Clough looks for Cup reward with Burton

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Conference club Burton Albion did not progress beyond the first round of the F A Cup last season but can credit the world's most famous knock-out competition with helping them to a record profit of £126,000 after Sky paid £100,000 to televise their replay against Oldham, which they lost on penalties.

Burton therefore travel to Third Division Torquay today understandably keen to catch the eye again although the financial rewards are less attractive than they were.

While prize money for the third round and beyond has stayed the same, there have been reductions of 50 per cent for the qualifying rounds and the first and second rounds proper. Television payments for rounds one and two have also been halved. Only by reaching the third round, where payments for live televised matches are £265,000, can smaller clubs reap a major windfall.

The Burton manager Nigel Clough believes his team has a good chance to reach the second stage: "Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town are both above Torquay in the table and we competed with those sides in the Conference," he said.

Boreham Wood were beaten 5-0 by Torquay at the corresponding stage last year but could provide one of the shocks this time at Second Division Blackpool. Steve Browne's Ryman League First Division side are unbeaten in 18 games.

Hornchurch, currently fourth in the Ryman Premier and seven games without conceding a goal in all competitions, can be tipped for something similar at home to Darlington, who are next to bottom of the Third Division, while Canvey Island, who lead the Ryman Premier, may be more confident still against a depleted Southend in an intriguing Essex derby.

Other vulnerable League clubs include Cambridge United, away to Unibond League Lancaster City, Stockport, whose Conference hosts Stevenage have a history of Cup progress, and Peterborough, who face Conference leaders Hereford United. Tony Adams begins his managerial career in charge of Wycombe's tie at home to Swindon.

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