Little time to prepare as Sports return to Vase

Dudley Sports return to action tomorrow aiming to extend their historic FA Vase run.

Tony Gore (Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss)
Tony Gore (Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss)

The West Midlands League Premier Division outfit host Coventry Sphinx in the second round of the competition with boss Tony Gore keen to pull off another shock.

Sports beat higher-ranked Rugby Town in the previous round and will be facing a Sphinx side who play their trade a level above in the Midland League Premier Division.

And while Sports may be short of match practice having been inactive during the month-long second national lockdown, they won’t be lacking in motivation.

“It’s a massive game for us,” said Gore.

“This is the furthest we have ever got in the competition, we had never reached the first round before this season. And the players will be up for the game, there is no doubt about that.

“It’s just a shame that we can’t have any spectators there to watch with the area being in Tier 3.

“Ideally we would have liked to have played a game or two before getting back into the Vase.

“We managed to get in one training session yesterday but that is the only preparation we have had.

“The players can go on runs and do some fitness work, but it’s not the same as playing.

“But it is what it is and it will be the same for Coventry.”

Sports have impressed in the Vase with victories against league rivals Wem Town and Littleton before producing an excellent display to see off Rugby.

But Gore is well aware of the task facing them tomorrow.

“It will be a tough game, Coventry beat Shifnal from our league and any side that beats them must be a good one,” said Gore. “But we have played well in the Vase games and had a really good result against Rugby Town in the last round.

“They play at a level above us, like Coventry, so it shows what we are capable of.

“I think we have also played some decent stuff in the league and that the table doesn’t really show that. We are probably four of five points light of what we should have.

“We are looking forward to the game and everyone wants to play in it.

“Coventry are a good side but if they are not quite on their game then we have a great chance.

“But the lads are ready to go, everyone wants to play in this game and they will have to play well to beat us.”

Midland League trio Walsall Wood, Sporting Khalsa and Stourport Swifts are also in Vase action.

All three will be looking to make the most of home advantage.

Walsall Wood welcome West Midlands League Premier Division side AFC Bridgnorth with Khalsa also facing lower league opposition with United Counties League Division outfit Aylestone Park checking in at the Aspray Arena.

Swifts face a tougher-looking test against Northern Counties East League Premier Division high-flyers Grimsby Borough

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