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More at Stake Than Trophy

Swindon Supermarine v Tiverton Town

Isuzu FA Trophy, third qualifying round

WITH neither side able to establish a psychological edge in last Saturday's Pitching In Southern Premier League South game, there is a lot riding on this weekend’s Isuzu FA Trophy result: the rewards for victory are significant.

Very often when teams are struggling, a cup game is seen as a welcome distraction. Supermarine's predicament as the bottom side in our division and our situation, coming into the match on a run of below par results, equate to more than that.

Everyone is fully aware of, not just the financial Incentives of doing well in non-league’s most prestigious cup competition, but also how the result can affect player morale, the dressing room, and momentum going forward into the league campaign. A run in the competition will also excite fans and capture their imagination.

Who can forget last season’s eventful tie at North Leigh? It was a game in which Louis Morison achieved the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick of penalties before being sent off in the dying minutes ahead of a tie-settling penalty shootout. The match finished 3-3 but our opponents progressed after doing better with their spot-kicks.

In the event of this weekend’s match finishing level, the tie will go straight to penalties - no extra-time or replays.

The Yellows' best showing in the FA Trophy was in 2000-01, when they won four rounds of the competition before losing in the fifth to Worksop.

The last time that we and Marine met in the competition was at the same third qualifying stage in the 2021-22 season at Ladysmead. On that occasion, we prevailed in a penalty shootout after the game had ended 1-1.

Richard Pears will once again take the side as Martyn Rogers fulfils a longstanding holiday commitment, and both he and his opposite number Stuart Fleetwood will have decisions to make, ahead of kick-off. Will there be some tinkering with tactics, formations or personnel?

Having played against each other last weekend the players will be very familiar to each. Will Richard Pears go with the same starting 11 or will there be recalls for Tom Bath and Louis Morison, who both made substitute appearances seven days ago?

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