US Portsmouth ‘will be brimming with confidence – why shouldn’t they be?’ – Tavistock boss ahead of history-making FA Vase tie

Tavistock boss Stuart Henderson is well aware of the threat his side face as they look to avoid becoming US Portsmouth's fifth higher-division scalp in a memorable FA Vase campaign.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:35 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 8:38 am
Team spirit - US Portsmouth celebrate beating Christchurch on penalties in last weekend's FA Cup fourth round tie. Pic: Martyn White.

USP s history-making run to the fifth round has seen them defeat four Wessex League Premier Division teams along the way.

Glenn Turnbull's troops added Christchurch to that list last weekend, coming through their last-32 Victory Stadium tie on penalties.

That set up this Saturday's trip to west Devon to take on higher-tier Western League Premier Division Tavistock.

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And Henderson knows his men are going to be in for a difficult afternoon.

'They’ve done fantastically well to get to where they are,’ he remarked.

‘You can see the camaraderie, there’s a lot of spirit in the camp, they’re organised, they’re certainly capable of getting in front in games and defending well.

‘We know we’re going to be in for a tough game, it’s a difficult tie for us.

‘In a one-off cup game, it’s very much on the day. They’re going to be full of confidence, they’ve beaten four teams from our level - who’s to say we’re not going to be the fifth scalp?

‘I’m sure that’s what they’ll be coming out to do and they’ll be brimming with confidence - why shouldn’t they be?

‘They’ve got good players and they’re a good outfit. We know we’re going to be in for a difficult game, there’s no doubt about it.'

Just like USP, Tavistock have never previously reached the fifth round of the FA Vase.

The winner of the tie at Langsford Park will move to within just two wins of a dream Wembley final.

However, given the fact the tie will be played behind closed doors because of the pandemic, Henderson reckons it's less likely either side could freeze on the big occasion.

He added: 'It’s great for both teams, whoever does get through will be making more history.

‘I don’t think it’ll be as much of a problem (being overawed by the occasion) because every game at the moment seems a little bit weird.

‘Apart from the officials and the staff of both teams, it has the feel of a training game unfortunately.'