St Ives Town welcome Nantwich Town in the FA Trophy - but is it a big game?

Jared Cunniff celebrates scoring St Ives goal in their 1-0 FA Trophy win over Kettering. Picture: Lo

Jared Cunniff celebrates scoring St Ives goal in their 1-0 FA Trophy win over Kettering. Picture: Louise Thompson. - Credit: Archant

Jez Hall is eyeing up a game against Wrexham or perhaps Luton – but first St Ives Town will have to dispatch Nantwich from the FA Trophy at Westwood Road on Saturday.

Those are big games for sure. Whether or not the visit of Nantwich Town is a big one, Hall is yet to be convinced.

“It’s a difficult one,” said the club’s joint manager. “Surely the goal for us in the Trophy is to win this round, get through the next one, and draw one of the big boys. That’s what we all want.

“We want to go to Wrexham or Luton or have one of the big boys at our place. That’s the aim.”

Nantwich, in the great scheme of things, are not big boys. Sorry to any fans of the Dabbers reading this. They come to St Ives on Saturday – hopefully to the right St Ives after fans’ tweets about the seaside – 19th in the Premier Division of the Northern League. After the Saints’ 2-0 win at Beaconsfield at the weekend, Ives are fifth in Division One Central of the Southern League – just one step below. In certain books that might makes the home side favourites.

And Hall even admitted the club has been spoiled by those good runs and exciting days in the FA Vase, the competition in which they were big-hitters until promotion to the Southern League saw them upgraded.

“It doesn’t quite have the feel of a big Vase game,” said Hall; and thinking back to those games against Wisbech Town and that magical 4-0 win over Gresley in 2012. He may have a point.

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But this Trophy road will lead to bigger games and St Ives will be depserate to win through to the latter stages. Plus, there is money to be made with £3,250 up for grabs for the winners of this round. That kind of money possibly makes it a big game.

Also eyeing up the prize fund and the visit of some possible non-league royalty later on are St Neots Town.

Iain Parr’s team are away at another Northern League Premier Division side Matlock Town on Saturday and despite their form in the league being less than impressive, the club have been excellent in cup competitions this season.

In the last round they beat Halesowen Town 3-1 and a repeat of that performance should see them right.