Tiverton Town, the top non-League club in Devon, won the FA Carlsberg Vase in 1998 and again this year. Now the Trophy is their target, as promotion to the Dr Martens League Western Division in the summer made them ineligible for the Vase, and tomorrow they take on the Hampshire outfit, Farnborough Town, at their Ladysmead home.
The tie will give Farnborough a chance to gain revenge for one of the biggest humiliations in their history. They are now a Ryman League Premier Division side, but they were riding high in the Conference when they travelled to Tiverton, then in the Western League, for an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie five years ago.
Farnborough found themselves 4-0 down at half-time but they managed to force a 4-4 draw and were expected to win the replay at the John Roberts ground. Tiverton turned on the style, though, and secured a remarkable 5-1 victory.
Tiverton had made their first visit to Wembley the previous year, when they were beaten by Bridlington Town in the Vase final. A survivor from that side is set to face Farnborough: Hedley Steele, a 45-year-old central defender. The super-fit Yorkshireman, who played a few League games for Exeter City all of 25 years ago, has rejoined Tivvy to provide cover while other defenders are suspended.
Elsewhere in the Trophy, two West Country rivals meet in a competitive fixture for the first time in over 10 years. Yeovil Town, third in the Nationwide Conference, make the short trip to Weymouth on Sunday. Both sides have recently made managerial changes by promoting senior players: Yeovil have had a 100 per- cent league record since Steve Thompson took charge while Weymouth are climbing the Dr Martens Premier Division under Andy Mason.
The Conference leaders, Nuneaton Borough, travel to Yorkshire tomorrow to take on Guiseley, who knocked them out of the FA Cup with an unexpected victory at Manor Park last month. The Trophy holders, Kingstonian, go to Kent to meet Folkestone Invicta.