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Howell targets another FA Cup upset

PUBLISHED: 15:27 21 October 2010

David Howell - Harrow Borough Manager

David Howell - Harrow Borough Manager

Archant

DAVID Howell has already tasted the glory of an FA Cup giant-killing as a player – and now he is out for more of the same as a manager.

The Harrow Borough boss leads his side out against Blue Square Premier Division Eastbourne Borough on Saturday afternoon with a place in the first round proper up for grabs, and with it the chance of a glamour tie against league opposition.

That prospect stirs fond memories for Howell, who played in the Enfield team which sealed a famous upset when they beat Leyton Orient in the 1988/89 season, and he admits those memories are flooding back ahead of his trip to the south coast.

“I remember watching highlights of the Leyton Orient game I played in on Sportsnight with David Coleman, it was Enfield’s greatest night,” said Howell (pictured).

“We drew the first game 1-1 and the replay 2-2 – they were very close games so for the second replay the spotlight and the media attention was really on us.

“We won 1-0 and it’s still the game of my career that I remember.

“Nights like that are what the FA Cup is all about.”

Howell is yet to taste similar success at Earlsmead, where Borough have made the first round just once in the last decade, losing to the Wycombe Wanderers side that went on to make the semi-finals of the 2001 competition.

But Borough have been on song in this season’s FA Cup so far, seeing off Great Wakering Rovers, Redbridge and Hampton & Richmond so far and reaping £15,000 reward in the process.

Another win against Eastbourne would add £12,5000 and Howell knows that cash is the lifeline on which Borough and their Ryman League counterparts survive, a fact which adds even more significance to Saturday’s clash.

“It’s critical for us,” added Howell. “Last season we were operating on a budget of £45,000, this season I was told that was down to about £27,000, so the money we get from cup games such as these keeps our heads above water.”

Lining up against Borough will be a familiar face – Brent native Richard Pacquette almost set up the biggest shock of all time when he gave Havant & Waterlooville the lead against Liverpool in the fourth round of the 2008 competition, having led his side past Swansea in the previous round.

And Pacquette, a former QPR striker who has also worked at John Kelly Secondary School in Dollis Hill, is Eastbourne’s man in form this season, with six goals in 10 appearances for the south coast side so far.

Fortunately for Howell, Harrow have their own secret weapon, and Rocky Baptiste will once again lead the line having grabbed seven goals in 11 games, including a double in the third qualifying round against Hampton & Richmond.

“If Rocky plays like he did against Hampton, he’ll be hard to contain,” warned Howell. “He loves this competition.

“I’ve known Richard Pacquette a few years, he trained with us during a few pre-seasons. He came to see the Hendon game last week and told me they were going to beat us and he would score the winner!

“Saturday is a chance for my players to go out and leave their mark on the competition, to make their names. Wealdstone went on a run in last season’s competition – hopefully this year it’s our turn.”


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