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Home   /   Match preview: Canvey Island v Cray Wanderers

Tony Russell says guiding Cray Wanderers into the First Round of the FA Cup and making history for the club is a prospect he is relishing this weekend. 

The Wands travel to Essex on Saturday to face step four side Canvey Island in what will be just their second ever Fourth Round Qualifying tie in the competition.

With a sizeable £9,375 in prize money also on the cards for the Isthmian Premier outfit should they emerge victorious, Russell, who last week celebrated 250 games in charge of the Bromley outfit, says he is expects both sets of players to still feel a ‘little nervous’ in the build-up to the match. 

“The game will already be the equal furthest we’ve reached in our history since we lost to Grays Athletic back in 2005 – a game I remember playing for the team,” he said. 

“With the amount of fans we’re taking up there, it should be a really good atmosphere for the players, though.

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“The formation they play will force us to work on some things, and I think both teams will look at it as a really good opportunity for this club to qualify for the first round of the FA Cup – I know we certainly are. 

“Any carnage can happen in cup football, so I think both sides will still be a little nervous, and that’s why whoever handles that pressure best will win the game and go through.

“We know they’re a good side – they’ve only lost one match this season and that was to Maldon & Tiptree when they went down to ten men and there’s no shame in that, so it’s going to be a hard game, especially at their place.

“But in all honesty, we didn’t actually know the game was definitely going ahead until Sunday.

“They announced not long beforehand that they had a number of players experiencing COVID symptoms, so it’s been a tough one to plan for, but I feel I’ve done all I can.”

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April 2024