Match Preview: Havant & Waterlooville (A) – FA Cup 4QR – Saturday 15th October 2022 – 15:00
Manager Bobby Wilkinson spoke to us ahead of tomorrow’s big FA Cup clash against Havant & Waterlooville.
On preparations: “We’re looking for a good result, we’ve dusted ourselves down after last weekend, we went through the match footage and we had a look at how we can improve our shape and other aspects. But we’ve moved on from Saturday, we’re feeling positive and we believe in ourselves that we can compete and we’re looking forward to it.”
On Havant: “They’re flying this season but they know they are in for a challenge after our last meeting. We will need to adapt to their style, take our chances and prepare for a big test tomorrow.”
On return of any injured players: “Xander and Cam are back amongst the matchday squad tomorrow, it’s great news, they’re important players and we look forward to having them back with us.”
On departures of Noa and Dan following their loans: “They both have done really well with us, credit to them for their efforts. They were fantastic lads to have around but they’ve gone back and we wish them well moving forward.”
On any potential arrivals: “We are actively looking to strengthen, we’re trying to bring in one or two. The club are working around the clock to move things forward with new arrivals. The squad needs bulking up as we’ve let two go this week, it doesn’t quite happen overnight, but if we work hard behind the scenes we can achieve it.”
On the magnitude of this fixture: “Every game for this club is huge, but this one in particular, if we can overcome the challenge, would be such a great achievement. Not just for the team, but for everyone, fans, staff, the board etc. We have to compete, wear the badge with pride as this is such a huge game for the football club.”
@TerraStatman’s Facts of the Match
As we only played H&W last month, I will not completely repeat myself but focus more on the FA Cup elements of this fixture! We have never played this merged team in this competition, but we did meet Waterlooville in the 2nd qualifying round in 1995. At that time, just like today, we were league rivals – on that occasion in the Southern League Southern division – then the third tier of non-league football. Ironically, we played Havant Town in a league game just three days before this tie and we beat their soon-to-be merger partners Waterlooville with the only goal of the game from David Laws. Unfortunately, we bowed out in the next qualifying round to our rivals Dorchester Town.
However, this weekend we are meeting further on in the competition in the fourth and final qualifying round, which has been less of a hurdle and more of a Beecher’s Brook in recent times! We have endured 7 consecutive exits when reaching this stage of the competition, with the carrot of league opposition staying desperately out of reach. In fact our poor record really stretches back to 1986, with an embarrassing defeat to Woking then three divisions below us in the pyramid, starting an unlucky run of 13 Fourth Qualifying Round ties out of 16 ending in misery. We all have personal memories etched in our brain during this time as fans of these games, but for me, I will never forget our goalkeeper Danny Potter sobbing on the pitch following a home loss to Hinckley in 2001.
But we do have some happy memories in this decade – dispatching Hungerford in 2006 to set up those titanic tussles against Bury, when only an inspired Andy Bishop allowed the Football League northerners to progress after a replay. Then just 12 months later – a tight replay win over Hitchin in 2007 setting up a swashbuckling Stuart Beavon display at Eastbourne in Round 1, before bowing out at Conference rivals Cambridge United in Round 2. However, nothing can beat 2005 when we also played Cambridge United in the Fourth Qualifying Round and then witnessed the bar at the stadium erupt as we drew the mighty Nottingham Forest from the velvet bag! Here’s hoping for some more happy Terras memories after this weekend!