Thu, 05 Sept 2019
THATCHAM Town assistant-manager Andy Darnton believes his players will go into Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Salisbury ‘full of confidence’.
The Kingfishers are yet to lose a game this season, winning four and drawing one of their five Southern League Division 1 South games.
They now turn their attention to Saturday, when they welcome Southern League Premier outfit Salisbury to the Stacatruc Stadium for a first qualifying round tie in the FA Cup.
The game has been brought forward to 12.30pm as it’s been selected for BBC coverage and will be available to stream on the BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer.
Darnton said: “It’s a big one and it’s a great spectacle for the lads to showcase their talents because the cameras will be here.
“Salisbury are a good team. It’ll be a big crowd and we should be going into it full of confidence.
“It’s a nothing-to-lose game; we know how they play and we know a lot of their players so it will be a competitive game.”
It was only two years ago when Thatcham won the FA Vase at Wembley and, with some players still at the club, Darnton feels they can draw on that experience.
He said: “There are only a few of them left from the FA Vase team, but they have stayed loyal and they can recap the experiences they had.
“We have a lot of players who have played at high levels, so they have managed these situations and they have played in big environments.”
Town won 3-0 on Tuesday against Cirencester Town to move up to second in the table.
Thatcham scored twice in three minutes in the first half through Joe Selman and Felipe Barcelos
“They were two cracking goals,” admitted Darnton. “Joe slotted his in the corner – it was a great finish – and Felipe’s strike came from nowhere, but it’s what he does.
“It was an acute angle, but he rifled it into the corner and it set the tone of the game.”
Callum Willmoth and Aidan Bennett were both shown red cards for Thatcham and Cirencester respectively
Darnton said: “It did change the game a bit and the second half wasn’t for the purist, but we had a game plan and I thought we managed it really well.
“I was pleased with the work rate. I said to them before the game about roles and responsibilities and the expectations and they executed that really well.”
George Jeacock made sure of the three points in second-half stoppage time.
The game came just three days after Thatcham recorded a narrow 2-1 win away to Paulton Rovers, despite playing 50 minutes with 10-men.
Kyle Tooze was shown two yellow cards for Town, who still managed to pick up three points after a late winner from Jordan Williams.
Darnton said: “It was fantastic on Saturday. We played really well in the first half, but unfortunately Toozey [Kyle Tooze] was sent off and we played 50 minutes with 10 men.
“We went to a 4-4-1 and the boys held their shape well and I felt that we deserved the win because we managed the game well.”
Having extended their unbeaten start to the season, Darnton is happy to see the squad working together.
He said: “The squad is full of confidence at the moment and we have huge competition for places which is what we want – the spirit is really great.
“It’s easy when you’re winning, but trying to keep everyone happy is the hard part,” he said.
We'll be at the Stacatruc Stadium this weekend, providing LIVE UPDATES from the game. Be sure to follow our twitter account for regular updates.