Vase favourites Neots feeling confident

ST NEOTS Town are looking to live up to their billing as the bookies’ favourites in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Preview: FA Vase second round proper

St Neots Town v Burnham Ramblers

ST NEOTS Town are looking to live up to their billing as the bookies’ favourites in the FA Vase on Saturday.

The Saints, recently installed as 6-1 shots for Vase glory by Skybet, can take a step closer to Wembley when they welcome Burnham Ramblers of the Essex Senior League to the Hunts Post Community Stadium on Saturday.

Saints’ 11-0 home mauling of Felixstowe & Walton United in the first round proper was recognised as a record win in the competition for a UCL member club.

And boss Dennis Greene, although taking nothing for granted, is confident that his side will be in the hat for the third round draw come 5pm on Saturday evening.

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They could be joined by Hunts rivals St Ives Town and Godmanchester Rovers, who are also in home FA Vase action.

Greene said: “Having watched Burnham play a few weeks ago, I think we should be able to come through it reasonably comfortably.

“But of course you never know, as cup football is cup football, and some of the results in the FA Cup at the weekend certainly prove the point that you can’t take anything for granted.”

Greene stressed that his players would not be getting carried away with being tagged favourites.

He said: “We are one of the favourites to win it and rightly so, but it only takes a tough away draw later on in the competition – on a poor pitch – for things to get very difficult.”

St Ives Town will be hoping to leave behind their inconsistent league form in a competition in which they have made it to the last 16 three years running. They host Aylesbury United of the Molten Spartan South Midlands League on Saturday.

Co-manager Jez Hall said: “We’ve had them watched and, although they’re a decent side, they are certainly not unbeatable. We’ll be confident, given our cracking recent home form of six wins and a draw from our last seven games.”

On his side’s chances overall in this season’s competition, Hall said: “There’s no reason to think we can’t go as far as we have done in the last three seasons.

“But it’s once you start getting to the fourth and fifth rounds and come up against the top sides and teams from the Northern League where you can come up short – as we’ve found out.”

David Hurst’s Godmanchester Rovers take on Ridgeons Premier side Stanway Rovers at Bearscroft Lane, with the manager claiming his side have “nothing to fear”.

Ridgeons Division One Rovers are already enjoying their best-ever run in the competition, having defeated Framlington Town (4-0) and Eynesbury Rovers (2-1) in previous rounds.

“The club has never reached the third round proper in this competition so there’s a real opportunity to create a little bit of history,” said Hurst.

“I’m confident that if we play to our strengths on the day, which I believe we will, then we’ve got every chance of getting through and we certainly don’t fear them.”