Height Fareham Town must reach in order to secure FA Cup progress against Alresford Town

Fareham Town manager Pete Stiles says his side will have to be at their best if they are to progress past Wessex League Premier Division rivals Alresford in the FA Cup this weekend.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 10:25 am
Fareham boss Pete Stiles, right. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 170821-13)

Stiles is expecting an extremely tough test against the Magpies, who are managed by former AFC Bournemouth academy coach Danny Ackland.

The Reds do at least go into the preliminary round tie full of confidence, having snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw against rivals AFC Portchester in the league in midweek.

Yet, prior to that, Stiles was critical of his side following a 'woeful' display in the defeat to Bashley.

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But the Fareham boss is hoping his team can start producing performances on a consistent basis - and he wants his squad to show that starting with Saturday's FA Cup tie.

Stiles said: ‘We shouldn’t have to get ourselves up for it because you should naturally want to progress in the FA Cup. It’s really important for clubs like us to get a bit of prize money in.

‘They’re (Alresford) a completely different side, new coach, new players so we’re going a little bit into the unexpected.

‘I’ve spoken to a couple of people about them but I haven’t seen them myself.

‘We’ll have to be at our best, I think they’re a decent, well-drilled side, so it should be a toughie.

‘The key thing is they’ve got to do it (produce consistently). What we’ve got to do is get a bit of consistency because we were alright in the FA Cup and against Baffins and Portchester but against Bashley we were woeful - especially in the first half.

‘Hopefully we can get through, get a nice draw somewhere, have a good game and have a good bonding day out.’

The winner of the tie between the Wessex Premier rivals will claim £1,444 in prize.

Added to the £1,125 picked up by Fareham after their club FA Cup record-equalling extra-preliminary round win over Street earlier this month, it would provide a welcome cash boost.

Stiles will also be able to call on the services of both Callum Benfield and Dave Parker for the trip to Alresford after they were unavailable for the derby meeting at Portchester.