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Emirates FA Cup previews – Wisbech Town v Hitchin Tn & Grays Athletic v March Town Utd


By Pete Woodhouse


March Town United on Saturday face their third FA Cup tie of the campaign – and Wisbech Town have joined them in the first qualifying round after they got through last night’s (Tuesday 3) replay at Ely.

The Hares have a tough Emirates FA Cup tie at Grays Athletic and Wisbech will host Hitchin Town.

March boss Brett Whaley said his troops will not be in Essex just to make up the numbers.

March v Wellingborough Town. (15707364)
March v Wellingborough Town. (15707364)

“They’re two steps ahead of us and have got a big non-league reputation,” he commented.

“The expectation in the FA Cup is you might have one or two games – this is our third.”

March captain Max Mattless, who will be out for six to eight weeks after picking up a knee injury in training last week, is a big miss for the travelling Hares.

However, overall Whaley was optimistic and pointed out there was no pressure on his underdogs: “We’re not going down there for a day out; we’re going there to win the game.

“We’ll focus still on winning. This might mean being cautious at certain parts of the game.

“It’s a great opportunity for us: there is no pressure and no expectation on us.

“Max is a big player. He hasn’t played in the last two games and we’ve pulled out two wins. He encourages the lads off the field.”

FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Sam Reed Ely tackled by Wisbech keeper. Picture by Mark Westley. (16097992)
FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Sam Reed Ely tackled by Wisbech keeper. Picture by Mark Westley. (16097992)

Meanwhile, the prize for Wisbech is a home tie with the Canaries of Hitchin since they won at Ely City 4-0.

Fenmen boss Seb Hayes said on their opposing visitors to Wisbech's Elgood's Fenland Stadium: “They’ll be a tough proposition. They're in the bottom three but so are we.

FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Red card for Steve Holder Picture by Mark Westley. (16097281)
FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Red card for Steve Holder Picture by Mark Westley. (16097281)

"I've seen sides start poorly. Form in the first ten games of the season doesn't mean a great deal.

"You have to look at Setch (former Wisbech boss Gary Setchell) a couple of seasons ago. They started slowly but lost out on the league title to Yaxley in the last game of the season.

"I've tried to get some scouting reports, some information on Hitchin.

FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Adam Capel with a chance for Ely. Picture by Mark Westley. (16097300)
FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Adam Capel with a chance for Ely. Picture by Mark Westley. (16097300)

“They’re the sort of games where you concentrate on ourselves.

“I haven’t had a chance to watch them because of all the games we’ve had. If I don’t get any information on them it’ll be just about us.”

FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Luke Crisp ElyPicture by Mark Westley. (16097302)
FA Cup replay Ely City V Wisbech Town Luke Crisp ElyPicture by Mark Westley. (16097302)

Tom Curtis, who has recently signed on dual registration forms with PNS, is cup-tied.

• Photos from Ely City replay (Wisbech in their away green kit): MARK WESTLEY



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