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Another early cup exit could damage season, said Webb
DAVE Webb has insisted it’s vital his side progress in the FA Trophy this weekend if they want to maintain their promotion challenge in the league this season.
Marine host fellow Southern League Division One South and West side Taunton Town tomorrow in the competition’s preliminary round, and will be looking for an improved showing in cup competitions after exiting the FA Cup at the first hurdle following their loss to Winchester.
The South Marston side currently sit third in the league table following their good start to the season, but if they want to continue in their rich vein of form Webb is convinced a cup run is necessary to help take their mind off the hustle and bustle of league football.
“It’s a great competition to play in and we need to do well in it because we didn’t last long at all in the FA Cup where we were beaten at the first hurdle,” he said.
“This is the competition for us because you know in the FA Cup you might win one or two games but then you will go out, but we need to take our chance in the Trophy because this is the only one we are going to get. If we don’t take it it’s all over.
“We want to be playing football every Saturday and if we don’t progress we are going to have quite a few gaps which aren’t ideal.
“For that reason this is a huge game for the club and we’re taking it really seriously, and it’s so important we stay in this competition because if we don’t that only leaves the Red Insure Cup and the county competitions.
“It can take you to some really good places and you can end up playing in some really big games against teams from higher divisions, and they can be really important and beneficial.
“A good cup run can help break up the league and keep things fresh, and I hope whoever plays at the weekend will realise how important it is to the club.”
Despite being keen to progress the former Highworth boss is also well aware of the pitfalls of a long cup run, but believes his side should be able to cope with any backlog of fixtures.
“If you look at a team like Yate from last season they progressed really well in the FA Cup and ended up playing Cheltenham which was a massive game for them,” he said.
“The other side of that is that they ended up having to fit in 11 or 12 league games in the space of a month, but it isn’t like that if they weather is okay.
“We should be capable of playing Saturday-Tuesday during the season, so a cup run in the Trophy is really important to us.”
Webb is again expecting to be without injured duo Craig Curtis and Ash Edenborough, although long-term injury victim Mani Randhawa has now returned to training.
Cirencester are also in FA Trophy action this weekend as they travel to Didcot Town in the preliminary round. The Centurions remain in the FA Cup and face Weymouth in the third qualifying round next weekend, and will be looking to continue their good cup form in Oxfordshire.
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