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FA CUP: Fairford keeping hold of Ben
FAIRFORD keeper Ben Mitchell has turned down the chance to join Shrivenham and instead pledged his allegiance to the Cinder Lane club.
Shrivvy made a seven-day approach on Monday with boss Dave Turner hoping that the promise of Hellenic Premier football would be enough to tempt the stopper to move to Barrington Park.
However, Mitchell, who joined Fairford from the now-defunct Cricklade last summer, rejected the chance to secure a switch to Shrivvy.
“I spoke to Ben and within 30 seconds of the phone call it was obvious he wasn’t interested and had no intention of leaving,” said Fairford boss Paul Braithwaite.
“He knew nothing about it and didn’t really want to have the conversation regarding it, so he was happy to let it go and that was it really.
“I wouldn’t expect him to leave, to be honest with you, he’s a good lad and he loves the club and everyone at the club gets on with him.
“He’s one of those players that’s completely dedicated to the football club.”
Mitchell’s pledge will give Fairford a welcome boost ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at Bracknell.
The Gloucestershire club have enlisted the help of Wootton Bassett defender Shaun Carter - the brother of Fairford’s Richie Carter - to provide information following Bassett’s 4-1 opening-day defeat at Larges Lane.
“Shaun has told Richie a few bits and bobs about what they are about and what they look to do,” said Braithwaite.
“We will have a chat about that and see if there’s any plans we can put into action to deal with their long throw and the direct lads that they have got.
“From what I can see, Bracknell are going to be a good top-six team which is superb considering where they have come from having been relegated (at the end of 2011/12) and coming up to fill the spot in the league.
“They have done superb and fair dos to them really.”
Fairford - who lost 2-1 to Clanfield on Saturday but beat Hook Norton 3-0 on Tuesday - will be without midfielder Henry Traas (hamstring) and defender Ash Taylor (facial injury) tomorrow, while striker Jack Allan (ankle ligaments) will warm-up but take no part in the game.
Braithwaite added: “We’ll go into the game with a little bit more confidence having got the win under our belt and keeping a clean sheet will help as well. That makes us a bit happier knowing that we’ve been doing the right things.
“On Saturday I probably made the wrong decision in terms of the way we lined up, we looked at how Clanfield were playing rather than concentrating on ourselves which was a silly one from me and it cost us.
“We all make mistakes, but we went back to what we have been doing pre-season on Tuesday night and playing a 4-5-1 paid dividends, so hopefully we can go into Bracknell set up the right way.”
Meanwhile, Fairford committee member Terry Potter has passed away.
Club secretary Bill Beach said: “Terry was a very popular member of not only the club, but also the club committee and he could be seen for many a year on the gate. He will be very sorely missed.”
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