Boss Williams believes in the magic of the cup

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Whitby Town head in to Saturday’s FA Trophy second round clash at Blyth Spartans full of confidence and determined to win the game.

Manager Darren Williams says he does believe in the “magic of the cup” and believes that his side can progress in the competition despite another tough away draw.

“It’s a difficult draw, which is all we ever seem to get, but we go to Blyth confident, because we know that on our day we can beat anybody,” he told the Whitby Gazette.

“When this group of players perform to their full potential, nobody can live with them, and we’ve shown twice already this season that we can match Blyth.

“I do believe in the magic of the cup, anything can happen in these one-off games, it’s been seen time and again.

“Yes Blyth are flying high, playing well and have a big squad, but this is without doubt a winnable game.”

The Blues met Spartans in their second game of the season, going down 3-2 at Croft Park, despite leading the game 2-1 midway through the first half.

A clinical display then saw Blyth edge another close encounter, by a 2-0 scoreline, at the Turnbull Ground, last month.

“There’s not been much in either of our previous two meetings,” Williams added.

“We were playing well and in the lead at their place, then a free-kick went through our wall and that changed the game, while at home we didn’t take our chances in the first half and ended up getting punished.

“I spoke to Tom [Wade, Blyth manager] at the Turnbull and he agreed that we’d deserved something from the game.

“We’ve matched them these last two times and now we need to go out and beat them.”

The Spartans enjoyed a spectacular FA Cup run last term, beating League Two Hartlepool United to reach the third round before being knocked out by Birmingham City.

Their success in the competition has allowed them to invest heavily in their squad this season, and as a result they currently sit top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division standings.

The financial implications of progressing to the next round of the competition only add an extra incentive, according to Williams.

“As the manager, obviously I’m focused on what happens on the pitch, but you can’t ignore the financial aspect,” he continued.

“The cash at stake in these competitions makes a huge difference to clubs at this level, and that just makes Saturday’s game even bigger.

“If you look at where Blyth were last year and how they’re doing now, you can see what a difference the money they earned from their cup run has made.

“Long-term, the prize money from the cups can open so many doors and we’re very aware of that heading into this match.”

Kick-off at Croft Park is 3pm, and a supporters’ coach will be departing the Turnbull Ground at 10am. Contact Graham Manser on 07966 241344.