Greene Shoots - the St Neots manager’s weekly column

WE have a great chance of reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup this season – I think we have as good a chance to get there as any team outside the national Conference if I’m honest.

We just need to be careful on some of the dodgier pitches before we face the later qualifying rounds of the competition... beginning this Saturday in Leicestershire.

If you look at the teams we got good results against in pre-season – we beat Chelmsford for example who are always being talked of as promotion candidates in Blue Square Bet South, Corby Town, who we also beat, and Blue Square Premier side Cambridge United, who we held to a draw – then there is absolutely no reason why we can’t end up in that first round draw bag after playing our way through the qualifying rounds. As long, that is, as we are allowed to play our way through the rounds. And that can sometimes depend on the pitches you are asked to play on.

This Saturday we face Thurnby Nirvana in the first preliminary round, and I’ve been on the internet and looked at their pitch: it’s going to be a tricky game.

Thurnby’s pitch is like Alan Shearer’s hair – it’s all patchy and clumpy.

If we don’t make it to the first round this season then it won’t be a better team who beats us, it’ll be a worse pitch.

My team plays football and last Monday at Barton Rovers we struggled to do that on their pitch. It was rock hard and bumpy and covered in divots. We got a 1-0 win there so I was pleased with our performance, but compared to our 4-1 win over Chalfont at home on the Saturday, we weren’t at our best.

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But five wins out of six isn’t bad so I can’t complain. I couldn’t have asked for more from them.

It was disappointing to lose to Bedworth last week but the boys are playing well and the goals are coming from everywhere and we just need to go out and play the best we can in every game.

And that’s what we’ll be doing on Saturday – whatever the state of the pitch at Thurnby Nirvana.