NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Vics boss Davies in cup 'nightmare'
BOSS Gareth Davies admits Wantage are the last team he wants to see at the Flying Monk tonight as he looks to revive his Malmesbury players’ flagging spirits.
The Hellenic League Division One West outfit have failed to find the net on their current run of four successive defeats, conceding 20 goals in the process, while Wantage are riding high at the top of the Hellenic Premier.
The teams meet in the second round of the Floodlit Cup at the Flying Monk tonight as Malmesbury’s wretched run of difficult draws in cup competitions continues.
“To be fair it’s probably the worst set of teams we could have had,” said Davies.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare. We’ve been unlucky but it is what it is and you’ve just got to get on with it.
“Wantage is the worst thing that could have come after the thrashing at Highworth, when you want to pick lads’ heads up.
“We’re riddled with injuries but I spoke to our reserve manager and said that whichever players were playing well then we’d take them.
“Three of the youngsters can come in and get a feel for the first team. Why not use it as an excuse to get other lads involved?
“We’re not expected to win and are massive underdogs, but sometimes you get a carefree attitude with young players in that situation and it can help, although I’m not saying it will.
“Our main priority is the league and the Floodlit Cup isn’t really a concern, although don’t get me wrong, if we manage to win I will certainly take that.
“But Wantage have been signing Southern League players and that says a lot about what they are aiming for.”
The 34-year-old is even considering naming himself on the bench, but the former centre-back insists he will only come on in an emergency.
“I may name myself on the bench as cover, I imagine we will have plenty in reserve but just in case,” said Davies.
“Unless players’ legs are falling off then I won’t be coming on.
“After Saturday’s performance I did think to myself I could get back involved, but I’m nowhere near fit enough.”
Meanwhile, Southbrook have been rewarded with a Wiltshire Senior Cup second-round tie at home to Downton after their heroics on Saturday.
The Wiltshire League Premier Division outfit won a dramatic encounter with Western League Warminster 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Ant Packer and now entertain Wessex League Premier Division strugglers Downton for the right to make the quarter-final.
Albert Dearing’s side are one of six Wiltshire League sides still in the draw although one of those will drop out when Wilts Calne Town and Pewsey Vale play their first-round clash a week Saturday.
The other contests involving local teams see Highworth face Devizes at the Elms while Purton will hope to avoid a slip-up when they travel to Chippenham Park.
Dates for second-round games are yet to be confirmed.
WILTSHIRE SENIOR CUP
Second round: New College v Wilts Calne Town/Pewsey Vale, Mere v Corsham, Chippenham Park v Purton, Trowbridge v Bradford, Highworth v Devizes, Southbrook v Downton, Wootton Bassett v Bemerton, Shrewton v Melksham.
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