East Preston searching for yet another FA Cup shock

East Preston celebrate earlier this season. Picture: Stephen Goodger
East Preston celebrate earlier this season. Picture: Stephen Goodger

East Preston Football Club boss Bob Paine looked ahead to this Saturday’s FA Cup first-round qualifying clash and said: “We have nothing to lose.”

EP welcome three-divisions higher Ryman League Premier outfit Merstham to The Lashmar looking to cause yet another cup upset in English Football’s oldest competition.

Paine saw his side defeat Ryman League South side Tooting & Mitcham United in the last round and is hoping for a similar shock this time around.

With £3,000 in prize money available for the winner and a large crowd expected, Paine is hopeful his youthful side can spring yet another surprise.

He said: “It’s almost a free game for us, if you like. This team has come a long way in such a short time and this a great reward for all of the hard work put in so far.

“I think playing at home will give us a little advantage, they probably won’t know the ground and the pitch may not be what they are used to.

“We can take care of the bigger things but in the FA Cup it’s about those little things that could give you an edge.”

Despite seeing off higher league opposition in the previous two rounds, Paine believes this will be the toughest test to date.

Tooting were two-steps above East Preston but Merstham are another step up in the Ryman Premier.

Paine added: “We are under no illusions it’s going to be easy and they will be a difficult side to beat.

“We showed against Tooting what we are capable of and we’ll be looking for a repeat result.

“If we do everything we can, hopefully they will be having an off day and we can get a positive result.”

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