Lee bradbury admitted his Hawks side were back on the FA Cup map after they set up a first-round tie against League One high-fliers Preston North End last night.
The Vanarama Conference South side booked a home fixture against Simon Grayson’s Lilywhites after disposing of fourth-qualifying-round opponents Canvey Island 3-0 at the second time of asking.
Goals from JJ Hooper, Ben Swallow and Scott Donnelly handed the Hawks victory, after the two sides drew 0-0 in Essex on Saturday.
The replay win gives the Westleigh Park side another chance to make Cup history, after their heroics in the 2007-08 season saw them eventually knocked out by Liverpool in the fourth round.
And Bradbury is excited at the prospect of going head-to-head with one of League One’s form sides as he bids to add to his club’s recent Cup pedigree.
‘Preston North End at home is a massive game and a dream tie for us,’ he said.
‘They have won seven of their last eight games and are second in the table.
‘No-one will expect us to win but we will go out there and give it our best shot.
‘It is a dream game for clubs like us. It should bring a big crowd, be a great occasion and have a good chance of being on TV.
‘Not only will it be good for us financially, it will also put us on the FA Cup map again – we can’t wait.’
Bradbury added: ‘I asked the players for a professional performance last night in the replay and they gave me that from the first whistle to the last. You could see how much it meant to the players out there.’
n See page 53 for full report.
– KEVIN RICKETTS