NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Trip to York is much more than a day out as St Ives Town skipper plots an FA Cup shock
- Credit: Archant
Captain Robbie Parker insists St Ives Town’s first-ever FA Cup third qualifying round is more than just a day out.
Saints travel to higher-level York City this Saturday for an historic fixture – and it is one they intend to win.
Parker and co. have enjoyed a pleasing start to the Southern League Premier Division Central campaign, establishing themselves in the top half of the table with a defensive-minded approach.
And it is that quality which gives Parker high hopes of causing a shock in arguably the biggest game of Saints’ 131-year history.
He said: “The mood in the camp is really positive as you would expect ahead of a big cup tie.
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“We’ve been defensively sound all season and hope we can cause them a bit of trouble as well.
“We’re tough to break down and we have showed that we can hurt teams when we hit on the counter-attack.
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“We’re a group of lads who work hard, show willingness and graft for each other, and those things count for a lot in football.
“I know we haven’t scored too many goals, but we’ve come up with important ones at important times.
“It’s going to be a good experience for the lads, the staff and the fans – one that we will remember for a long time.
“But we also want to progress in the FA Cup and I firmly believe we’re going there with a chance of being able to do that.
“We’d love to win up there - of course we would - but I’m sure we’d take a replay as well. York probably wouldn’t relish coming to our place in all fairness!”
Parker is one of several summer signings who have re-energised St Ives after a difficult 2017-18 campaign when they would ordinarily have suffered relegation. A re-structure of the non-league system saved their Step 3 bacon.
Parker has spent much of his career under Saints’ new assistant boss Craig Adams having been given his first experience of senior football by that man at Step 5 side Wellingborough.
Opponents York have had a difficult start to the season. They sacked manager Martin Gray only five matches into the campaign.
The Minstermen are currently under the caretaker control of Sam Collins and sit ninth in National League North.
Veteran striker Jon Parkin is the most famous name in the City squad which operates on a full-time basis. The 37 year-old represented Hull, Stoke and Preston among others during a long Football League career.