|[02 OCT 98]
NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL NEWS
Atherstone v Nuneaton - PreviewFierce local rivals Nuneaton Borough and Atherstone
United lock horns in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on Saturday and a full house crowd
of around 2,000 is expected at Sheepy Road.
The rivalry between the clubs goes
back many years and there is more needle this season than in most because Borough sit
proudly at the top of the Dr Martens League Premier Division while United have been
steadily climbing the league.
Both managers are cagey going into the cup
tie and there was some pre-match psychology being applied from both camps.
Ron Bradbury, United's wily manager and
veteran of many such contests, says:
"Nuneaton are a big club with plenty
of money to buy good players. They have a bit more quality and they have to be
But Borough's boss Brendan Phillipps
"They are every bit as big as us, they
have a lot of experience at this level and they have ground advantage. It is a dangerous
scenario for us."
Whatever the pre-match hype however, most
people are agreed that a mighty clash is in prospect. Sheepy Road will be bursting at the
seams and it is estimated that Borough's travelling following will be around 1,500.
"Everywhere I go in Nuneaton people
are talking about this match. It is a big game and it will be an emotionally charged game.
It is vital for us to have a good Cup run to help our club's finances."
Richard Gardner has an outside chance of
returning to Nuneaton 's side after a hamstring injury and if he is fit he will be the
Atherstone is seething with excitement at
the mouthwatering prospect of this match. Ron Bradbury says:
"The nearer we have got to the end of
the week the more excitement has been generated.
"There is no tension in our camp.
Football is all about big games and if you can't take the pressure you might as well give
A blow for Atherstone is that their
reliable centreback Paul Olner is suspended for this match after being sent off two weeks
ago. His place in this match will go to David Hart.
United go into the match with a slight edge
on league clashes last season. They drew with Borough at home on Boxing Day and then beat
them at Manor Park. But the previous season Borough won both games.
"This match will be won by the team
which wants it more on the day. I can vouch for my lads giving one hundred per cent and if
desire is enough to win this tie then we will get there."