There’s cash and potential glory at stake when Sittingbourne meet Bury Town on Saturday at Woodstock in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy.
Even at this opening stage of the competition, there’s a precious
£2,500 on offer to the winners on Saturday, and the prize goes up the further a team progresses.
Sittingbourne go into the match with a good home record, but Bury also have very good away form and have been doing very well in their league this season.
The Suffolk club play in Ryman League Division One North, the equivalent of Sittingbourne’s league for clubs predominantly based north of the Thames.
Sittingbourne are currently in 10th place in Ryman South, having mixed some excellent performances with some not so good ones.
For instance, in their most recent home league game they stormed to a
4-0 win over old Kent rivals Ramsgate and then lost the following game away to an East Grinstead side who have been struggling to move away from the bottom of the league so far this season.
Sittingbourne then lost again in midweek, to Ramsgate in the Kent Senior Cup, but they rested nine of the team who played at East Grinstead to save them for Saturday.
So it was mainly a second string who went down 2-1 to a full-strength Ramsgate but there were enough good performances to give manager Nick Davis plenty of selection options.
Simon Overland is set to play in goal after being out injured since the first week of the season, while others including Josh Wisson and Dan Tanner will surely come into the reckoning.
With Bury doing so well in their league, what will reassure Davis is how well Sittingbourne have done against stronger teams this season.
They’ve drawn away to Cray and Hastings, but also won at Greenwich Borough who since that August Bank Holiday defeat at home to Sittingbourne have stormed to the top of the table.
Bury, the fourth oldest non-league club in the country, having been founded in 1872, stand second in Ryman North, and have won four and drawn the other two of their away league games this season.
They would have gone top of the table on Tuesday night had they beaten struggling Romford at home, but lost 2-1 after taking a second half lead.
But they were desperately unlucky with injuries, losing four players in all during the second half and having used all their substitutes, actually finished with only 10 men.
They’re a well-supported club and will obviously be bringing quite a few fans with them from Bury St Edmunds, so it’s essential Sittingbourne fans – as always! – get behind their team and show plenty of vocal support.
It’s a big game for the club and any extra support will be more than welcome.
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