Forget the FA Cup, we have Bishop’s to deal with first

Shaun North
Shaun North

With a place in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round safely in the bank, Eastbourne Borough return to league action tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm) as they welcome Bishop’s Stortford to Priory Lane.

Last Saturday’s 3-2 victory against Hartley Wintney (see page 91 for report) set up an FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash against Vanarama National Premier high-flyers Dover Athletic and a chance to claim a place in the first round proper - the stage where the Football League teams enter the competition.

However, boss Tommy Widdrington wants his players to forget Dover, for the time being, and focus fully on the threat posed by mid-table outfit Bishop’s Stortford.

He said: “They are a very organised side and they carry a goal threat.

“If the players want to be involved against Dover, which is arguably our biggest game of the season so far, then they have a chance in this game to show they should be selected.

“We are doing okay in the league, maybe we are two or three points behind where we should be but then that’s me.

“I always want us to be better, I always want us to be tighter at the back and score more goals up front.”

Defender Adam Watts is the only injury concern as he remains hamstrung by his hamstring.

Meanwhile, off the pitch, Borough Academy manager and Tommy Widdrington’s assistant Shaun North has departed and looks set to become the assistant manager at Vanarama National Premier side Eastleigh.

As part of the planned succession, Chris Agutter, who worked alongside North, will take charge of the Academy.

Widdrington added, “We wish Shaun all the very best. He has been great to work with and I’m sure he will do well in his new role.

“In Chris (Agutter) we have a great replacement and it’s a natural progression.

“He is young and has good ideas and between us, we have a good blend of youth and experience.”