23rd Feb, 2018

FA Vase debutants Droitwich Spa must play the game and not the occasion, stresses joint-boss Oliver

HISTORY-MAKING Droitwich Spa will have to be on their game to book their place in the next round of the FA Vase, warns joint-boss Wayne Oliver.

For the very first time in their 32-year history the Saltmen will be playing in the first qualifying round of the Vase on Saturday when they make the trip to Herefordshire side Pegasus Juniors.

Juniors ply their trade in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division, one level above Midland League Division Two which Spa currently occupy, but are yet to win having lost all eight of their opening fixtures of the new campaign.

However, Oliver told the Standard that record will not be accounted for and has urged his players to focus on the game and not the occasion.

“If we start to play the occasion and get carried away we are in real danger of getting knocked out the competition,” he said.

“Pegasus have been playing in the level above for quite a while but we will not be looking at their league form.

“In cup games league form goes out the window as anything can happen and we are going to have to be at our very best to beat them.

“A bus load of supporters are coming down to get behind us so we want to give them something positive to sing about on the way home.”

Spa go into their Vase clash on the back of a 1-0 league win at Knowle, thanks to a 73rd-minute strike from Bradley Burgess, his second in two games after bagging the winner in a 3-2 victory over Fairfield Villa on Bank Holiday Monday.

“Knowle is always a tough place to go to and come away with a result, no matter what stage of the season you are at,” Oliver added.

“To have gone there and picked up three points with a lack of personnel was very pleasing.

“We had to use four full-backs as we had no out-and-out central defenders and the lads displayed a very battling performance to get the win.

“The fight and determination was something we were very pleased with.”

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