Wilkinson’s Wealdstone aim for an FA Cup upset against Sutton for first-round outing
- Credit: Archant
Stones beat Hampton & Richmond Borough in Vanarama National League South last Saturday
Wealdstone bid to make the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2015-16 season when they host Sutton United in the fourth qualifying round on Saturday.
Stones welcome the U’s of the Vanarama National League to Grosvenor Vale, with only 19 places splitting them in the English football pyramid.
With £25,000 on offer for winners of ties in the fourth qualifying round, as well as a place in the draw for the first round proper and the chance of a glamour tie against a club from the English Football League, Bobby Wilkinson’s men will hope to upset the odds.
And Wealdstone assistant manager Mike Percival feels the Grosvenor Vale outfit know enough about Sutton to cause a cup shock on Saturday.
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“We know the Sutton game is going to be a tough one. They finished in the top five in the National League last year and are a big physical side,” Percival told the club website.
“We’ve watched some videos of them, so we know what they’re about. It’s the FA Cup and anything can happen.
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“We’re flying at home and know the fans will be behind us. It will be packed out at Growvenor Vale, so let’s go for it and see what comes out of it.
“It will be nice to be the underdogs and the boys can go and play.”
Wealdstone face Sutton after a confidence-boosting 2-1 success at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the Vanarama National League South last Saturday.
Cheered on by a bumper crowd of 1,163 on Non-League Day, Stones enjoyed a brilliant start against the Beavers with two goals in the opening 15 minutes.
David Pratt opened the scoring inside 90 seconds, while Bradley Bubb doubled the lead for Wilkinson’s men after Danny Green had earlier missed a penalty.
Though Casey Maclaren pulled one back for the visitors, the Hampton man was given his marching orders in the second half as Wealdstone hung on to win.
And Percival believes if Stones can start like they did against the Beavers when they host Sutton, it could be the best way to secure a cup upset on Saturday.
“If we can start again like Sutton, they’ll be on the back foot,” added the assistant manager.
“It’ll be hard for them here, like it is for any team. We’ve got a great home record and we want to keep that going, including on Saturday against Sutton.”