‘Bring it on!” That was the excited response of Coates Athletic manager Andy Lodge following a humdinger of a PFA Senior Cup draw.
Coates’ likely opponents in the quarter-finals will be Oakham United. The pair are currently the top two in the Peterborough Premier Division.
Coates earned their place in the last eight with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Moulton Harrox last weekend.
Oakham are still awaiting the winners of a delayed first round tie between First Division Whittlesey Blue Star and top flight strugglers Holbeach Reserves.
“Oakham should beat either of those two teams so we will have a quarter-final to savour,” Lodge enthused.
“I’m a firm believer that you have to beat the best teams to win the biggest prizes so it doesn’t really matter when you play them.
“Bring it on I say. It would be a great game between two very good sides.”
Coates had to work hard to see off Moulton Harrox. Danny Dance fired them in front in a first-half they dominated, but a fine finish from Ryan Wheeler dragged the home side level 20 minutes from time only for Simon Flanz to crack the winner minutes later.
Coates also held on to top spot in the Premier Division as Oakham’s scheduled league game at Sawtry was postponed. Oakham have another chance to overhaul inactive Coates this Saturday when travelling to Langtoft.
Lodge will have a keen eye on that game as the Premier Division title is his priority this season.
“I want to win the league and the cup,” Lodge added.
“But I was hired by Coates to win the league so that’s the most important competition.
“Playing in a cup final at London Road however would be a great end to the season.
“Everyone wants that though so it won’t be easy. We were brilliant in the first-half at Moulton, but they kept in touch and the second-half was very tough.
“We were still in the dressing room mentally when the second-half started, but we finished strongly.”
There’s another huge game in the quarter-finals as Netherton, 5-2 winners over Langfoft last weekend, host Pinchbeck in a repeat of the 2012 final. Holders ICA will entertain First Division opposition in AFC Stanground or Ryhall who play their last 16 tie this weekend.
Draw: Senior Cup - Caotes v Oakham/Whittlesey BS/Holbeach Res; Deeping Res v Wisbech Res; Netherton v Pinchbeck; ICA v Stanground/Ryhall.
Ties to be played on or before February 28.