Hastings United are dreaming of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history.
The Ryman League Premier Division minnows will seek to bridge a gap of 131 places in the football pyramid when they travel to Championship high-flyers Middlesbrough in a David versus Goliath third round tie today (Saturday).
Bookmakers are offering odds of around 16/1 on a United victory at The Riverside Stadium, but player-manager Sean Ray is undaunted by the size of the task which faces his side.
Ray said: “Anything can happen. It’s 90 minutes, it’s 11 v 11. The one thing we’ve got to do is believe. If we go up there without the belief, we might as well not turn up. You just never know. The longer we’re in the game, the more frustrated they’re going to be. I think we’ll be alright.
“It’s going to be a tough ask and nine times out of 10 you lose, but there’s always that chance they might have an off day and a few decisions go our way. You’ve got to be in it to win it and at the moment we’re in it.”
Join us later today for the pre-match team news, match updates and post-match reaction, plus follow @HastingsObs and @SimonNewstead on Twitter for all the action as it happens.
TODAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (ALL 3PM)
FA Cup, 3rd round: Middlesbrough v Hastings Utd.
Sussex County League, Division 1: Rye Utd v AFC Uckfield; Sidley Utd v Peacehaven & Telscombe.
Division 2: Broadbridge Heath v Westfield; Little Common v Rustington; Littlehampton Town v Bexhill Utd.