Wroxham confident ahead of FA Cup clash

Paddy Davitt Wroxham boss Damian Hilton is confident his men can rise to the occasion in today's high profile FA Cup third qualifying round derby against neighbours King's Lynn.

Paddy Davitt

Wroxham boss Damian Hilton is confident his men can rise to the occasion in today's high profile FA Cup third qualifying round derby against neighbours King's Lynn. (3pm)

The Yachtsmen's chief insists the Ridgeons Premier Division underdogs will not be overawed ahead of Norfolk's biggest non league clash in more than a decade.

“I think if anything the occasion will make them play even better,” said Hilton. “Obviously in games like these you don't want to be the one who makes a mistake but I've had the lads long enough to be confident when big games come around they can handle it. Apart from Matthew Halliday who was released from Norwich and our keeper Duncan McAnally the rest of the lads are 25 or older. We have players with league experience as well so we are looking forward to it.


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“King's Lynn is the biggest non league club around. This is a great draw for us and with all the attention and publicity we can't wait. We won the league a couple of years ago but as an individual, one off game this is probably bigger.”

Hilton is adamant his squad have nothing to fear after dumping out higher level opposition in the two previous rounds.

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“Grantham were one level above us but they have been struggling,” he said. “Heybridge were two levels above us but in both games we were actually quite comfortable. Against Grantham we had ten men for 70 minutes. King's Lynn is three levels higher but they are a totally different proposition. They spent money after going up and they are definitely not a club who is struggling.

“But saying that I don't think there is three levels of difference in the playing squads. Non league football in Norfolk is perhaps not that strong and for our lads there isn't too many other clubs to go and play your football so I feel we have players here capable of doing well at a higher level.”

Former Norwich and King's Lynn midfielder Alex Notman is available after missing the recent FA Vase defeat to Leiston. Graham Challen is expected to shake off a bout of flu. Defender Josh Carus (broken toe) is ruled out while Liam Manning is cup tied. Hilton is targeting a positive start as the key to his side's chances of a cup upset.

“I think it's important we start well,” he said. “Our lads won't be used to the higher tempo King's Lynn play the game at. I expect they will probably want to have a look at us early on and we need to be prepared. It's also vital we don't concede early as that will give us more confidence although from our point of view if we can nick a goal and get in front that puts more pressure on them.

“If we can be nice and solid then we have good players at the other end capable of creating chances and scoring. We need to stay in the game for as long as we can.”

Hilton is well aware of the Blue Square North outfit's quality.

“There's probably only two or three players I wouldn't know or haven't seen play at some point,” he said. “I haven't seen them play as a team this season but we know where the threat is and I don't expect too many surprises. We play their reserves on a regular basis so you come up against first teamers who are maybe coming back from injury and then there's the lads who were at out level that have made the step up.

“I was at Norwich with Keith (Webb) so I know what he is all about and it would be nice to try and put one over him. Whatever the result this will be great experience and something to look back on. The boys might not feel that way at the time if it goes against us but if we did manage to get a result it would be remembered for a long, long time. The club officials who were here the last time still talk about that cup win.”

Wroxham (from): McAnally, Jackson, Self, Challen, Halliday, Howes, White, Lemmon, Key, Harley, Notman, Cook, Hilton, Crane, Wines, Gilmore, Fulcher.

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