We must put FA Cup showdown to the back of our minds – Meaker
ASSISTANT manager Michael Meaker has told Yate Town players to put any thoughts of FA Cup glory on hold and reminded them that promotion remains the ultimate ambition this season.
The Bluebells are just one game away from a possible place in the first-round proper of the FA Cup and have a big game against Blue Square Premier leaders Newport County to look forward to in the final qualifying stage at Lodge Road next weekend.
The side, however, remain bottom of Southern League Division One (South & West), despite winning their first league game of the season with a 5-2 victory over Taunton Town in midweek.
They continue their bid to climb the league at Winchester City – one of the sides they beat on their impressive cup run – tomorrow, and Meaker said: "We're enjoying all the stuff that comes with the FA Cup run and are really looking forward to the game against Newport next weekend.
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"It is a big game and one that the lads deserve because of the way they have played to get this far. It's important, however, that we put all thoughts of Newport to the back of our mind and focus on another tough game at Winchester.
"We got our first league win at Taunton in midweek and it is important we build on that. Everybody likes to have a run in the FA Cup, but when we look back on the season, the level of our success will be judged on where we finish in the league.
"Our aim is to challenge for promotion and the players must not forget about that amid all the talk about the FA Cup."
At Taunton on Tuesday night, two early goals from Tom Knighton set them on their way to a 4-0 half-time lead – even though manager Rob Cousins and Meaker had some problems to contend with before the game.
"Ollie Barnes and Danny Wring broke down on the way there," said Meaker. "We had to get Colin Pick (chairman) to pick Ollie up on the way before Danny was able to join us later on after his car had been sorted! It was always only a matter of time before we got our first league win. It was a great performance by the boys."
Mitchell Page and Scott Thomas have returned to the squad after suspension. Skipper Edd Vahid is expected to be back in the squad after being rested on Tuesday night, but Tom Warren is still missing due to a suspension.
Mangotsfield United boss Richard Thompson has signed former Bristol City youngster Shaun Lamb from Premier Division side Chippenham Town.
Lamb, who can play at left-back or in central defence, joins recent acquisitions, goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer striker Ben Hunt and loanee Ryan Bennett, in the squad for tomorrow's clash with Evesham United at Cossham Street.
Clevedon Town, meanwhile, host Wimborne Town looking to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Merthyr Town on Wednesday night. Mickey Bell's side will be hoping to replicate some of the form they showed in securing an impressive 3-1 victory at Hungerford Town last weekend.
Paulton Rovers boss Nick Bunyard will hope to see his side bounce back from two defeats in the last seven days by claiming a victory against Sholing at Winterfield Road tomorrow.
Bunyard's side lost heavily at Shortwood last Saturday and, after a bright start against Wimborne Town on Tuesday night, they ultimately lost 3-0.