St Ives Town boss Ricky Marheineke has challenged his players to treat the club’s fans to cup excitement.
The Saints will be in the Friday night spotlight when they host reigning Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions Norwich United in an FA Cup preliminary round tie at ProEdge Westwood Road (7.45pm).
Marheineke is anxious to make amends for falling at the first hurdle in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy last season and is well aware of the club’s rich history in knockout competitions.
Good cup runs were common during the reign of previous bosses Jez Hall and Warren Everdell with a run to the quarter-finals of the FA Vase in 2011-12 following two fifth-round exits. They also sampled success closer to home.
Marheineke said: “The club earned a reputation for good cup runs under Jez and Warren.
“The fans are used to excitement in the cups and it was bitterly disappointing not to be able to give them that last season when we went out of the FA Cup and the FA Trophy at the first hurdle.
“It is something we want to put right. Cup games bring in supporters and offer prize money which is so valuable.
“We have to be happy with a home tie against a lower-level team, but it will be far from an easy game. I consider Norwich United to a Step 4 side even though they play at Step 5.
“They won their league by 26 points last season and would be at this level if they hadn’t turned down promotion.
“They look to have added to their squad since so we know it is going to be a tough test, but we’re expecting a big crowd and hopefully we can put in a big performance.”
The match takes place tonight due to tenants Cambridge City having a home league game on Saturday which takes precedence.
The winners will earn £1,925 in prize money and face Welwyn Garden City or Waltham Abbey in the next round.
Saints saw their unbeaten start to the Southern League Division One (Central) season come to an end when losing 3-0 to Royston at ProEdge Westwood Road on Tuesday night.