HAVING reached the last 16 of the FA Vase in each of the last three seasons, St Ives Town are gearing up for another trip down that long Road to Wembley, starting on Saturday.

Preview

FA Vase second round proper

St Ives Town v Aylesbury United

HAVING reached the last 16 of the FA Vase in each of the last three seasons, St Ives Town are gearing up for another trip down that long Road to Wembley.

A smart betting man might see St Ives, who were knocked out at the fifth round stage by Northern League outfit Shildon last season, as a decent outside punt at 50/1 to go all the way come what May.

But a home tie with Molten Spartan South Midlands League side Aylesbury United this Saturday is the first obstacle in their path and joint-manager Jez Hall is expecting a tough afternoon.

He said: “Given that Aylesbury are currently sitting fourth in the South Midlands League – and are a club that been at a higher level for a number of years – it does seem to suggest they have something about them.

“We've had them watched and, although they're a decent side, are certainly not unbeatable and we'll be confident given our cracking recent home form of six wins and a draw from our last seven games.”

On his side's chances overall in this season's competition, Hall said: “There's no reason to think we can't go as far as we have done in the last three seasons.

“But it's once you start getting to the fourth and fifth rounds and come up against the top sides and teams from the Northern League where you can come up short - as we've found out.”

A win over Aylesbury this weekend would also stick another £1,000 in the coffers at Westwood Road, which has been boosted by Ives' cup exploits, and Hall is confident that can continue.

He said: “There seems to be a decent cup pedigree at this club, whether it gives us that little bit of extra motivation to perform well I'm not too sure, but we've always been a good cup side.

“Whether it be the FA Vase, the UCL League Cup, the Hinchingbrooke Cup or the Hunts Premier Cup, we've done well in these competitions in recent seasons and are already into a couple of quarter-finals this season.”

St Ives' scheduled home league fixture with UCL Premier bottom side Desborough Town on Saturday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, while they were due back in action at Yaxley last night (Tuesday).