Lancaster City bid to move step closer to FA Cup first round
Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is ready for his side to be the underdogs for the first time in this season's FA Cup on Saturday.
The Dolly Blues head to Evo-Stik Premier Division leaders Shaw Lane on Saturday in the third qualifying round.
The winners will bank £7,500 and move within one victory of the first round proper and a chance to face a Football League side in the world’s most famous cup competition.
Brown’s side do have one thing to their advantage, the Barnsley side’s only defeat in their last 11 games is a 3-0 reverse at Giant Axe on September 9.
“It’s going to be a bit different to the other two cup games when we were favourites,” said the Blues boss.
“This is top of the league away from home.
“They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games but that defeat was to us.
“There a physical side and we’re going to have to match that. If we can do that then we’ve got a massive chance.
“Our energy levels and quality can cause them problems.
“We’re not fearful at all, we’re going there to give a good account of ourselves.
“We’ve just got to be our natural selves and I’m sure we’ll get opportunities.”
Some players would be forgiven for casting their eyes towards the first round proper where League One and Two clubs enter the fray.
Brown says all eyes though are on a tough test in Yorkshire this Saturday.
“We’re just focused on this game and if we get through we’ll just see what happens,” the City manager said.
“We’re not looking at the first round.
“Maybe if you win through this and you’re one game away then it comes to the forefront of your mind.
“But we’re two games away at the moment.
“As well as winning the game on Saturday the £7,500 could make a real difference to us this season.
“Yes we could have drawn a National League North side or one of the big hitters and it been more lucrative but there’s only six teams left from our league and we see this as a winnable tie.”
The Blues go into the game in fine form, the 4-0 win over Witton Albion at Giant Axe on Tuesday night making it six wins from their last eight games in all competitions.
“I still think there’s more to come from us,” Brown said.
“I think after a good start we’ve got a really good opportunity now to kick on as a group.”
Gavin Clark picked up a medial knee ligament problem at Stourbridge while captain Ricky Mercer is still struggling with a knee problem.
Hannu Tam could be available again after picking up a knock in training last week.
Adam Sumner and Billy Akrigg are coming back into the fold having missed some games earlier in the season due to work commitments.