FOOTBALL: Hughes switches focus to FA Trophy
AFTER the disappointment of their 2-1 FA Cup defeat by Southern Premier side Weymouth on Saturday, Cirencester Town face two more cup clashes in four days this week.
They visit Cinderford Town in the Red Insure (League) Cup tonight and Egham in the FA Carlsberg Trophy on Saturday.
Town boss Brian Hughes said: “We knew that we were going out of the FA Cup at some stage, but I was disappointed that we did not do ourselves justice.
“We did not make life tough enough for them in the first half and went in at the break behind. It was all guns blazing in the second half and when we equalised I thought there was only one team that would go on and win it.
“Had a Brazilian scored their second goal on Match of the Day, and not Stewart Yetton, we would have been talking about it for weeks.
“I’m still frustrated that it is Weymouth rather than us at home to Braintree in the fourth qualifying round.
Hughes feels missing key players contributed to his side’s downfall.
“Our midfield could not get hold of the ball and we missed the ability to pass it from those areas, the sort of service we used to get from Ben Wells (out with a long-term knee injury) and, in a similar way, from Sean Wood (cup-tied).”
Of the two forthcoming games, there is no doubting where Hughes’ priorities lay.
“We are very keen on the FA Trophy, but not so the Red Insure Cup,” he said “I’m giving 90 per cent of the first team the night off when we play Cinderford. Only Ellis Dunton, Aidan Bennett, James Mortimer-Jones and Ben Prictor of the first team squad will play in that game.
“But we hope that the remainder will bounce back after the chance to put their feet up when we tackle Egham on Saturday.
Egham play their football at the same level as Cirencester – Calor Gas Div One Central. Currently they are in mid-table, despite not having won a game in the league since early September. At stake on Saturday in the first round qualifying game is a prize of £2,700.
Egham have already come unstuck against one Gloucestershire side – Shortwood having knocked them out of the FA Cup in the previous round.
Shortwood’s great FA Cup run continued with their 1-0 victory at Didcot Town on Saturday.
The only goal of the game came from Duncan Culley, his 13th in as many games. Culley, 25, grew up in Fairford.
Shortwood’s prize is a home draw in the fourth round qualifying of the FA Cup against Aldershot, who are one off the bottom of the Conference Premier after starting the season with a ten-point deduction following their relegation from Football League Two last season.