Flack has the power to fire Billericay
Saturday 10 November 2007
The Billericay manager, Matt Jones, insists his team have a "one in 10" chance of upsetting the odds and providing an early FA Cup upset in their first-round match against Swansea City today.
The Essex club, who play in the Isthmian League Premier Division, take on their League One opponents at their New Lodge home with Jones determined that his team treat the match as a straight competition rather than just a chance to gather souvenirs and memories.
"For many of our players, this could be one of, if not the, highlight of their career," Jones said. "Nine times out of 10, you would have to fancy the higher-ranked team for victory, but this could just be the 10th one and we could do it.
"Certainly, having watched Swansea. We think there may be one or two things about their game we could use to our advantage. Mind you, they've seen us as well and could be saying the same thing."
"I don't want anyone saying that it's a great occasion for the club," Jones added. "It is – but it's also a winnable game."
Jones has a full squad to choose from after the defender Dave McSweeney recovered from a "dead" leg suffered in the last qualifying round, the midfielder Lee Hodges may face a late fitness test on a knee injury and the striker Joe Flack – who has a spectacular scoring rate of 19 goals in 18 games this season – should return to the line-up. He was rested for the midweek FA Trophy match against King's Lynn with today's game very much in mind.
The League One side Millwall face a tricky trip to the Blue Square Premier side Altrincham, who are the last non-League team to beat a top-flight club on their own turf when they upset Birmingham City at St Andrew's in 1986.
The Altrincham manager, Graham Heathcote, has several injury worries, however, with the midfielder Val Owen a major doubt as he is still struggling with a foot injury.
Gareth Whalley is definitely out with a calf problem and Colin Potts will also miss the match as he, too, is suffering with an injury, while the leading scorer, Colin Little, faces a late fitness test.
The match will be Kenny Jackett's first official match in charge of Millwall after he was appointed manager earlier this week.
Bournemouth face a long trip north to take on Blue Square North side Barrow, while their fellow Cumbrians Workington are away to Bury of League Two.
Hampton & Richmond, of the Blue Square South League, host Dagenham and Redbridge while Lewes are away to Mansfield. Histon travel to Meadow Lane to take on Notts County while Staines face Stockport at Edgeley Park.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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