Stourbridge look to recreate their FA Cup heroics
Boss Ian Long will tell Stourbridge’s players to make the most of the occasion as they look to continue their latest FA Cup journey against Eastleigh tomorrow.
The Glassboys host the National League Premier outfit, after reaching the first round proper of the world’s oldest cup competition for the sixth time in the last 11 seasons.
Stour have reached at least the second round on the previous four occasions and more than 2,000 supporters will descend on the War Memorial to roar on the hosts.
Long said: “It’s going to be a tremendous occasion and my message to the lads will simply be to go out and enjoy it. That is all we can do.
“We know we are going to have to work really hard in order to get a result.
“The players will have all their family and friends there and I want them to put in a performance which makes everyone proud.”
Stour, who have already come through four qualifying rounds, will be gunning for revenge after being knocked out of the Cup in the second round by Eastleigh four years ago.
The Glassboys went one better a season later, reaching the third round for the first time in their history before being knocked out by Wycombe. Their record in the competition is unmatched by any other club at their level of non-league football since 2009.
Yet while Stour have become accustomed to success and hosting big cup ties, tomorrow is a new experience for Long, who took the reigns from long-serving boss Gary Hackett in the summer.
Former Alvechurch boss Long, who had never before reached the first round as a manager, admits this season’s success has in some respects been “a monkey off the back”.
He explained: “To the club’s board this is all old hat but it is a totally new experience for me, my coaching staff and a lot of my players.
“There is something special about this club and the cup. What Gaz (Hackett) achieved in his time here was incredible and reaching the first round this time around has taken a bit of the pressure off.
“It really is an amazing record. There are some clubs in our division who have never reached the first round of the cup. To do it six times in 11 seasons really is remarkable.
“This isn’t something we should ever take for granted and it is why we must make the most of it. You never know if you will ever be in this position again.”