SAM Reed could be an FA Cup hero again as Bury Town prepare to host Hampton and Richmond Borough in the third qualifying round at Ram Meadow tomorrow (3pm).
It was at the same stage of the competition in 2009/10 that Reed popped up with a winning goal 10 minutes from time in one of the most dramatic matches the Blues have ever been involved in to see off Bedford Town 4-3 in a replay.
Although that moment rates as one of the hard-working striker’s best in a Bury shirt, he’s hoping for a more straightforward success against Hampton and Richmond Borough tomorrow (3pm).
“I don’t know if my heart could take that again,” said Reed. “It was good to win in that way in the end, but hopefully we can do it on the day this time around.
“That moment and when we beat Basingstoke Town 4-1 on our way to the first round the year before are right up there with my fondest memories.
“That’s what the FA Cup does to you – it’s amazing to do well in the competition.”
Were Bury to win tomorrow, they could possibly face former Football League sides such as Cambridge United, Luton Town and Wrexham in the final qualifying round of the world’s oldest and most famous domestic cup competition.
One more victory after that would see the Blues reach the first round proper for the second time in five seasons, with the potential to face four-time FA Cup winners Sheffield United or 2007/08 victors Portsmouth.
However, they must first overcome Hampton and Richmond Borough, who – like Bury – are yet to taste defeat in the Ryman League Premier Division this season and sit level on 14 points with leaders Margate.
“It’s not going to be easy because they are one of the favourites to win our league,” said Reed.
The striker could also come face-to-face with former Premier League defender Darren Powell, back at Hampton for a second spell having began his career there.
“That won’t put me off at all,” said Reed, whose only goal of the season so far came in Bury’s first qualifying round defeat of Canvey Island. “It will inspire me to prove I can take on players of that pedigree.”
n In-depth cup preview on Page 132.