Redbridge ready for FA Cup showdown

Motormen get set for Ebbsfleet visit, as they chase a place in the first round draw

�Redbridge boss Terry Spillane’s only hope for Saturday is that he and his side enjoy the occasion as the club prepares for their biggest game in seven years when they take on Ebbsfleet United for a place in the first round of the FA Cup.

Under their former guise of Ford United, the Oakside outfit reached the first round back in the 2003-04 season when they faced League Two side Port Vale before losing out in a replay.

But the Motormen boss admits it is the biggest game he has ever been involved with and, at the age of 50, it is something the former Stansted boss has always dreamed of.

“When you are managing non-league, you don’t expect to be having days like we are about to have,” he said.

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“It is the first time I have been this far in the competition.

“Without doubt this is the biggest game I have ever been involved in and the only instructions to the players will be to enjoy it.”

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Although admitting it will be a tough task, Spillane has something niggling in the back of his mind that they can cause an upset against their Blue Square Bet Premier opponents.

“Deep down we know we have got to hope they have an off day and all our players are on top form,” he added.

“All you need is that little bit of luck, the goalkeeper to throw one in or a penalty decision to go our way.”

Ebbsfleet boss Liam Daish was in attendance at their 2-0 loss in the Ryman One North to Needham Market on Tuesday, on the back of defeating the same opposition 3-1 on Saturday in the FA Trophy, and the Redbridge boss admitted he was surprised to see him at the game.

“I was hoping he (Daish) was going to take us lightly,” admitted Spillane.

“But fair play to him he has shown us some respect and come to watch us.”

He even called in a favour from Kettering manager and friend Mark Stimson, with a DVD of his side’s 2-2 draw with Ebbsfleet from Saturday in the hope he can gain some knowledge into the ‘ins and outs’ of the Kent side’s style of play.

“We already know who to look out for on Saturday, but when I sit down with my coach Jody Brown, this will give us one or two things to work on in training,” he said.

Spillane only has one major injury doubt in striker James Robinson, who came off injured in the previous round against Dunstable Town, but will give the former Maldon and Witham Town man as much time as possible to recover.

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