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FOOTBALL: Wallbridge wary of FA Cup run
7:36pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
Didcot Town boss Andy Wallbridge has mixed feelings ahead of his si-de’s FA Cup third qualifying round tie at home to fellow Calor League Div-ision 1 South & West side Shortwood United on Saturday.
The Railwaymen’s form in cup competitions this season has been in stark contrast to that in the league, which sees them propping up the table.
So far in this FA Cup campaign there have been derby wins at Wantage and at home to high-flying North Leigh.
Then two weeks ago Didcot upset the form book yet again by beating Calor League Pre-mier Division outfit Burn-ham 2-1 to set up the home tie against Shortwood The financial rewards on offer this weekend are huge.
Both clubs have already netted almost £9,500 in prize money in the FA Cup this season with a mouth-watering further £7,500 up for grabs on Saturday.
But that’s not foremost in Wallbridge’s mind.
“To be honest, I would swap all of those cup wins for three points in the league,” said Wallbridge.
Last season, Didcot reach-ed the fourth qualifying round for the first time beating Conference South side Maidenhead United at this stage along the way, and only a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Arlesey saw them miss out on a first-round tie at Coventry City.
In the league, Didcot have won just once in eight games.
Shortwood are only six places above them with nine points from their eight match es, so the Railwaymen will fancy their chances.
They will also want to exact quick revenge on ‘The Wood’ after losing 4-1 away at Shortwood in the opening game of the season.
On that occasion Didcot felt hard done by with a number of refereeing decisions in a match that ended with Joel Meade being sent-off late-on.
Ironically Meade is returning from another suspension in time for this weekend’s game, as is in-form striker Pablo Haysham, both having missed the 1-1 draw with Cirencester Town in the FA Trophy last weekend.
The other piece of good news for Wallbridge is the return to fitness of full-back Sam Elkins, who suffered a bad ankle injury last month at Godalming Town.