Carey hoping for one of big six

Lee Carey
Lee Carey

Hastings United captain Lee Carey is hoping to draw one of the Premier League’s “big six” in round three of the FA Cup.

The U’s are in the hat with the country’s elite following their 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town in round two yesterday (Saturday) and the Sky Sports News television cameras will be coming to The Pilot Field for live reaction to the draw this afternoon.

Carey said: “It would be a bit of an incentive taking them (Harrogate) back to Hastings (for the replay on Tuesday December 11) knowing we’ve got Man United, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham, of those teams in the top six of the Premier League away from home with a big crowd. That’s exactly what the boys deserve.”

Even though Ryman League Premier Division outfit Hastings play their football a level below Blue Square North side Harrogate, Carey says a draw was the least they expected going to North Yorkshire.

“That’s the least we expected,” continued the 25-year-old midfielder. “We wanted to be in the hat. We knew exactly what they were going to offer. We’ve come here with a gameplan and we set up right.

“The pitch didn’t help. It was really difficult; it was horrendous out there. Sean (Ray, player-manager) and the management got us up for a battle and that’s exactly what it was.

“But we’ll take them back down to Hastings on a Tuesday night on a good pitch - Simon (Rudkins, the Ryman League groundsman of the year) does a great job with the pitch - and we’re a footballing team.”

As they were at Bishop’s Stortford in the previous round, United found themselves trailing at half time but managed to claw their way back into the match after the break.

Carey added: “I’ve said it in the week to the TV and the radio it’s been one of those seasons where we’ve grown up a lot from last year. If we do find ourselves 1-0 down we know we can get back in the game. We got the goal that we needed and when we scored I thought there was only one team in it.”