Cirencester land home tie in next round of FA Cup
BRIAN HUGHES is working hard to get his Cirencester Town side to focus on the bigger picture after the euphoria of their second victory in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Town travelled to Banbury, who play a division higher in the Southern League and pulled off a minor giant-killing act with a 2-1 victory in the First Qualifying Round match.
It was an impressive display by Cirencester – with a fine Steve Davies solo goal and assist – albeit only sealed by a winner in the 90th minute and has earned them a tie at home to AFC Portchester on Saturday, September 28.
The Portsmouth side is managed by former England and Arsenal star Graham Rix, who once had a spell as caretaker manager of Chelsea.
"The lads had already organised a minibus for a boys’ night out on Saturday and I have not heard from them since," said Hughes on Monday.
"They were chuffed, and rightly so, about the win at Banbury.
"We made a tentative start and went behind early to a goal conceded from a corner, which was very disappointing and sloppy.
"Then we had to endure a dodgy spell for 20 minutes or so before we started knocking on their door.
"We equalised before half-time but it did not stop me having a whinge at the them during the break.
"But I could not have asked for more in the second half – apart from better finishing – because we created chance after chance.
"Then, in the last minute, Lee Smith won a free kick, ‘Davo’ whipped it in and it just seemed to evade everyone.
"I don’t care who gets credited with it – it won us the game.
"I am determined we keep that momentum going in the league before we start thinking about the FA Cup game.
"By the time Portchester come to visit I want us to be in and around the leaders in the league.
"Having a home game in the Second Qualifiying Round is perfect," said Hughes.
"It will be a role reversal compared to the Banbury game because Portchester play a level below us in the Wessex League and I will be pulling in a few favours to have them watched.
"I do know they put five past Horndean in the last round and previously had a 1-0 victory over Godalming, who are in our league."
Cirencester travel to Fleet on Saturday having extended their winning run to four games with the 3-1 defeat of Taunton Town on Tuesday night.
Midfielder Joe Shepherd will be available again following his three-match suspension and they could also be boosted by the return of captain Shayne Anson, who has been sidelined with a groin tear.