Newmarket Town are eyeing an Emirates FA Cup upset on Saturday, writes Liam Apicella.
Having dumped out Great Wakering Rovers in the Extra Preliminary Round with a resounding 5-1 victory earlier this month, Kevin Grainger’s men will now take on higher-league Ware at The Ridgeons Stadium (3pm).
After losing their Bostik League Division One North opener 1-0 at Maldon on Saturday, The Blues responded on Tuesday evening with a 3-1 victory at Cheshunt.
Grainger had that encounter watched, and while he is expecting a tough match, he is backing his side to win through.
“It is a big game for us on Saturday, no doubt about that,” said Grainger.
“We had them looked at against Cheshunt and it sounds like a game of two halves. They were poor in the first half, but played really well in the second.
“I do not think the gap between the sides is going to be that big.
“We are going to need to bring our A game and defend well. If we do that, it is a very winnable tie.”
Last season’s leading goalscorer Lewis Whitehead missed Newmarket’s 1-0 defeat at Thetford Town on Tuesday with an Achilles injury, but Grainger is hopeful the striker will be fit enough to return against Ware.
Summer signing Stephen Spriggs is also back in contention after a holiday, but winger Deakan Napier is unavailable.
The Jockeys last went beyond the Preliminary Round in 2014/15.