Dedicated Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles hoping long distance scouting mission pays off when Street visit in FA Cup

Manager Pete Stiles has left no stone unturned as he plots Fareham Town's FA Cup progress on Saturday.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:21 am
Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles

The dedicated Reds boss made around a 200-mile round trip last weekend to watch extra-preliminary round opponents Street suffer a 3-1 Western League Premier home defeat to Brislington.

With Fareham without a friendly last Saturday and Stiles knowing very little about their FA Cup opposition, he opted to travel down to Somerset - a journey which took him three-and-a-half hours just on the first leg of his scouting trip.

But the committed Fareham boss says his weekend road trip will prove worthwhile should his side seal a spot in the next round - and £1,125 in prize money.

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Stiles said: ‘I went to watch them play last Saturday. I went to watch them play Brislington down at Street. It took me three-and-a-half hours to get there - I think everyone was going to Cornwall.

‘It’s part of the job, you’ve got to do it, if you don’t know about them then you need to go and look yourself.

‘We only had training on Saturday so I took it upon myself to drive down there and have a look at them.

‘You also don’t know if they had players missing and if they’ve got players available who weren’t available.

‘It was just to give me an idea of how they set up, maybe set pieces and stuff like that, it’s not going to be easy because we’re going to be players down but I’m hopeful we can get through.'

Stiles feels both FA Cup and FA Vase competitions provide a welcome change for players and supporters of lower league clubs.

In the nationwide tournaments, the Reds can come up against different opponents and get to take in new grounds.

Stiles added: ‘It’s just nice for the supporters to see different clubs and sometimes get an away tie somewhere going to places they wouldn’t normally go. The FA Cup and FA Vase offers you that.

‘It’s not playing the same teams around you all the time. Hopefully, if we get through, we draw someone else a bit different. It’s just something a bit different. The financial side is a big factor as well.’

Fareham's injured trio of Connor Messenbird, Tom Settle and Ben Rowthorn are all likely to miss the Street tie.

Garry Moody still has one match left of a suspension to serve, while Ross Kidson is unavailable for a few weeks due to naval commitments after netting on his debut against Baffins Milton Rovers on Tuesday.