Slough Town searching for FA Trophy knockout blow
By James Walker-Roberts • Published 14 Sep 2012 09:15 0 Comments
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Cup joy: Slough Town manager Steve Bateman, right, shares a joke with Dominic Rhone after the Rebels 4-1 FA Cup win against Lingfield - summer signing Rhone bagged the fourth goal at Holloways Park. Picture by Horsham Rebel.
SLOUGH Town manager Steve Bateman believes 'something will have to give' when his side clash with fellow heavyweights Hungerford Town in the FA Trophy preliminary round on Sunday (3pm ko).
The two Berkshire clubs are amongst the favourites to win their respective divisions - Southern Division One Central and Division One South & West.
And both progressed through the first qualifying round of the FA Cup last weekend, with Slough easing past lower league Lingfield 4-1 and Hungerford beating Southern Premier side Banbury United 2-0 in a replay.
Now the two big guns go head-to-head at Holloways Park for the right to host Gosport Borough in the first round.
Rebels boss Bateman believes his side will go into the match confident after their win over Lingfield but is ready for a far sterner test against Bobby Wilkinson's men.
"I watched Hungerford on Tuesday and they are a good side - experienced at the back and Mark Draycott scores goals for fun.," he told the Observer
"They have expectations to turn up and win and so do we - something has got to give - we want to stay in the cup competitions to build momentum toward the league.
"We have been guilty of slipping up at times but we are not far into the season. We have tightened up on a number of things and I am pleased with the response.
"We can take confidence from a resounding win against Woodford and a sound victory against Lingfield."
Slough could hand debuts to a few new faces on Sunday depending how talks progress with players who have recently left Windsor.
The Stag Meadow side have suffered a mass exodus following the departure of manager Keith Scott and Bateman has been keeping a close eye on the situation.
"I have had conversations with two or three of them," he revealed. "I have made offers to one or two others but it is about them buying into our ambition - I expect their decision before the Hungerford game.
"One or two would improve us, but if not we will carry on looking elsewhere."
One player who won't be making the move to Holloways Park is striker Ryan O'Toole, who has instead decided to join Conference South side Hayes & Yeading.
Bateman says he understands O'Toole's decision and has been impressed with a couple of new signings of his own - Sean Fraser and Ed Smith.
"Sean Fraser has done really well and is a joy to work with. He wrote a letter to me in pre-season asking to come down and show what he can do. He was worth taking a look - we are on to a gem," he said.
"He has had an injury but is over that now and is making the best of his opportunity to come in. He is not afraid to put his foot in and will score goals at this level.
"Edward gets onto the end of things in the box and his attitude is first class."
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