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FA Cup underdogs Ely City looking to cause an upset against Wisbech Town

Manager Brady Stone is hoping that his Ely City side once again embrace the underdog tag when they travel to higher-league Wisbech Town in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday (3pm).

The Robins have made a habit of causing shock under Stone’s management, and it will take something similar if they are to progress through to the first qualifying round for the first time since 2010.

Step 4 Wisbech, who started the season with a 2-0 loss to Leek Town on Saturday and were due in action at Worksop Town last night, have recently recruited three new players, including former Peterborough United forward Oli Shackleton.

Martin Grey, Jamie Alsop and Brady Stone
Martin Grey, Jamie Alsop and Brady Stone

However, Stone is confident that his team will give a good account of themselves at the Fenland Stadium.

“We are massive underdogs. They are a decent team who play a level higher and we are away from home,” said Stone, who picked up his first ever FA Cup win as a manager in the previous round against Potton United.

“But for us there is nothing to lose, it is almost a free hit because we have the money in the bank from winning in the previous round.

“Of course we will have to stay disciplined and keep it tight, we are not just going to make up the numbers.

“These are the sort of games we perform well in – it is against the sides lower down in our league when we sometimes trouble.

“Who knows if it will be enough, but I know the lads will put in a performance.”

Ely will head into the tie on the back of last Friday’s 2-1 loss at home to Long Melford in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division – their first defeat of the season.

Goals from Ben Judge and Jamie Griffiths put the visitors in the ascendancy and while Sam Read pulled one back for the hosts, it was not to be.

“It was a strange game – we never really got going,” added Stone.

“They started really sharply high and you could see they were on a high from their penalty shootout win in the FA Cup a couple of days earlier.

“I told the lads to stick in it because they would tire and that is what happened, but while we huffed and puffed, it was not enough.

“Melford were the better on the night and they deserved the win, but if you had offered six points from nine and a win in the FA Cup, I would have taken that.”

Stone is hoping that striker Ryan Harnwell will come through a midweek training session following a hamstring injury, to feature against his former club Wisbech at the weekend, but midfielder Alex Batten is unavailable.

Striker Alex Theobald and midfielder Michael Harvey remain two to three weeks away from full fitness.

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