NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town out to seize the moment and make FA Cup history

Tom McGowan in action for St Ives Town in their goalless draw against Stourbridge. Picture: LOUISE T

Tom McGowan in action for St Ives Town in their goalless draw against Stourbridge. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

Manager Ricky Marheineke has urged his St Ives Town players to seize the chance to create a slice of club history.

Saints entertain fellow Step 3 side Grantham Town in an FA Cup second qualifying round tie at Westwood Road this Saturday, 3pm.

Not only is there £9,000 worth of prize money up for grabs in the first-ever clash between the two clubs, but Marheineke’s men can also advance to the third qualifying round for the first time.

He said: “The money the FA Cup can bring in is so valuable and it can create so much excitement.

“It’s a tough game, but one I believe we can win. We’ve got to be at our best and we need the fans behind us.

“It’s a chance for myself and the lads to make a bit of history and it would be great to advance further in the FA Cup than we’ve ever managed before.

“Grantham are similar to us in many ways. They have also started well and don’t concede many goals.

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“We’re aware of the fact they score a lot of late goals so we’ll need to have full focus throughout the 90 minutes.

“We also came up against the Grantham manager Ian Culverhouse when he was at King’s Lynn in our league last season and know how he likes his teams to play.”

Saints sit eighth in the Southern League Premier Division Central while Grantham are fourth in the Northern League Premier Division.

Saints have only twice previously featured at this stage of the FA Cup. They were beaten 2-0 at Stourbridge last season and lost 3-0 to Harlow Town in the 205-16 campaign.

Marheineke’s side needed a replay to see off Step 5 outfit Saffron Walden in the previous round.

They eventually triumphed 3-1 at Westwood Road last Tuesday after being held to a goalless draw by their Essex Senior League opponents in their first meeting four days earlier.

Tom McGowan hit the opener before Saffron Walden were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time.

Jarvis Wilson’s first Saints goal doubled their lead just before the hour only for the visitors promptly hit back, but Peterborough United loanee Sam Cartwright also opened his account for the club to clinch their passage late on.

McGowan is in line to make his 100th Saints appearance against Grantham.