out Premier League Cardiff City in the third round before being beaten on the road at Swansea City.

You can find out who Gillingham and the rest of the Kent clubs are drawn by logging onto kentonline.co.uk/sport just after 7pm this evening.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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