Rye United are aiming to top last season’s magnificent run in the FA Vase.
Quarter-finalists in 2010/11, Rye will make their bow in the national competition for 2011/12 with a second round tie at home to Three Bridges today (Saturday).
Assistant manager Andy Laskey said: “I don’t see any reason why we can’t repeat that or better what we did last year. The squad we’ve got and the players we’ve got are strong enough to have a decent run in it.”
The Quarterboys put the town firmly on the non-league football map last term by winning through seven rounds – all away from home – before suffering a heartbreaking extra-time loss to King’s Lynn Town with nine men.
“Whether we’ve raised our ambitions too high by the run we had last year will only be decided this year,” continued Laskey. “We’re going to need a bit of luck like in any cup, but as far as I’m concerned, you go in it to try and win it.”
Reaching the latter stages once was quite a feat, but doing it again is likely to be even harder despite being exempt until the last 128. Rye will now be considered something of a scalp rather than the unknowns they were last time.
Laskey went on: “I would imagine we’ve not perhaps got the shock factor. I bet most of those teams near the end had probably never even heard of Rye, but the word would’ve gone round that we must be a half-decent side.”
Rye will definitely be without captain Shaun Loft as a result of the dislocated shoulder the centre-half sustained against AFC Uckfield last week, but Paul Watson is expected to feature for the first time in several weeks.
Fourteen-goal striker Scott Ramsay is hoping to be fit despite coming off against Chichester City last weekend with a slightly pulled calf and missing the gentle seafront run at training on Tuesday night.
TODAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (3PM UNLESS STATED)
Ryman League, Premier Division: Hastings Utd v AFC Hornchurch.
FA Vase, 2nd round: Rye Utd v Three Bridges.
Sussex County League, John O’Hara League Cup, 3rd round: Sidley Utd v Southwick.
Division 2: Little Common v Mile Oak 1.45; Rustington v Bexhill Utd 1.45; Westfield v Steyning Town 1.45.