HELLENIC LEAGUE: No FA Cup magic for Fisher

This Is Wiltshire: Highworth boss John Fisher Highworth boss John Fisher

THE magic of the FA Cup couldn’t be any further from the mind of John Fisher when he sends his Highworth side into battle on Sunday afternoon.

Highworth host Corsham at the Elms in the extra preliminary round (3pm), with the match taking place on the second day of the weekend to avoid a clash with cricket.

And Fisher has his eyes firmly fixed on the £750 his side will receive if they beat the Western League outfit, rather than the romance of victory in the world-famous competition.

“We’re only in it for the money and most sides at our level are,” he said.

“If there’s no money in it, teams wouldn’t go into it because at the end of the day it can mess your season up. It’s a distraction.

“If you want to go on your league then you don’t want to be winning four or five rounds in the FA Cup.

“It’s a great competition for the likes of us, but only to make money.

“The money isn’t what it used to be, but it helps. You need to be making the third round to make a real dent.”

Fisher is hoping Darren Smart will be available again following the birth of his new baby boy, after the central midfielder missed the opening-day 2-1 Hellenic Premier defeat at Newbury.

Meanwhile, Wootton Bassett are also avoiding a Saturday kick-off for their first tie in the FA Cup, hosting another Western League outfit in Calne at 7.45pm tonight.

The Rylands Way clash is one of four ties that could supply the first kick of the 2012/13 competition, the others being Ascot versus Sandhurst, Thrapston versus Cogonhoe and Lye versus Bartley.

Calne, managed by Jeff Roberts and former Bassett player Drew Youngsam, are off the back of an excellent 2011/12 season in which they lifted the Wiltshire Senior Cup and finished fourth in the Western League Division One.

Bassett skipper Steve Yeardley, who returned to the club this summer, said: “They won the Wilts Cup last year but we will be looking to win the tie.

“We need a good cup run because all the money goes back into the club.

“It’s different to kick-off on a Friday night but hopefully that means we’ll get a few more supporters.”

Two of our other local sides are also in action in the FA Cup this weekend, both kicking off at the more traditional time of 3pm on Saturday.

Shrivenham welcome Kidlington to the Rec while Fairford make the journey to Abingdon.

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