MARK Scott and Christian Appleford have scores to settle when their Thetford Town and Mildenhall Town sides open their FA Cup campaigns tomorrow.
The extra preliminary round of the world’s oldest and most famous domestic cup competition is even more lucrative for winning sides this year with a cool £1,000 at stake.
But revenge will also be on the minds of Scott and Appleford as they look to turn over disappointments from last season against Godmanchester Rovers and Brantham Athletic, respectively.
“It will be a chance to right a couple of wrongs from last season,” said Thetford Town boss Scott, whose side were pipped to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division title by Godmanchester last season.
The defining moment was a 2-0 loss at Rovers’ Bearscroft Lane that left some fans of the Brecklanders angry and upset.
Scott added: “We’ll just have to take it, get on with it and be strong in the face of adversity.
“We have to blank it out or use it to inspire us.”
Tom Cusack (unavailable), Bruno Tavares (torn quad) and Arron Joseph (ankle) are set to miss tomorrow’s trip to Goddy (3pm).
The Brecklanders drew 1-1 with Wivenhoe Town on Saturday in their first Thurlow Nunn Premier match for 20 years before a 1-0 loss to Mildenhall on Tuesday.
Mildenhall Town will hope that success – their first league victory of the season following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Gorleston – can inspire them to overturn one of their biggest disappointments of last season.
Their extra preliminary round tie with Brantham is a repeat of the same fixture last year when Appleford’s men lost 4-0 at home to Athletic.
However, Hall’s chief is hoping for better luck when they visit Brantham Leisure Centre tomorrow (3pm).
“We know Brantham have spent to improve so will be well up there in the league again this year,” said Appleford. “But, on our day, we are more than a match for anyone.
“We haven’t really started the season yet, but we got three points against Thetford on Tuesday night and would like to replicate our pre-season form on Saturday.”
Hall will be without Alex Steed (absent) and Jimmy Attwood (knee), while David Cooper (ankle), Sean Hefferon (knee) and Adarian Judge (knee) are all struggling with fitness.
Carl Murkin is expected to play through the pain again tomorrow while left-sided player James Patterson returns from holiday.
Walsham-le-Willows will be looking for their first win of the season when they host Essex Senior League outfit Burnham Rambers in the FA Cup tomorrow.
Like Walsham, the Ramblers have drawn one and lost one of their opening two matches.
Willows’ boss Paul Smith – whose side drew 1-1 at Wisbech Town on Saturday and lost 3-1 at Woodbridge Town on Wednesday – said: “Wisbech are the Man United of the league and we did really well – we could even have nicked it at the end with a couple of chances.
“The boys were 100 per cent committed all round, but on Tuesday we were second to the ball and looked very heavy legged.”
Walsham, who have finally completed the signing of left-back Tom Agricole, will also use the £1,000 prize money on offer tomorrow as motivation.
Smith, who will be without skipper James Tatham, said: “For a club like us, that sort of money is hard to generate so if we could get it by playing 90 minutes, it would be a great bonus.”
Team Bury, who sneaked into the FA Cup on the final day of last season, begin their quest for a run in the competition at Felixstowe and Walton United tomorrow (3pm), with Heybridge Swifts waiting in the next round.
Boss Ross Wilding said: “We are looking forward to that, but if we can raise ourselves and play to the levels we know we are capable of we have an opportunity to progress. It would be great for the lads because they worked so hard to get into the competition.”
Meanwhile, Stowmarket Town play their first match of the season in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
The Gold and Blacks, who did not finish high enough last season to qualify for the FA Cup, host Downham Town at Greens Meadow tomorrow (3pm).