Lutterworth Athletic v Spalding United (Saturday, 3pm): SPALDING begin their bid for FA Vase glory in Leicestershire this weekend – but boss Pat Rayment is in no mood for bold predictions.
The in-form Tulips will arrive at step six Lutterworth as red-hot favourites to progress, with their hosts currently rock bottom of the East Midlands Counties League.
But Spalding have been stung by EMCL opposition already this season, with Blaby and Whetstone ending their hopes of a lucrative FA Cup run.
With the Tulips hitting 11 goals in their last outing, Rayment is confident his side will progress – although he is still demanding more from his charges.
The Spalding supremo said: “Forget about the FA Vase for now, this is just another game we need to win to keep our progress going. You can’t compare this match to the Blaby FA Cup loss, we’re a different animal now.
“Without wanting to tempt fate it’s a game we should win. I laid the law down to the lads after the St Ives loss and we’ve scored 16 goals in two games.
“That was good to see, but we’re not quite at the level I expect yet. This is a great place to play football now and I hope the players appreciate that.”
The Tulips warmed up for Saturday’s clash with an 8-0 friendly win over Bourne Town on Wednesday night.
Ex-Premier League midfielder Stefan Oakes lit up the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field clash with a sensational strike from just inside the Wakes half – and could yet sign before Saturday’s trip to Lutterworth.
Shane Tolley was again on-song with a four-goal salvo, while Jacob Joyce (2) and Dan Cotton also netted.
Assistant boss Marcus Ebdon laced up his boots for a run out, while Danny Hussey and Luke Kennedy got some game time under their belts. But Danny Steadman, Scott Musgrove and Jay Smedley remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Rayment is waiting on an answer from ex-Boston United defender Kern Miller after making an offer for the 21-year-old. That comes after the Tulips ended their interest in Wisbech’s Paul Cousins.