FRICKLEY Athletic will aim to move a step closer to a dream place in the FA Cup first round proper when they host Harrogate Town in the second qualifying round on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The Blues are three wins away from a place in the hat alongside Football League teams in the first round of the prestigious competition but face a tough test against Blue Square Bet North opposition.
Manager Peter Rinkcavage is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead for his troops at the Tech5 Stadium but insists they can go into the match with no pressure on their shoulders.
“There’s no pressure on us at all,” he said.
“We drew out of the hat one of the highest placed teams that we could have done so it’s going to be very hard for us, but there’s no pressure so hopefully we can go out there and enjoy the game.”
He continued: “We’re all looking forward to it. The FA Cup is a special competition and it’s fantastic to be involved in.
“Harrogate Town are a good team and we’ve had a few reports on them, we know it’s going to be tough but we have home advantage and we need the supporters to come along and get behind us.”
Preparations haven’t been ideal for Frickley, with a number of key players missing for the cup clash.
The Blues will be especially light in attack, with Peter Knox cup-tied, Jack Watts suspended, Alex Callery rated as “very, very doubtful” to feature and Ollie Ryan also sidelined.
Defender Michael Simpkins will also be sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Rinkcavage admits he considered bringing more attacking options in but said it was “impossible”.
“Clubs won’t let players go because they’re either cup-tied or they could be cup-tied if they played for us,” he said.
“It’s only this weekend we’ll be light really, it will be Jack’s (Watts) last game suspended and Peter Knox will be available again.”
The Blues showed their goalscoring threat on Wednesday night with a 6-3 thumping of Mickleover Sports.
Knox, who scored twice, will be the only goalscorer from the game to be unavailable on Saturday.
Harrogate will come into the contest in confident mood after securing an impressive 1-0 away win at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night, a result which moves them up to 11th in the league table.
The Blues travelled to Mickleover Sports on Wednesday night in the Evo-Stik Premier League. A full match report can be found on www.hemsworthandsouthelmsallexpress.co.uk.
As well as progression in the FA Cup, victory would bag the Blues a welcome £4,500 in prize money.
See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest Blues news.