Fareham Town facing tough trip as they bid for FA Cup revenge at Frimley Green

Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles. Picture by Keith Woodland.Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles. Picture by Keith Woodland.
Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles. Picture by Keith Woodland.
Fareham Town manager Pete Stiles admits his side have been handed a tough opening to their FA Cup campaign.

They travel to Combined Counties League hosts Frimley Green in Tuesday’s extra preliminary round tie (7.45pm).

The Reds will be looking to exact revenge for their FA Cup exit against the same opponents at Cams Alders two seasons ago.

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Frimley Green deservedly won that tie 2-0 and Stiles knows gaining revenge won't be a straightforward task.

He also feels it is unfortunate that such an important game is being played so early in the season.

'It is a shame we have to play what is probably one of our most important games first up,' said Stiles.

'Personally, it would have been nice to get a couple of league games under our belt first.

'Also it is a shame that the game is not on a Saturday.

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'With players working in different locations and finishing at different times, it means you cannot organise a coach.

'Players have to make their own way there in cars and that gives it a different feel.

'The FA Cup games are something everyone looks forward to.

'Everyone likes to have a run in the competition and it can bring in valuable finances.

'I suppose the current situation can't be helped and all of us are in the same boat.

'It is a case of just getting on with it.

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'We have put a decent squad together and hopefully we are ready.'

The visitors have two notable absentees - Connor Messingbird is suspended for the first four games and Jack Breed is away with the Gibraltan squad.

Stiles, however, includes three newcomers.

Goalkeeper Dan Kempson has arrived from Bashley, having previously been with Alresford Town, and wide player Casey Bartlett-Scott has signed after spending the last four years in America.

He was previously with Stiles at AFC Portchester.

Midfielder Callum Benfield, brother of striker Josh, joined after having time away from the game last year.

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Stiles is hoping the changes will help his team achieve a greater consistency.

'Our ambition is to finish as high up the league as we can and have some good cup runs,' he declared.

'Last season we proved that we can beat the top sides.

'The only thing is after doing that the next week we would let ourselves down by going out and losing to the bottom teams.

'We have to be far more consistent.

'I feel we have put together a decent squad and pre-season has been everything I expected.’

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The furthest Fareham have ever reached in the FA Cup is the first round proper, on four occasions.

But their record since joining the Wessex League in the 1990s is not good.

As a Southern League club, Fareham reached the first round in 1979/80 (losing 3-2 at home to Merthyr), 1985-86 (losing 3-0 at home to Maidstone), 1986/87 (losing 7-2 at AFC Bournemouth) and 1988/89 (losing 3-2 at home to Torquay in a replay).

On the last occasion, Robbie Carroll and Kevin Maddock netted in a 2-2 draw in Devon, with both also on target in the replay loss at Cams Alders.

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Since entering the Wessex in 1998, the furthest Fareham have progressed is the second qualifying round twice - in 2001/02 and 2012/13.

Fareham will be away again in the preliminary round on Saturday, September 12, if they beat Frimley - to Woking-based Westfield.