Town boss eyes cup upset to keep Wembley dream alive

Morpeth Town cup preview.
Morpeth Town cup preview.

Morpeth Town face the biggest game in their history this afternoon and boss Nick Gray believes his side can rise to the challenge of the FA Vase fifth-round clash.

The Northern League, Division One side make the long journey south to face Eastbourne United.

Morpeth are the most northerly club left in the competition and have never reached this stage of the cup before.

But with a place in the quarter-finals at stake, and with the dream of reaching the Wembley final still alive, Gray has told his players to keep their feet on the ground.

“We’re away from home - it’s a fair old trip to Eastbourne as they’re only a couple of miles from France,” he told

“Getting to Wembley is an incentive but we cannot look that far. It’s about taking this game on - we could be 13 games from Wembley and it would still be huge.

“We’re the underdogs but we will rise to the occasion. It’s about playing the match and not the occasion.

“This is the first time in the fifth round so it’s unknown territory for us.”

It certainly will be a tough trip, with Eastbourne riding high at the top of the Sussex County League Division Two.

Although they were humbled 6-1 by Bognor Regis Town in the Senior Cup recently.

They may be a wounded beast but Gray will not be reading too much into such a crushing defeat.

He told The FA’s website: “To be honest, we may have suffered a similar result, as Bognor are two divisions above them. I don’t think you can look into that really. They’re flying high and have played well all season.

“But we have confidence ourselves and good expectations we can get a result.”

The winner of the tie, which starts at 3pm, will face Ampthill Town at home in the quarter-final, scheduled for Saturday, March 8.

Check back this evening for match report.