Road to wembley mapped out for haverhill sides
The Buildbase FA Vase kicks off this weekend, with both Haverhill teams in action — and looking to walk the path the whole way to Wembley.
The competition, for teams in Step 5 and below, is made up of two qualifying rounds, six proper rounds, semi-finals played over two legs and the final, to be played at Wembley Stadium.
Last year produced an exciting local derby in the second round qualifying, with Borough pipping Rovers to the post by a goal.
But this year, Rovers manager Ben Cowling is determined to go further — with their first game at home to Whitton United in the first qualifying round on Saturday (3pm).
“The FA Cup is less about going far than the Vase”, he said. “One is about experience and giving it a go, while the other has opportunities to go much deeper.
“I don’t think we’ve really made the most of this chance in the past and I want to see that change this year.
“Whitton are the division below us so we definitely have the advantage.
“But that doesn’t mean the result is a given, we still have to work hard and really want it.
“There’s of course a bit of luck involved with the draw, it does have to be a little kind to you, but with the right one, I’m hoping we will be really competitive this year.”
And Anthony Choat, manager at Borough, is similarly confident of his team’s prospects.
Borough will face Enfield 1893 on Sunday (3pm) away from home having, by chance, also beaten them in the first round of the FA Cup.
But the team also crashed out of that competition on Saturday, due to an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Kings Langley in the first qualifying round stage.
Choat said: “It’s something to put behind us now and move on from. They were better than us on the day.
“They played very well, we didn’t, and that’s the end of that — there’s no second chances in knockout competitions.
“We’re really looking forward to this weekend though.
“We’re at the top level of teams in this competition so we really think we have a good chance. And it’s great to take on a team we’ve already beaten this season.
“It was a competitive game against them in the FA Cup but I think, since then, we have found our feet at this level and have grown.
“So we’re definitely looking for a good result. But we also know they have something to prove and will want to overturn that.
“It should be a good game.”
This is Borough’s fifth try at the FA Vase since their first entry in 2013/14.