Essex Senior League: Barkingside boss Michael Walther wants more success in FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 August 2017

The draws for the early rounds of the 2017-18 FA Cup and other competitions have been made (pic Nick Potts/PA)

The draws for the early rounds of the 2017-18 FA Cup and other competitions have been made (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Stowmarket Town visit Cricklefield Stadium on Sunday for extra preliminary round tie in famous old competition

Michael Walther is hoping Barkingside can build on their mid-week victory at Great Wakering Rovers when they host Stowmarket Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Sunday (2pm kick-off).

Side opened up their 2016/17 Essex Senior League campaign with a fine 2-1 victory at Burroughs Park on Tuesday.

Goals from Jerome Martelli and Tony Cookey helped Barkingside beat Wakering and they’ll aim for more success this weekend and hope to have a good crowd cheering them on against the Eastern Counties League Premier Division outfit.

“You would hope we could get a couple of hundred in to watch with it being an FA Cup game and on a Sunday,” said Walther.

“I know the chairman (Jimmy Flanagan) is hoping that will be the case, so hopefully we have a big crowd backing us on.

“The great thing about our win at Great Wakering Rovers was to see how the team reacted under pressure.

“We genuinely seemed like we had been together for years the way we dug in and battled for each other.

“Going forward that is a really good sign, so hopefully we can do the same on Sunday and get another decent result.”

Although Walther has been able to watch a little bit of Stowmarket Town in action, he knows his team may have to adjust their plan of action once the game starts.

The Old Gold & Blacks won promotion from Division One and are now in the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League – the equivalent of the current Essex Senior League.

And therefore Walther doesn’t expect there to be too much between the teams, he added: “I have seen a clip of Stowmarket.

“But it is hard to know the difference in levels between the two leagues. I would like to think we would be able to handle any physical threat they have.

“We don’t know whether they have any pace, but it will be a case of putting plans in place and then seeing how things are going after 15 minutes and adjusting accordingly.”

The former Stansted assistant boss has a rough idea of what to expect from the Eastern Counties League side.

But some of his new-look squad won’t have played at their home venue Cricklefield Stadium before, so Sunday will be a new experience for them.

Walther added: “Normally sides from that league are pretty fit and like to put their foot in, but also know how to play.

“I know they will have their strengths and we will have ours, but it will be the first time some of our players have played at home.

“We don’t train at Cricklefield, so it is going to be a new experience for some of them, but we are looking forward to it.”

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