Sibling rivarly as Marine clash with Ciren in FA Cup
EVERY good cup tie needs an angle but Marine’s clash with Ciren has more sub-plots and family fueds than a week’s worth of EastEnders.
The two sides are already long-standing Southern League sparring partners with a history of full-bloodied encounters, not least last month’s 4-4 draw which saw three players sent off.
Honours were very much even that day in the Etheridge household where Marine’s Max and Ciren’s Tom scored a goal apiece.
The sibling rivalry continues tomorrow, with Harry also in Swindon blue, leaving father John to keep the peace this week and he remains predictably diplomatic.
“I’m going to go settle for a draw and a replay back at Cirencester,” he said.
“Someone’s got to win eventually though so maybe Supermarine have the edge but I’m just hoping all three lads get through the game injury free and can go on and have a successful season with their clubs,” said the former Crystal Palace and Millwall trainee.
Etheridge Senior admitted that it was a little tense in the build up to their league game back in August: “We all drove to the game together and there wasn’t much conversation flying about. I was happy it was a draw in the end as it kept the peace a little bit.”
There’s no doubt in Max and Harry’s minds that Supermarine will see off Cirencester, currently bottom of the Southern Premier, and go on to replicate the kind of FA Cup form that saw the club eventually lose to Colchester United in the Second Round proper last season.
“I’m going to predict a 3-0 win to Supermarine and another goal for Etheridge,” laughed Max who has already found the target four times this term including the winner against Redditch earlier this week.
But Tom sees things a little differently: “It might be a draw and end going to a replay with me popping up with the winner in extra-time. That will do me.”
“It’s a local derby and The FA Cup so everyone’s going to be massively up for it and I’m sure there’ll be some tackles flying about like last time,” predicted Harry, 23.
Last year’s brilliant run thrust Marine into the national spotlight and banked the club tens of thousands of pounds, but co-boss Gary Horgan does not expect to replicate the heroics this term.
“I think people will be looking out for our result but I don’t think we’ve got any kind of aura or pedigree in the cup,” he said.
“For a club like us to get to the second round of the FA Cup is once in a lifetime stuff really.
“We want to get as far as we can of course but we’ll just be happy to win a couple of games and make a bit of money out of it.
“In some ways a good run doesn’t help in the long term because the club’s players are put in the spotlight and attract attention from other clubs which is what happened to us last season. So most of the players we had then are now playing at bigger clubs.
“But obviously we still want to get as far as we can in the competition.”
One of the few surviving members of last year’s cup-run, Dave Bampton, is back in contetion for tomorrow’s game.
Jamie Prictor also returns after a spell away coaching. Jon Beedon serves the last game of his suspension collected after being sent off in the 4-4 draw.
Further spice has been added following Mitch Bryant’s switch to Ciren from Marine this week.
Horgan added: “Ciren put in seven days for him and Mitch has made the decision he’s better off there. We wish him well but it certainly adds another element to the game.
“It’s a local derby with decent prize money at stake so it should be quite a tasty affair.”
Elsewhere in the first qualifying round, Chippenham host Wells City at Hardenhuish Park.