Deeping Rangers couldn’t be heading into the biggest game in the club’s history in a more confident and relaxed frame of mind.
Michael Goode’s men have won their last nine competitive matches, although they will start their last 16 tie in the FA Vase at Exeter-based Willand Rovers tomorrow (February 2) as slight underdogs.
A long trip to face a team who have strung together a dozen successive wins and who sit top of the Western Football League with 20 wins from 24 matches should be a daunting prospect, but not for Deeping, who travel down to the South West today (Friday).
“I haven’t had Willand watched,” Goode admitted. “We are determined to play the way that has brought us so much success this season.
“It’s two teams going well in their respective leagues and whoever plays better will win the game. We have to respect them. They have scored more goals than virtually any other team playing at step five level in the country.
“They are top of their league, but it’s difficult to compare standards. We travel in a confident frame of mind and we have a week’s rest after playing nine games in 35 days.
“We are playing so well and we are taking a full squad.
“If we play anywhere near the level we delivered in the second-half of our last FA Vase game we are bound to go close.
“Willand’s pitch is apparently not the best which won’t suit us, but then we won at Holbeach recently against a strong side on a bad surface so we have no reasons at all to be worried.”
Deeping have already set a new club-best for Vase progression. They are just three wins away from a Wembley final.
Deeping are third in the United Counties Premier Division after a 3-0 win at Wellingborough Town last weekend. Dan Jarvis, Dan Flack and Dan Schiavi scored the goals.
The UCL postponed Deeping’s game with Desborough on Tuesday to help with the club’s preparations for their big game. The club are funding the overnight stay for the players for which Goode is grateful.
Table-topping Peterborough Sports have a tricky game at fifth-placed Thame United in Division One Central of the Evo Stik Southern League and they will have half an eye on second-placed Bromsgrove Sporting’s game at Yaxley (3pm).
Peterborough Nothern Star host top six side Cogenhoe United in the United Counties Premier Division at the Branch Bros Stadium.
Fifth round: Willand Rovers v Deeping Rangers.
EVO STIK NORTHERN LEAGUE
East Division: Brighouse Town v Stamford, Spalding Utd v Frickley Athletic, Tadcaster Albion v Wisbech Town.
EVO STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE
Division One Central: Thame United v Peterborough Sports, Yaxley v Bromsgrove Sporting.
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Premier Division: Holbeach United v Boston Town, Peterborough Northern Star v Cogenhoe United, Wellingborough Whitworth v Pinchbeck United.
Division One: Huntingdon Town v Irchester United, Long Buckby v Blackstones, Melton Town v Bourne Town.
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE
Division One North: March Town United v Downham Town.