Wealdstone star determined to seize opportunity of FA Cup glory
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:00 08 October 2015
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Wealdstone veteran Dale Binns says he is overdue his moment of magic in the FA Cup, and believes he will never have a better chance than this weekend.
The Stones are overwhelming favourites for Saturday’s third qualifying round tie at Wessex League side Brockenhurst, where victory would put them one game away from a potential clash with a Football League club.
And the left-sided player from Harrow Weald, who joined Gordon Bartlett’s side this summer after a lengthy career with the likes of Hendon, Stevenage, Hayes and Sutton, feels he is about due a memorable run in the competition.
“One of my first FA Cup experiences all those years ago at Hendon was when we got to the first round and beat Bath City away and I remember that feeling in the bar, waiting for the draw,” Binns told the Times.
“We got Blackpool away and I didn’t actually play in that game, but the whole experience was tremendous. You all want to be in the competition and get a little clip on Match of the Day and enjoy the spirit of it.
“The dream is to get to round three and get one of the big boys. I’ve got many friends in football that have experienced that dream and I haven’t yet – so you never know, this season might be the one. I think if we were at home [against Brockenhurst], there’d be more pressure with the fans we’ve got here. Away from home, as long as the boys approach the game correctly, it’s a great opportunity.
“You’ve got to respect whoever you’re playing against and play to your tempo. If we do that, I don’t think there are many teams that can stick with us.”
Stones have endured a difficult start, but they posted back-to-back wins for the first time last week, following up their 2-0 triumph in a second qualifying round replay at Biggleswade with a 2-1 league success over Dartford.
Jefferson Louis created the opening goal for Tom Hamblin just before half-time and then set up Shaun Lucien to make it 2-0 nine minutes into the second period. However, Dartford’s Tom Bradbrook headed in a free-kick with a quarter of an hour remaining and the home side had to dig in to secure the three points that lifted them out of the bottom three.
Binns, who started at left-back in both of those wins, believes Stones will need to repeat that battling approach.
“I think the boys understand that, while we’ve played well in other games, you’ve got to keep working hard and win the battle,” he added. “The pretty stuff will come. I’ve been in successful teams where there’s a lot of flair but, unless you win that battle and grind the opposition down so then they lose heart and spirit, the game isn’t going to open up for you to start creating chances.
“It was disappointing not to get a clean sheet, but they were always going to press us towards the end. We scored our goals at the right time in the game and did what we had to do.
“The confidence we’ve taken from Biggleswade showed against Dartford and that can go on to next week. If we get another win on Saturday, that’s three in three and we can go on from there.”
Wealdstone are aiming to reach the fourth qualifying round for the first time since 2009, when they went on to the first round and were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Rotherham.