Deeping Rangers host Wivenhoe Town in the first round of the FA Vase with manager Tuncay Korkmaz admitting this has been his hardest season to date.
Korkmaz is used to challenging for a top-four place in the UCL Premier Division but will be happy to finish in the top eight this term.
The Turk is rebuilding his squad and changing the playing formation after the loss of star players such as Ryan Oliver, who joined Spalding United, while injuries and suspensions have not helped.
He said: “We have had three players sent off and in my opinion none of them should have been red cards.
“It’s been my toughest season but the players we have brought in are adapting to the higher level and hopefully we can now go on a decent run.
“We have some good players and Scott Ginty and Tom Smith are among the best in the UCL.”