Replay is not on St Neots’ wish list


Sports - Credit: Archant

If Gary King was going to pray for anything at the moment, it’s that his St Neots team don’t draw with Darlington 1883 when the two teams meet in the FA Trophy next week.

“We don’t want a midweek replay there,” he said. “It must be 300 miles away and it’d take five or six hours to get there and back again. I’d like to think it will be an added incentive for the boys to win at home. I reckon I’ll make them aware of the pitfalls in the team talk.”

Not that he’ll be mentioning the cup tie yet. He insists he won’t even spare thought to what is possibly one of the best draws his side could have got at this stage of the competition. Not until around 5pm on Saturday, that is.

By then he’ll be hoping the Saints have beaten Truro, consolidated their place in the top three and put a bit of daylight between third and sixth. It is the top five who are involved in end-of-season play-offs.

However, he spoke to us of the Darlington match and said he was hoping his club would get their first four-figure gate of the season.

Reformed Darlington 1883 are well supported and King reckons they’ll bring quite a few to St Neots. For that reason he expects local football fans to turn out in good numbers, too.

“We have probably pulled out one of the more eye-catching opponents at this stage of the competition,” he said. “They play one level below ours (in the North Division 1) but they are flying at the moment. They obviously have aspirations of climbing back up the leagues and it could be a decent, exciting tie.”

Most Read

For the moment, though, the Saints boss is breathing a sigh of relief at having no game this midweek.

He was without the likes of Bruce Wilson, Ryan Frater, Chris Dillon, Dean Cracknell and Matty Nolan for Saturday’s win over Ilkeston and needs to avoid further injuries.

“Having the week free is very important right now,” he added. “We are having to dig deep to get teams out right now, although it must be said that those who are coming in are stating a case for regular first team football.

“Take Dave Deeney, for instance. He played in place of Ryan Frater and was fantastic over the 90 minutes and he’s a lad who hasn’t played a full game all season.

“He was colossal and for a manager that situation couldn’t be better. When you have cover who produces a man of the match performance you know your squad has depth.”